Sid Meier’s Memoir!: A Conversation with Sid Meier about His Life in Computer Games

In his first video game instruction manual, for 1982’s Formula 1 Racing, a 28-year-old systems analyst for General Instruments named Sid Meier declared that he hoped to one day “write the ultimate strategy game.” At the time he was installing networked cash register systems in retail stores. Nine years later, his software company, MicroProse, released Civilization, arguably the most influential strategy game in video game history. It was the first significant design in the 4X genre (“Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate”). Computer Gaming World called it “a new Olympian in the genre of god games.” PC Gamer US said it was the second-best video game ever created. Since then, the Civilization franchise has sold approximately 51 million units. Today, Sid Meier is a recognized giant in the field of video game design and development. His best known and best loved games include Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, Covert Action, Gettysburg!, and F19 Stealth Fighter. Now he brings his signature wit and good humor to the story of his own development. In SID MEIER’S MEMOIR!: A Life in Computer Games [W. W. Norton & Company; September 8, 2020; $27.95 hardcover], he traces the arc of a legendary career, including the founding of MicroPose; the evolution of their famous war game manuals; the commercial failure of C.P.U. Bach, a visionary music generator inspired by his passion for the program’s namesake; and the abandonment of “DinoCiv,” his beloved dinosaur game that never came to be.