Little Computer People [C64]

little_computer_people_coverEver wondered why your computer acts a bit funny on occasions, or even worse, crashes at certain times? I’ll tell you a secret. But first, sit down and take a deep breath. Ok. The secret? There’s someone living inside your computer!


And that someone wants your attention, hence those problems you sometimes experience while using your computer. And he’s not alone, he’s got a little dog, too. All he’s asking you to do is to take care of both of them…

Little Computer People, released by Activision in 1985, is the spiritual predecessor of one of the most popular game franchises, The Sims. But unlike Maxis’ best seller, Little Computer People is not a game per se, and can be better described as an 8-Bit Tamagotchi simulator (and that a whole decade before the first Tamagotchis appeared). You don’t really control your little inhabitant in a traditional sense, but communicate with him1 via text input, and even then he might just ignore you, depending on his mood and personality.

Speaking of personality, every copy of the game had its own unique character on it, who not only looked, but also acted differently than a character on someone else’s copy.

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The whole game consists of a single screen, a side view of a house, divided into several rooms. Each room contains a number of things he can use to entertain himself (mine loves to play the piano).

Now, this ‘game’ doesn’t really have a goal, and you more or less try to keep him in good spirits. To achieve that you can make sure he’s got enough food and water, give him new records or books or play cards with him. Occasionally you might want to know how he feels and can ask him to write a letter to you.

One can argue that Little Computer People was one of those titles which were ahead of their time. And truth to be told, it certainly was. And it’s one of those titles you either like or dismiss. Personally, I was always fascinated by it back in the 80’s, and while it’s not a game I could play (or, in this case, watch) for hours, I always come back to it, just to check if my computer inhabitant is alright.

[Edit: In case you’re wondering, my LCP is not warping through the house in the video below, I just cut some stuff out]


picture2Whot Bob sez
Yeah, dem computas people. I called mine Bob, which is Bob backwards. Always wondered why dat guy never did what I told him to do. Well, until I found out I never said dat ‘Please‘ word, ha. And dem letters he wrote me, ‘Dear friend…‘. Yeah, I mean, listen… you occupy my computas and live in dere. C’mon, I’m technically your landlord, y’know. Should charge you for dat, ha. Bye.

  1. All generated characters are male. 

6 thoughts on “Little Computer People [C64]

  1. ‘Bob is Bob spelled backwards.’ — Mind officially blown.

    Man, if tiny people lived in my computer, they would have some damning things to say about me and the sites I visit… Which reminds me, I need to erase my browsing history more often…

    On a more serious note, I dig games like this too. Haven’t picked up a Sims game or Tamagotchi-like in quite some time, but I know if I did, it would easily erase hours, days, and whole months. Then there’s that whole Seaman on Dreamcast thing, which was… interesting.

    • Yeah, that’s just Bob being Bob, I suppose. And you should check out ‘Private Browsing’, it’s awesome 😎 🙄

      The last time I played a Sims game was The Sims 3 on the 360, but that was ages ago. Was never really a fan of the first one, to be honest. It was a good game, but also quite repetitive (get up in the morning, have breakfast, go to work, come back home, have a shower, prepare dinner, eat, go to bed… rinse, repeat). At the end of the day there was hardly any time left to do some fun stuff.

      Or maybe I just played it the wrong way, dunno. 😀

    • Agreed on the Sims games; it does start to feel like busywork, but there’s still something addicting about that even. Strange how that ‘fun’ doesn’t translate to doing those things in real life. 🙂 No idea if that’s been changed in the recent ones (from the little bit I’ve seen, it does look like the ratio of work / play is better). Hard to keep track when there’s so many versions, and ‘themed’ releases / DLC.

      • I only felt that way when I bought the first one for PC. Got the second one for the PS2, and that one was pretty cool, especially split screen multiplayer.

        Had the third one on Xbox 360 and loved it, although it was strictly single player, which was a bit of a letdown. You had much more spare time in that one, thanks to the introduction of weekends. I remember quitting my job to become a busker, which gave my character even more freedom.

  2. Another old favorite of mine. The little person in my game was named Howard. I always treated him nicely, but my sister was a bit on the sadistic side and wouldn’t give him food or water, and he would therefore fall sick and stay in his bed. I think she was seeing if she could kill him, which the game didn’t allow. Poor Howard.

    • Now that’s cruel. 😀 I never tried to harm my little occupant, but he was always so moody. Until I realised that you can tap him on the back, after that he always had a big grin on his face. And I remember the day my disk got corrupted, I was devastated. But what I don’t remember is the name I gave him. :/

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