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2010/01/20

It’s Your Birthday: Will Wright

Will Wright Yes, today, January 20th, in 1960, Will Wright was born. He turns 50 today.

Who’s Will Wright? One of the most recognised names in the video game industry. Shame on you.

Will grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and stayed there until nine years of age, when his father, Bill Wright Sr., died of leukaemia. His mother, Beverlye (Beverley?), then took the family and moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, her hometown. There he finished high school at 16 and went to Louisiana State University, Louisiana Tech, and then the New School University. Wright didn’t ever get that degree he wanted.

Will Wright is the main man behind Maxis, the company who made games like SimCity and The Sims, the most popular series, as well as many other titles with”Sim” included in them. He co-founded it along with Jeff Braun. The company was later bought by Electronic Arts in the late nineties.

The next major title that was designed by Will was Spore.

Since then, he’s left Maxis, and gone on to found Stupid Fun Club, another video game company.
Interesting stuff about Will:
  • He is a collector of leftovers from the Soviet space program.
  • After five years in college, Wright didn’t get a degree.
  • Will has more fun designing and building games and levels than playing them.
  • Will hasn’t ever been involved in developing mindless, violent video games.
  • Will stated once that one of his motives behind The Sims was his own lack of social skills.
  • Will has been given awards, including a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the Game Developers Choice Awards, and inductee into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame, and the PC Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as a fellowship in the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs).
  • Stanley Kubrick is one of his idols.
  • As a child, he was interested in model making.
  • Will became an atheist in high school.
  • Among others, some of his interests include computers and robotics.
  • Will is held in high esteem by many people, and compared to peers such as Roberta Williams and Peter Molyneux.
  • Once, Will participated in and won an illegal street race.

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