Did you know that, deep within your computer, reside the Little Computer People. They are tiny creatures who inhabit our gaming systems and work computers, but they are invisible to the naked eye. If you wish to see them too, then consider purchasing the Little Computer People software package from Activision, which will allow you to meet and interact with these curious inhabitants.
Little Computer People came out in 1985 and is frequently credited as being the first life simulator, predating Alter Ego by just a single year. The game is, if I am being honest, little more than a dollhouse. Players get to look at the multi-floor house that represents their computer. After a while, a Little Computer Person will come to investigate and take up residence in the house, kind of like The Sims, but with no ability to pre-select what your digital friend will look like.
Players have no real control over the LPC. They just begin to live their life and you can subtly influence them through keyboard shortcuts that make little events happen. You can have food delivered so they have something to eat, you can give them a pat on the head, and give them several gifts. At all other times, you just observe the LPC and see what kind of funny business he gets up to.
It is very much a novelty and one that doesn’t have much lasting appeal. The LPCs are funny and sometimes it felt like they had some real personality, yet all you are invited to do with them is watching. The scene of the house never changes and the LPC only has a few activities it will do, like going to the toilet, playing classical songs on the piano, or exercising. The animations are cute and the music is a nice touch, but in an hour of playtime you’ll already see repetition set in.
Allegedly, you can also type in commands to give the LPC more direction, but these went blatantly ignored in almost all cases. The game is comedic and you do get to starve your LPC and make his life miserable if you wish, but there is little catharsis to gain from even that. It just goes to show that being the first at something doesn’t guarantee instant success.