August 28, 2011

Repost: On the Virtues of Civilization, Part II

Reposted from WildWeazel

In Part I I explained the reason for this topic and briefly described the Civilization franchise. Let's continue.

I started playing computer games not long after my family got our first computer, when I was about 6 or 7. First it was the simple Windows 3.1 games like Mosaic and Minesweeper, then commercial games. SimTower was the first game I (and by "I", I mean "my parents, on my behalf") bought, and I quickly became a fan of Will Wright's games.

When I bought SimCity a few years later, which by then had already been around for a while, it came packaged with another game, just a CD case laminated on the front of the box, which I had never heard of. I set this one aside, eager to play the venerable SimCity. To my dismay, I could not get the game to run despite my best efforts at playing around with different system and game settings (my hacking started early), so I reluctantly turned to this free copy of "Civilization" (Civ1 DOS, for those interested) to ease my frustration.

It worked, and I spent much of the following months forgetting that I ever wanted to play Sim City. I don't remember the details of my first game, but I have plenty of memories of learning how to play- deciding that I should build additional cities before being surrounded by rivals; experimenting with diplomacy, which was then done via Diplomat units; discovering that a Trireme is a boat, and that I could now explore other landmasses; my first victory as Russia on the Earth map in which I city-spammed my way to dominance and then conquered the world; and saving all of my progress on a growing stack of floppy disks. To this day, the (now extremely rare) sound of a floppy disk writing makes me think of Civilization.

And so it came to pass that I developed a serious case of what we civvers affectionately call "One More Turn Syndrome" at such a young age. The arrival of Civilization: Call to Power did little to ease my affliction.

Continued in Part III

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