The idea for making a game based on the Computer and Video Game rise (and subsequent crash) came from the ashes of another game design that I was noodling-about. I'd had an idea for doing a Dungeon World game called "Desk World" which tried to make a RPG game out of the otherwise mundane lives of software developers (write what you know). "Desk World" allowed the characters to play as different members of a software team encountering bugs, requirements, and customers in a quest to release the product. In the design it seemed like there was a workable game in there somewhere, but the problem came in trying to do a simulation in a game that is not a simulation. Worse, how do you make an encounter with a customer interesting?
I was mowing the lawn noodling about some thoughts while listening to Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff. I also discovered the ANTIC podcast, and had recently watched "Micro Men" (the dramatized story of Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry and the rise of the British Home Computer Market). During one of the panel discussions it hit me where Desk World would be better served.
The home computer market of the 1970s and 1980s has often been likened to the industrial revolution of the late 18th and early 19th century. This is an era where the giants of industry roamed the earth, dragging mostly agrarian societies into a more modern manufacturing era. In a similar way the home computer revolution transformed the landscape of computing, making affordable and convenient that which was previously the purvey of governments and corporations. It transformed society.
Plus it created a pantheon of computing royalty and deities that are still revered today.
It almost writes itself.
I'll talk more about why I chose Fate as the system for this game later tonight, and some of the design decisions I'm wrestling with, but hopefully this gives a peek into the "why" of where the game idea came from.