Intravenous: CivIV

Civilization is a series of games designed by Sid Meier, one hell of a game designer and possibly wanted by the DEA as a crack dealer. That’s right, crack cocaine. Sid got me hooked on a drug called Civilization back in the 1990’s and I’ve still not found a game more worthy of my time. Oodles of my time.

Civilization III, which was released several years ago and still sells for $30, a late-life price relatively unheard-of in the video game industry, claimed not less than one thousand hours of my life. Possible two thousand or more. If I had kept track of the hours, I surely would have sworn off gaming altogether two or three years ago.

Sid recently released Civilization IV, the first 3D Civ game to date. This raises it to the status of Crack Rock in my book. I just moments ago completed the installation from two CD’s, one labeled “INSTALL” and the other labeled “PLAY.”

If you, have been playing computer games since the 1980’s, and I’m not talking about Nintendo here, you probably remember at least one game that came with several floppy disks (5.25 inch floppy disks, man!) and a lengthy load process. My experience was with an Atari 800, a 2-cartridge machine with 48KB of RAM, two floppy drives (master and slave) and a tape drive which could save your data onto audio cassette tapes. Wow, right?

My crack rock at that time was Ultima II, a Lord British game I might have finished at some point. I seem to remember defeating Minax… hard to tell. Anyway, to play it I had to boot to one disk, then swap to another disk, then swap to a Character disk to load my saved game. Throughout the game I was required to swap from one disk to the other to allow different maps to be loaded. It was fun anyway!

Now, about CivIV. I just completed the installation process using the two CD’s mentioned a few paragraphs back. Now I go to play the game, PLAY disc in the drive, and I see this message: “Cannot locate the CD-ROM. Please insert the correct CD-ROM, select OK and restart the application. Click here for more information about this problem.

So I click and I find an explanation and solution. Incorrectly labeled? Some units? I really, really thought they’d have this figured out by now! I’m going to shut up and play my game.

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