Welcome to the late-on-Friday edition of CGOTW, done by replacement nostalgic old-guy, me.
In thinking of those games from the distant past that shaped my development as a gamer, a species only developing back in the '80s, I often think of the personalities that used to surround our games. Sure, we know tangentially that CliffyB is short, and that Ken Levine is freaky-smart.
And then there's Will Wright. Outgoing Electronic Arts CEO, Larry Probst, said of him: "Will Wright's our Steven Spielberg. Will kind of gets to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants." The reason he wields this awesome power is because of one game: Sim City
First released in 1985 for the Commodore 64, the game put players in the glamorous world of that guy in town hall with all the maps on his desk, arguing with the zoning board of appeals. And yet, the game remains compelling in all of its forms. It was the game that launched a thousand Sims -- Earth, Farm, Town, Copter, Ant, Life, Isle, Park, Safari, and of course, the ultimate variant, The Sims. THe whole idea of the Sims franchise has been emergent gameplay. It's the buzz now, but 20 years ago, players were already making the game up as they went along.
It's been available on everything from the SNES to the ZX Spectrum, and it's spiritual successor, Spore, will be gracing our gaming machines any year now. But in the meantime, you can fire up SimCity 2000 on gametap, or grap a copy of SimCity 4 in your local discount bin. All these years later, it still holds up. There's nothing like protecting your mini-mes from the ravages of famine and Japanese movie monsters.