Will Wright

8 July 1989

Will Wright / Maxis, 1989 / USA / Selected by Matteo Bitanti

“SimCity” is not only a PC game, it is a generator of imaginary landscapes, an example of simulation technology applied to the purposes of a videogame. Academics note that its popularity comes from satisfying the human need to miniaturize the real; to reinvent the world in microscopic form; to make the mundane urbane experience intelligible, manageable and reassuring. Through the power of simulation, designer Will Wright gives players a city to develop as they please, in essence placing them in the roles of game designer as well as player. “SimCity” has no set criteria for winning – even the decision of having a well or poorly run city is left up to players. “SimCity” is often referred to as a “God Game,” a genre it helped define in which players are not so much inside the game as above it, controlling the outcome. Wright went on to create “The Sims,” the best selling PC game of all times.