At the time, 1980, when Pac-Man was born all the other computer games were of the violent type - war games and space invader types and were targeted to the male audience. Toru Iwatani (the creator of the Pac-Man game) wanted to come up with a “comical” game women could enjoy.
From an interview in Susan Lammers’s 1986 book, Programmers at Work: “The story I like to tell about the origin of Pac-Man is that one lunchtime I was quite hungry and I ordered a whole pizza. I helped myself to wedge and what was left was the idea of Pac-Man shape.”
The other half-true.
”The Japanese have a slang word - paku paku - they use to describe the motion of the mount opening and closing while one eats,” Iwatani explained. “The name Pac-Man came from that word.”