Earth wonders at MAXIS' gift of SimShow1_3

Wednesday, August 11, 1999 - 23:00

It was an event that left few in its path untouched. The week's final MAXIS upload gave people across the globe the chance to know in a most spectacular way that, whoever walks the Earth, can be duplicated in SimShow 1_3. Starting off the American coast, the available zipfile raced across the wires at speeds approaching T1 access in some areas. A thousand people had traveled to Cornwall, south-west England, so they could stand in line at an internet cafe to download the file. For them, the first contact with the new application came shortly before 10.00BST. "I can't believe it! This thing actually has kids in it this time!", exclaimed one British gamer. "I swear I saw some new textures in there somewhere...", claimed an anonymous bystander who quickly melted back into the crowd. "All the info you need is in the readme file in the zip. There's a word doc, a text file, even an html file. Check it out dude.", said Maxis' own Sean Baity in a non-telephone interview. While others in Europe waited, across the UK outside the zone of download, people left offices and stood outside to meet friends who had played with the skin viewer tool. Buddhist monks gathered at the Eiffel Tower to exchange texture tips. The phone lines of Ramnicu Valcea, the south-central city in Romania where downloads are the longest, were crammed. In Egypt, Muslims shut themselves away to play with SimShow1_3 on the orders of clerics. "We must see the new code of Franck Le Ouay..he is like a prophet to us.", sobbed one emotionally stricken man. Jordan and Syria declared a national holiday. Russian TV found many Muscovites more concerned with domestic difficulties. One woman said: "I'm not really interested in that tool." In some Indian villages, priests rang temple bells and took turns beating steel plates with sticks to celebrate. Cheers and tears had followed the download. On the Cornish beaches, people kissed, some danced, others sensed an erie calm as the lights went out and they turned their computers on. And considering the truly astronomic chances involved in seeing a tool released long before a game is ready, it is perhaps no wonder.

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