SimCopter

Will Wright at BAFTA: the creator of The Sims on his influences and hints to his next game

Graham Smith at

BAFTA have been supporting computer games for years, but they're now making efforts to expand their membership and visibility into America. Which is weird, for an organisation with "British Academy of" in its name.

But their first step is a series of profiles called A Life In Pixels, looking at some of the people most important to the development of videogames. The first, with Will Wright, just took place at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood this Sunday evening. I was there, listening to creator of SimCity, The Sims and Spore talk about the power of obsession, the wisdom of ants, his love of hard science fiction, and just a single hint on what his next game project might be. Read on for a full report.


They did it first

Richard Cobbett at

In a world of clones and copycats, it’s worth remembering that every idea was once new.

Whether it’s Richard Garriott turning himself into the world’s first cosplayer by showing up at conventions dressed as his alter-ego Lord British, or Westwood inventing the RTS in Dune II, these are the moments that defined the games we play today. On PC, anyway. Herzog Zwei? What’s that?

But what about some of the more obscure firsts? Who made games talk? Who made film ratings part of our industry? Which FPS first came up with the idea of mixing driving and shooting, in much the same way that the genius who first combined salt and vinegar crisps and broken up pieces of Kit-Kat created the most delicious snack of our age? That is the question.

We’ve gone back into the archives in search of the geniuses, the dreamers, the designers and games that proved there were still ideas left to explore – just as today’s designers continue to prove how much more can be done.