Sunday, March 16, 2008

Meet Bryan

In The Sunday Times I discuss the computer games Sims and Spore and interview their creator, Will Wright. The picture shows the creature I created while playing Spore. He is called Bryan. Unlike me, he is a Capricorn, he likes late Jeffrey Archer, he has two eyes on his haunches and his favourite colour is off-white.


  1. Working in Fleet St. as you do, a second set of eyes regardless of position can only be a good thing. And the off-white, a battle ensign reflecting the period at station.
    The off-white sails was how in Nelsons time the navy recognised one another.

  2. Good piece, Bryan. And nice to see the Times giving the game the attention it deserves. Wright's a fascinating, super-bright man. He delivered what is still the most thoughtful, inpiring talk on gaming I've heard at BAFTA a couple of years back.

    Interesting that you were hooked on SimCity and nothing since. You're what Nintendo calls a "lapsed gamer" (although it's possibly stretching the term in your case.) Has Spore done enough to lure you back?

    The distinction between "console" and "computer" games you imply is largely semantic here - Sims has, of course, released on consoles, too.

    And just to be a sad pedant, it's therefore the Sims franchise that's approaching 100m sales, not a single game (countless budget-priced expansions, plus major sequels, are factored in).

    Super Mario Bros. is technically the biggest-selling single game ever (over 40m boxed copies), but that actually came bundled for free with the NES console. Super Mario Bros. 3 (which first released in the late '80s) was still the biggest standalone seller the last time anyone bothered to check.

    I wish I didn't know this rubbish :-(

  3. Interesting full-length photo in the print edition. An attempt to move away from previous displays of Yentob-chic, perhaps?

  4. That picture was taken some time ago, Gordon. Had I known, I would have tried to prevent its use. I now weigh less, have longer hair and don't dress in black.

  5. Always good to have computer games written about thoughtfully. For me staring at a computer screen is starting to feel really old and I guess in the end they will all leave the screen behind. Which I suppose will make the term 'computer game' obsolete, or slang for a primitive stage of life.