You may ask yourself "why the hell was John Romero, designer of DAIKATANA, talking about Sid Sackson last week?" The answer is that Mr. Doom himself was giving a talk about the "Masters of Game Design" at a symposium at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The event was called "The Art History of Gaming", and it was an attempt to move toward a greater appreciate of gaming as an artistic medium.
Uh oh. Somewhere out there a red flag just went off. Somebody out there is freaking out at the suggestion that games are artistic. Some folks, most of whom have no idea what art is or can be, really hate it when you call the stuff they like art. Because art is paintings of sad-eyed clowns or sailboats. Or maybe a jar of pee on a pedestal in a Soho gallery that people pretend to understand. Or worthless trash made by liberals and homosexuals.
Sid Sackson was a games artist of the highest degree, and his games are still relevant today because he pretty much created a lot of what we regard as "mechanics" today. Before Sid Sackson, I'd be willing to argue that we had lots of rules but not so many mechanics. No, his games aren't anything like the big Fantasy Flight games we talk about here and he never really did the heavy theme/narrative thing, but his stuff is a lot more elemental than that. It's foundation material.
So yep, this week's Cracked LCD is all about Sid Sackson, just a little tribute inspired by John freaking Romero. You also get to see a picture of M.U.L.E.
Michael is a member of the Fortress: Ameritrash staff, and a regular columnist for Gameshark.