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Summary

The life and career of the legendary developer celebrated as the "godfather of computer gaming" and creator of Civilization.

Over his four-decade career, Sid Meier has produced some of the world's most popular video games, including Sid Meier's Civilization, which has sold more than 51 million units worldwide and accumulated more than one billion hours of play. Sid Meier's Memoir! is the story of an obsessive young computer enthusiast who helped launch a multibillion-dollar industry. Writing with warmth and ironic humor, Meier describes the genesis of his influential studio, MicroProse, founded in 1982 after a trip to a Las Vegas arcade, and recounts the development of landmark games, from vintage classics like Pirates! and Railroad Tycoon, to Civilization and beyond.

Articulating his philosophy that a video game should be "a series of interesting decisions", Meier also shares his perspective on the history of the industry, the psychology of gamers, and fascinating insights into the creative process, including his rules of good game design.

©2020 Sid Meier and Jennifer Lee Noonan (P)2020 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about Sid Meier's Memoir!

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One of modern gaming's founding fathers

A great journey through Sid Meier's life: a warm-hearted, humble genius and video game pioneer

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Great trip down memory lane

Having played many Sid Meier games growing up, this was fascinating. Highly recommend for anyone who has a fondness for his games. Well read as an audiobook

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Outstanding

Extremely interesting for who like me grew up playing Microprose games and has an interest in game development.

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Awesome insight into the world of Sid Meiers

Awesome insight into the gaming industry, Sid Meier's thought process on making game and his inspiration between games. His history and the gaming world's history of how games have come to be since he has been there from the beginning! Great read/listen

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"May all of your decisions be interesting"

What a warm, humble and wise man Sid is, and what great company I had during the hours I spent with this book, narrated to perfection by the superbly named Charles Constant. It does start off a touch slow... "is he really going to talk about EVERY game?" I thought after the first half-hour, but this choice was convincingly explained half way through.

It needed one more structural edit to get that fifth star, but the version of it in my head now (with the material rearranged) is full-house worthy. There are a half-dozen ideas here I'm definitely going to use in my life (which barely features any computer games!) like the "doubling or halving" change rule, so you know you're going in the right direction and don't waste time on smaller iterations. Sincere thanks to everyone involved with his book, it was a privilege to hear it.

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  • Dylan Kelly
  • 30-03-21

Great!

Genuinely some of the best game dev insight I've heard. Narrator really gets into performance when needed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • R. Squyres
  • 05-10-21

Only the Interesting Stuff

This is the way to do biography. Skip childhood, marriage, divorce, remarriage, grandparents and so on -- and just get to the part of your life we're actually interested in. In this case, it's video games.

This isn't actually a biography, it's Meier talking about video games he made. And some of it is technical geek stuff that isn't interesting. And then there's CIV... and that's really interesting. His insights are great. He is humble throughout.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joel Balyeat
  • 04-07-21

Inspiring us all to make interesting decisions

An inspiring story from a man who has designed and created at least 55 video games, a true icon in the industry.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Game Researcher
  • 06-07-22

Fascinating and Edifying

My favorite thing about this memoir was discovering what a kind and unassuming person Sid Meier is. A lovely read.

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  • Mike Sinks
  • 29-06-22

Good, but not Great

I appreciated the story and the rundown of all of his games, which was probably the intent of the author. However, anyone looking for insight into what makes Sid Meier tick is going to be left wanting. Not a bad story and, as a huge fan of Civ, I appreciate the focus, but detail was often lacking.

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  • M. Mcfee
  • 06-04-22

Fantastic! now there is a true role model

Going in I did not expect to be as enamored with Meier as I now am. He's genuine, guileless, and humble. And he tells great story, warts and all.

If you are interested in game design, the industry, for just a fan, you can't go wrong here.

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  • No Quarter
  • 31-01-22

Nice Insight into the Mind of Sid Meier

Found this Sid Meier's Memoir to be a nice story chronicling Sid Meier's time in game development, from the first Tic Tac Toe game up until Civilization. The author does a very good job of giving explaining how events from his life led to him thinking of ideas for games. Also, goes into a lot of Sid Meier's philosophies for how to make a game, how to make a fun game, and how to look for ideas to develop into games. Towards the end of the book, it does sort of speed up, there isn't too much insight into what Sid Meier is currently doing. I still found it interesting all the way through.

The narrator does a good job of telling the story. I didn't have any problems paying attention and didn't feel that I got lost when listening. I also appreciated that there were a few areas where the narration mentions that it is an audiobook, which is nice knowing the book was at least modified a little before being read. One aspect that I did find a little annoying is the story has "achievements" so there are instances where the narrator will stop mid-paragraph to say "Achievement Unlocked" and tell what the achievement is. I can't really blame the narrator for this, as the author had them in the book, but there were a few times I felt it detracted from a story by interrupting the flow. By the end, I grew to sort of like the achievements as nice callbacks to early moments in the story and as an example of how some things really do work much better in games than other mediums.

Overall, the book flew by, there were very few dull moments or times that I wished the story would just move on. The anecdotes are nice and the insight into the development of some of my favorite games was good. I really also appreciated the anecdote about Nuclear Gandhi and the way that Sid Meier traces the story and what he has to say about it.

I Would recommend it for anyone interested in learning about Sid Meier, the development of video games from the late 70s to the 90s (the sections of post-2000 development are not that detailed), or for someone just interested in video game history.

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  • mahoneko
  • 31-01-22

The greatest games designer and dev in history.

An absolute must read for anyone who has played, never mind developed computer games. I had not idea that Sid had made so many of the seminal games in history. Many great fundamental insights into game deign. The industry has come full circle so that indie designers can now again replicate what Sid was doing at the dawn of the industry.

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  • Mickie G
  • 02-11-21

for those interested in his games or game design..

A thoroughly enjoyable view into the mind of the iconic Sid Meier, who chronicles the rich history from his early games up to Civilization 6. Sid deposits valuable game design axioms, background info, acknowledges the lore, and more for each game/phase of his career. the narrator's straightforward, grounded but not muted delivery makes for an easy listen while preoccupied with other tasks..

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  • Pete Njagi
  • 07-10-21

Great memoir

I really enjoyed listening to the perspectives of what went into one of the best game designers ever! The memoir was a complete picture of how one could aim to produce a consistent and creative career from scratch