The Good Ol’ Civilization

My first civilization in Civ 5
My first civilization in Civ 5

Back in the very early nineties, when I was studying in UK. During summer holiday when some of the foreign students – myself included – who were too poor to stay in the university campus or buy a return ticket to our faraway home, we have to be creative in how to save money. At times I stayed in my relatives’ places in Paris or Canada (flight ticket to Canada from UK was still much cheaper than back to Hong Kong). Other time, I stayed with my friend Florence’s boyfriend’s place in London. Her nephew was there too, together with another friend if I remember correctly. We would sleep on the floor. And in between booze and pizza, Star Trek VHS tapes and more Star Trek quotes, we took turn to play computer games. Unlike now whereby person computers and laptops are affordable to the point that each can own one, back then, we shared one.

We were nerds. We loved the simulation genre. We played SimEarth (or was it SimLife?) and saw whales evolved and headed to the moon (say what?) We also played the first generation of Civilization. I was very much captivated by Civilization, being able to plan out and manage the rise of a civilization. During that old golden era, if I remember correctly, world domination was the only way to win the game (Apollo program was another way?) We micro-managed the development of each city, advanced on science and technology, built weapons and more weapons. We raced and created nuclear warhead. World domination was within reach.

Today – actually it was four years ago – sees the fifth iteration of Civilization. I have picked up the game from Steam for old time’s sake. Besides, 75% for the entire pack is too good a bargain to miss. I have tried out the previous incarnation. Somehow, they don’t seem to measure up to the very first Civilization. It could well be nostalgia talking because I miss my old friends and the good time we had.

I must stay, Civ 5 looks good and plays well. I enjoy finding my way reading in-game tool tips or learning the game through making mistakes. I mean, these days, who reads game manual? Or better, who writes it? Some say MMO is addictive. I say turn based games like Civ 5 is even more so. There is always another turn and before you know it, you are burning midnight oil playing a video game. Oh yes, I am feeling young, again.

A close-up view of my capital
A close-up view of my capital

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