The Original Turn Based Strategy Game

Growing up, I was exposed to electronics and technology very young. My dad was a major techie, and from the age of 2 and 3, I was learning to use computers and play video games.

I was just discussing this with a friend of mine, who is a gamer, and he shared with me that his favorite childhood Christmas gift was the original Nintendo.  I replied that I was more outdoorsy as a kid and that for me, video games were for rainy days, when I was sick, or late at night when it was too dark to go outside.  However, I was fairly video game savvy as a kid, and to this day I take great pleasure in a long, strategic battle on Civilization VI.

I dislike being called a gamer (my husband tells me that I am), but in truth, while not an expert video gamer, I have been exposed to and playing video games on many different platforms for over thirty years.

When I was about three, I learned to play a game on the Atari called Utopia.  This was sort of the original turn-based strategy game that created the genre that now houses the Civilization series.  This game was from 1981, and had a fairly advanced way of allowing real-time strategy during turns.  The goal was to use resources to create different buildings and generate productivity to increase your score to win, but you worked against challenging circumstances, such as hurricanes or pirate ships that would aim to deter your efforts.  It was sort of a very early precursor to SimCity which I also loved as a kid!

I love strategy games.  At the age of six, I could competently play chess with my dad.  He taught me to play, but I also read a strategy book to learn different maneuvers.  I love to be challenged, I love strategic games, and I love competition.  I have probably been like this all of my life.  Video games allowed me to either play against an unknown opponent or AI instead of having to wait for someone to want to play with me.

I don't spend a lot of my time these days on video games (though on this winter break from school, I am trying to spend as much time on them as possible), but the truth remains that I was playing video games before many people even knew what they were.  It's not the type of pioneering effort that I brag about, but it definitely proves that my need to compete in a strategic way was born into me!


  1. We also had an Atari! I remember playing this game where you had to build layers of a hamburger. And we had a game on our old Mac where you were in a warehouse like a maze and had to move boxes into certain positions and layouts to get to the next level. I have also been a gamer since I was about 3 or 4 and while I'm not a heavy gamer like either of our husbands, I too enjoy them when I have some spare time! What makes me sad though is a teacher friend of ours said recently that a lot of elementary school kids when asked what they spend their down time at home doing say they watch their parents play video games. They don't play them themselves, they just watch their parents play them. That makes me so sad!


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