This interactive game concept reimagines pacman in public spaces.

a gif of the pacman game board in the shape of a subway station. Three pacpeople are moving throughout.

The pacpeople in action.


Project for the course Designing for Desirability at the Harvard Desirability Lab.

Presented at the 2019 Harvard Design Fair.


How can design for awe through interactivity?


We created Subway Pacman for people to playfully engage with strangers on their commute. The Pacman gameboard displays on the digital advertising screens over the subway track. People join via a join link, select an inclusive avatar, and control their Pacperson from their phone. This rift on the classic game is collaborative and lighthearted.

three young women smiling and holding their phones in front of a screen with the pacman boardgame

Participants enjoying a demo of the game at the Harvard Design Fair.


We drew inspiration from the concept of sonder, "the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own". We wanted people to playfully engage with strangers around them, and focused on commute times as the perfect opportunity for brief interactions with a familiar game.

We redesigned the classic Pacman avatar to be more inclusive, and launched a proof of concept web app.


You can play with a live demo by opening the gameboard on your computer, and the controller on your phone.


April 2019

a screenshot of a phone with four pacman characters, pacman, pacwoman, a pacperson with a rainbow hat, and a pacperson in a wheelchair

Wireframe of inclusive pacman characters.




Melissa Kwan
Kelvin Tejeda
Elyse Voegeli