Computer Game #12: SimCity (1989)
My own roof leaks, I hate mowing the lawn, and I can’t balance a checkbook, yet somehow I was the successful mayor of “Margaritaville” for over a century. OK, ‘successful’ is a relative term. I could never keep those ungrateful ingrates happy, even when I gave them the stadium they wanted, and the original downtown was always too dirty thanks to coal burning electric plant next door to the city park. We built a new downtown, but that got trashed by Godzilla. It also had a tendency to catch fire. But my simulated metropolis lasted for well over 100 years. And while software designer Will Wright went on to build a real-world empire with SimCity, with numerous sequels and updates so graphically detailed you can look in the windows on the denizens of your City (don’t even get me started on the insanity of The Sims), there is still something charming about the bitmapped simplicity of the original city simulator.