Sid Meyer: ‘If it was released today, I wouldn’t play civilization’

Sid Meier: 'There’s a whole new generation of gamers who’ve grown up knowing games their entire life'
A.

s Sid Meyer kicked Zoom out of his home in Maryland, it seems to me that this soft-spoken video game designer has commanded my attention more than any other artist.

It will take 50 hours or more to watch all the James Bond movies. To read all of Harry Potter, perhaps 60. Meyer’s work makes fun of such a dilemma. Trying to do this is almost unbearable given how much time I have given Railroad tycoon, pirate And different versions of Civilization, But I’m sure it will be over 1,000 hours. When it comes to mayors, there aren’t many agnostics. Either the name doesn’t make sense to you or it will evoke memories of high-altitude picks, railway oligarchy and world domination.

In 66, after nearly 40 years in the field, Meyer wrote an entertaining autobiography. This is the title Remember Mead!, Style-friendly satire that he has used throughout his career. From the early days, to the lunch break, from programming 2-D action games, he is now working on millions of dollars worth of projects that are more common in Hollywood blockbusters than his initial work.

Like Bester Keaton or Elvis, Meyer’s work is unparalleled in technology. During the time he was working, the potential of video games spread faster than any creative field in history. When he started, game design was a one-sided hobby of cash register design for his job. The industry grew with him. Today it is valued at more than 100 billion a year, and still grows at about 10 percent a year.

Remember Mead! – Art cover(Press image)

His initials seem a bit out of place. Meyer was relieved when fighter jets began using HUDs instead of old-style equipment panels, as this meant he no longer had to give up half of his screen to display dials and gauges. To prevent pirates, they will include codewords in game manuals that are not file-sized for easy distribution.

For all the new possibilities of photo-realistic graphics and playline play, you realize that Meyer feels like something is missing.

“For a long time we have been pushing against the limitations of computers,” he says. “We were trying to make the most of the available hardware and then tapping into the imagination of the players to provide the rest. They had the art of game design, to provide inspiration. You would imagine a fighter pilot, a pirate or a king of a great civilization. “While some games are like movies, they are beautiful to watch, but where a lot of artistic decisions are made for you, the mayor’s games are like novels, inviting readers to fill the gap. His maximum.

Meyer made a name for himself with flight simulators in the 1980s Pirates! In 1987. it was CivilizationHowever, the first attraction appeared in 1991 (there are now 12 editions), which confirms its place in the history of the game.


For a long time we have been pushing against the limits of what a computer can do

Sid Meyer

Siva, Put it in the role of a god-type leader of a great civilization, as it is known. Beginning in 4000 BC, you took control of a single settler in the center of a large and predominantly obscure map. You’ve found a city that you can use to build more settlers, or soldiers, and discover new technologies to expand and advance your civilization. World Miracles offer unique benefits to your civilization: Stonehenge, Sistine Chapel, or Angkor Wat.

The action is turn-based, so as long as you want to decide before you press “next time” and before you move your opponents.

The “next turn” button is the key to the CIV’s magnetic holder on the player’s attraction. Who knows what will happen when you push it? There is always another time. Minutes become hours, hours become days. You settle for a quick game at bedtime and before you know it is sunrise and Gandhi is undressing you. You can win militarily, or technologically by building spaceships, or by amassing wealth. Different governments offer different benefits. Democracy is better for scientific progress and trade, but makes war harder.

The game has been criticized for leaning towards a liberal-democratic worldview, especially in its early incarnations, and has been cited in academic papers. In 2012, there was a story about a man who was playing the same game Civilization 2 For more than 10 years, the sports year has been 3991 AD. His world became a perpetual war between three perfectly balanced powers, constantly dropping atomic bombs on each other. The story was told around the world, not for the tragic similarities between George Orwell’s point of view. 1984.

“We try to make people aware of the many similarities with the real world,” says the mayor. “It’s a sandbox where you can do whatever you want. We are trying to give you wide appreciation of different leaders and philosophies, but no more. ”

Despite its near-infinite reproducibility, Siv Many of today’s popular phone or console games are not easy to pick up and learn. In the book, Meyer reminds us that 1998 was one of the best-selling games of all time CIV2, Warcraft II, MySpace, Command and Concor And Dick Nukem 3D. Except for the end, everyone needs more thinking and engagement than thinking Candy Crash Or Fornitis That dominates the game today. Competing for the light of day means that it’s hard to imagine those titles if they were released now.


We try to make people aware of the many similarities with the real world

“I don’t think I can make it Civilization Today, ”says the mayor. “I’m not sure I’ll play it either. It will not fit in Zeitgeist. It asks a lot of players, and it takes some time to complete. You have to play it once to understand what is happening. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. Siv Came out at the right time. The PC had got enough bees for us to make it, but it wasn’t full of possibilities. If it had been a two-year halier, we would have had only four colors and very few. “

“Drugs” Siv Usually spoken in loving words, the worst manifestation of which is a laptop shutting down in the morning, but in recent years the dark side of gaming addiction has become a controversial topic.

Meyer about telling the story will encourage us to believe “one more time” of his creation. But there is also a dopamine. Gaming and social media companies have spent billions of dollars to motivate us to engineering their products. You can learn about history by playing Siva, But isn’t that basically the same thing?

“[Addiction] Not the word I would use [to discuss his games], ”Says the mayor. “We like to talk about engagement or commitment.” I can only imagine the people who run casinos in Vegas make such an argument, I say. “I’m not going to accept that,” the mayor replied. “We think time is running out. You exercise your brain, and learn a little more about the world, and perhaps take an interest in a new subject. The commemorative cover features praise Siv From both Mark Zuckerberg And Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

A special view of Sid Meyer’s Civilization VI(UT) b)

As games become more sophisticated, the types of computer engineers who may have once been involved in games have found themselves drawn to the great technology of working on real-world applications. What we now call “AI” was a very important research company in opponents games, to create opponents who could give you the game. Dammis Hasabis, founder of Deepmind, began his career in sportswriting by writing code. Theme park When he was young. Does Meyer ever wish he had gone into great technology?

“I think I have the best job in the world,” he says. “There’s always another game to write. When I meet people who have played them and want to share my stories with me, or other players, or their kids, I realize that we can justify people playing for billions of hours. Yes. It’s about stories. ”

Will Smith

About the author: Will Smith

Alfred Lee covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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