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WTF?! In what initially appears to be an April Fools' Day prank, Intel has marked the first anniversary of its CEO Pat Gelsinger being at the helm by releasing an 8-bit-style browser game featuring its boss. Not only will it bring mild amusement for about thirty seconds, but you can also learn some interesting facts about Gelsinger and his history.
The aptly named Pixel Pat, which you can try here, is a free, endless runner put together by Intel. This writer assumed it was an April Fools' Day joke that the company may have posted a day early, and in a way, maybe it is, but you can still play the retro-esque game.
There's no stopping #PixelPat (especially when he's in a bunny suit).— Intel (@intel) March 31, 2022
Our new #8bit game is a thrilling sprint through a chip manufacturing plant—and also a trip down memory lane to celebrate @PGelsinger's first year as @Intel's CEO. Play now! https://t.co/UoyapU6SDt pic.twitter.com/QXcnKoKasu
Pixel Pat sees the eponymous hero making his way through Intel's new fabrication plant as he attempts to collect wafers scattered around the facility. Collecting lightbulbs will bring up information about the milestones Gelsinger and Intel have developed over the decades. Did you know, for example, that he joined the i386 processor design team back in 1981?
Players can double jump Pat, and you get to see how many bulbs and wafers were collected once you die. Avoid what are presumably dust clouds and bugs, two things no fab plant wants, though you can receive temporary invincibility by diving into a bunny suit. You also get extra lives by picking up hearts or 86 wafers.
April Fools' Day timing aside, Intel likely considers the game publicity for Chipzilla and its CEO. Compared to some of the terrible PR promotions we've seen from companies in the past, this one isn't that bad. It does, however, come one day after it was revealed that Gelsinger earned $178.6 million in 2021, about 698% higher than previous CEO Bob Swan's 2020 pay and 217 times more than the average Intel employee in the same year, so maybe Intel thought pixelating him and lauding his achievements would make the boss appear more likable. On reflection, perhaps this isn't a good promotion after all.