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Sid Meier's Memoir! - Sid Meier - <span class="date-display-single">10/05/2020 - 7:00pm</span>

Sid Meier's Memoir!

10/05/2020 - 7:00pm


Games, according to Meier’s notable definition, are “fundamentally comprised . . . of a series of interesting decisions,” and Sid Meier's Memoir! might best be described as the story of his own “interesting decisions.” Sid Meier will appear live on Crowdcast to discuss these decisions with David Gagnon, Director of Field Day Lab.  Join the event at: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/wbf-sid-meiers-memoir. Before the event begins, you will see a countdown and the event image. 


In his first video game instruction manual, for 1982’s Formula 1 Racing, a 28 year old systems analyst for General Instruments named Sid Meier declared that he hoped one day to “write the ultimate strategy game.” At the time he was installing networked cash register systems in retail stores. Nine years later, his software company, MicroProse, released Civilization, arguably the most influential strategy game in video game history. Today, Sid Meier is a recognized giant in the field of video game design and development. His best known and best loved games include Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, Covert Action, Gettysburg!, and F19 Stealth Fighter. Now he brings his signature wit and good humor to the story of his own development. In Sid Meier's Memoir!, he traces the arc of a legendary career, including the founding of MicroPose, his original software company; the evolution of their famous war game manuals; the commercial failure of C.P.U. Bach, a visionary music generator inspired by his passion for the program’s namesake; and the abandonment of “DinoCiv,” his beloved dinosaur game that never came to be.


In each chapter, game by game, Meier discusses his inspirations and narrates the genesis of each idea: the trains that skirted his grandparents’ property in Switzerland, Tom Clancy’s military Cold War novels, his love of Civil War history, for example. He also details the actual process of developing each video game, giving the reader intimate access to philosophical and technical questions that animate the gaming community.  Real-time or turn-based gaming? How much control should the designer have versus the player? How much choice is too much—or not enough? How might the technical limitations influence or subvert the designer’s vision? How do I make the player feel personally invested in the game’s outcome? If you’ve ever wanted to understand and experience the game designer’s perspective, Sid Meier's Memoir! puts you right there in the cockpit, so to speak, with Sid Meier himself. For many years, video games were regarded as just another form of mindless entertainment, devoid of meaning and entirely mechanical. Today, however, video games are an acknowledged art form, significant cultural commodities in their own right. Sid Meier has done as much as anyone to effect this change. In Sid Meier's Memoir!, he celebrates the joy of creation and the excitement of expanding possibilities, feelings at the very heart of playing video games—and of being human.

Sid Meier

About Presenter Sid Meier


Sid Meier, creator of Civilization, has been honored with virtually every award in the video game industry. A member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame and founder of Firaxis Games, Meier lives in Hunt Valley, Maryland.


Sid Meier's Memoir

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