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April 22nd, 2004

The Little Computer People

Long before The Sims was a twinkle in anyone’s eye, there was a program that let computer users get their voyeuristic tendencies out – The Little Computer People for the fine Commodore 64 (and Apple ][.)

This software’s title was quite descriptive. It drew an open dollhouse on screen and let you watch these people go about their business. The neat thing is that you could interact with these people. Sure, sure, not like a Sim, but you could actually play cards with them!

Something like this seemed just as fascinating back in the 80s as it did when The Sims came out. I’d consider Little Computer People to be the grandfather of webcams and reality TV, myself.

Posted in Technology

FROM: mel
DATE: Thursday April 22, 2004 -- 1:45:23 pm
I remember that game... we had it for our Commodore 64. Our little guy's name was Myron and I think he had a dog that you could play with, too. If I remember correctly, you could turn him green and send him to bed (and eventually kill him) by refusing to grocery shop.

FROM: Greg C
DATE: Thursday April 22, 2004 -- 7:42:27 pm
Ah yes, Computer Little People, written by Steve Kitchen. I had a little hack that would let you pick which person you would have... my guy looked just like Pee Wee Herman.

There were also hidden commands, one of my favorites being a pat on the head. You'd hit the code and he'd stop everything he was doing, sit in his chair, and a little mechanical hand would come out and pat him on the head.

SUPPOSEDLY there was a way to get the little guy to kill his pet. I never figured out how to do that one.

The comparison with The Sims did NOT fall flat with me... I don't think The Sims would exist without Computer Little People.


FROM: Dobutsu no Mori [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday April 30, 2006 -- 6:32:24 pm
Without Little Computer People, there wouldn't be Animal Crossing
or the Sim genre.

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