My Favorite Gaming Moment

Civilization: Just One MOre Turn

One of the “off the shelf” questions I ask a candidate during a job interview is what their favorite game of all time is. Usually the response I back is the game they’ve most enjoyed playing recently. Now I’m getting more interesting responses when I ask, “What’s your favorite gaming moment“?

Everyone has their favorite gaming moment. It might be an amazing boss fight, or a twist in the game narrative that took you completely by surprise. An epic win just when the odds seemed insurmountable, or a puzzle solved after hours of patient effort. These are the defining experiences that live on in our memories years later, because these are the reasons why we play video games in the first place.

Mine came in 1991, when I sat down after dinner to play a few of hours of Sid Meier’s new turn-based strategy game, Civilization. By around 11pm, I had guided my initial band of settlers through a sizeable region of unexplored wilderness and established several cities, which were thriving well due to the surrounding resources and my military unit’s ability to fend off barbarian attackers. Although the clock beckoned me to bed, I was very close to developing a new technology that would really advance my civilization, and so I said, “just one more turn.”

Of course, each new technology gave me new military units to acquire and new wonders to build. And so, I allowed myself “just one more turn” a couple of times. Suddenly, I bright light was shining in my eyes. I parted the curtain to see which of my apartment complex neighbors had turned on a 150 what bulb. But it wasn’t a bulb. It was the morning sun. I had been playing all night long, although I would have sworn that it had been just a few hours. However, instead of chiding myself for not getting enough sleep on a day where I had to go into work, I was impressed by the addictive power of Sid Meier’s creation, and I was only too happy to give myself in to it. At least for one evening. Well, maybe more than one.”

What’s your favorite gaming moment?



About David Mullich

I am a video game producer who has worked at Activision, Disney, Cyberdreams, EduWare, The 3DO Company and the Spin Master toy company. I am currently a game design and production consultant, a game design instructor at ArtCenter College of Design, and co-creator of the Boy Scouts of America Game Design Merit Badge. At the 2014 Gamification World Congress in Barcelona, I was rated the 14th ranking "Gamification Guru" in social media.

Posted on September 2, 2013, in Game Design and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. My favorite moment was the second time I conquered my favorite game, Dark Souls. The first time, I had the help of a random co-op player who practically did the work for me. The second time, my character was powerful enough to take on the end boss by myself. I believe I shed a tear of joy after shouting some kind of passive-agressive insult (akin to “Suck it, Gywn”) at my television….

  2. In my opinion, addiction is by definition a bad thing — when you know something is bad for you, but you do it anyway. It is not addiction if you are just having great time 🙂 So, Civilization is a great game, not an “addictive” one. I had a similar all-night story with Iji (a great game), and I had some situations in gaming which I would consider addiction too.

    But my best gaming moment was finally winning Linley’s Dungeon Crawl, after several months of trying.

    • When I first wrote this, and for most of the history of the game industry, saying that a game was “addicting” was a positive term, meaning “engaging.” It did not have the negative connotations of game addiction that it does today.

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