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Thursday, August 21, 2008

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'Gaming God' Sid Meier Interviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Escapist has published a new interview with legendary game designer Sid Meier, Firaxis Games' Director of Creative Development and co-founder. The interview covers a variety of topics including the designer's status in the industry, current and future projects, and the state of the gaming industry.

TE :As a pillar of the videogame industry, do you feel a responsibility or a need to protect or influence it?
SM: I do. I think we all have a part of making the industry what it has become and what it will become. There's a sense that we're more partners than competitors within the industry. We're trying to develop this new form of entertainment in its very formative stage. Our job is more to convince people that they should try computer games as opposed to other ways of spending their time. That's more what we're about than "play my game and don't play their game." That's not the goal.
Someone might try one of my games and it would cause them to try someone else's game or vice-versa. I'm happy when someone puts out a great game because people that enjoy that game might come back to the store in a month or two and see one of my games and say, "Oh. I guess I'll try that."
I think we're really more about helping establish computer entertainment and making it something people will really enjoy. So we do feel that we're as much part of an industry as we are a single company trying to establish ourselves. We still have some convincing to do with a large part of the population that computer games are something they might enjoy, might want to try. There's certainly a strong base of people that really like it but there's still quite a bit of room for growth. So I think that's our role.

TE :Do you keep up with the modding community for the Civ games?
SM: To a certain extent; I don't follow it that closely. But I'm certainly aware that it's an active, vibrant community and it's been a significant part of the charm of Civ ever since Civ 2, when that was made part of the game. In general, I think the rise of communities like that has been one of the big stories of the past four or five years. I think The Sims has been a big part of that. Now with MMOs, we see guilds and things like that.
The whole idea of interacting with people through a computer game was very much a foreign concept. The whole reason we played computer games was to get away from other people a few years ago. But to see that arise has added another dimension to gaming. It's not just for antisocial people anymore. You can play games and be social and interact with other people. And modding is one dimension of that. It feeds into that desire that all gamers have to be designers. You get to make that mod or that level and really feel like you made a game.
Visit the site below to read the entire Q&A.

The Escapist: Just Your Average Gaming God
Firaxis Games

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