Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Apple Town Story*

In a few hours we'll know how Apple/Pixar intends to put the video into iPod and/or HDTV into a new consumer product! It will be all-pervasive.

Before Nintendogs, The Sims, Pokémon and Tamagotchi, there was David Crane's Little Computer People (1985). This is a vintage 8-bit game that I had intended bringing to your attention a year ago, but was sidetracked by a P2P editorial!

The pack-in included the following:

The Little Computer People House-on-a-Disk Research Software
This is a copy of the original two and a half storey house used by the research team. Activision guarantee that a Little Computer person will be drawn out by each and every one.

The Computer Owner's Guide to Care of, and Communication with, Little Computer People
Once a Little Computer Person has moved in, you take on the responsibility of providing food, water and loving attention. This booklet gives you the basic details on how to start this interaction with your Little Computer Person.

A Deed of Ownership
This allows you to register your ownership with Activision, and thus become an official member of The Little Computer People Research Project.

A Special Edition of Modern Computer People Magazine
This humorous, full colour publication comes with every kit and reports on the history, habits and culture of Little Computer People.

LCP was the recipient of a Zzap! 64 Gold Medal Award. Although Alternate Reality would ultimately consume my free time, I recall purchasing, from Trago Mills, a Commodore 1541 disc drive purely to play LCP on the Commodore 64.

Hours of fun were to be had. I especially remember Edward Gribble (a classmate) attempting, in vain, to encourage my LCP to perform acts that should be discouraged! And the day LCP died! Yes, they could perish and once gone the house was left empty...

[*Apple Town Story is a port of the 1984 Activision computer game Little Computer People to the Famicom Disk System. The port was released by Squaresoft of Final Fantasy fame in 1986. The game consists of watching an animated little girl wander around her house and play with her cat! Any connotations therein are subject to interpretation by the reader and the writer accepts no responsibility whatsoever.]