There are a few urban myths about LCP – for example some people maintain your LCP could get a girlfriend! This is not true! Your LCP could throw a party (based on letters he would type about having one!) not true. Every LCP disk sold had a different name – not true. Typing in a command like “play a different song” is better than typing in play piano – not true, the word “different” is not understood so it makes no difference (pun not intended!) in using it! Your LCP had a unique personality – this is sort of true, there is a random personality that is assigned to a LCP by the program – but the same personality could appear on another LCP disk but with a different LCP. Your LCP could take a shower and then change clothes – this is true, but you may need to play a game session for quite a while to see this happen!

A number of games have been released long after LCP like The Sims and even the Tamagotchi craze which owe a lot to this truly original and inspirational concept by Rich Gold and David Crane. Not that Rich or David will ever get any recognition for this – but make no mistake LCP inspired a whole host of copy cat games and David was the original innovator of implementing this idea.
Tamagotchi by Aki Maita (Bandai)

The Sims Electronic Arts
The Sims by Electronic Arts

The computer world isn’t fair sometimes and this was certainly the case with LCP. But at the end of the day it was up to Activision to see the true potential of LCP as a product and they missed a huge opportunity. Yes, it was an idea before its time and was probably just too different for the market at the time – but it should of been continually developed so it had a chance to really prove itself and then computer owners would of recognised the genius of the concept.

There is no doubt that David Crane was an influential and creative designer who made a huge impact on the computer scene during the 80’s. Games like Pitfall, Ghostbusters and LCP have stood the test of time in terms of their implementation and playability.

David’s Ghostbusters was 'realised'on the Commodore 64 in a way that stunned a lot of people at the time. Its not surprising that an enhanced Pitfall was also released on the PC at a later date and the concept of LCP has been advanced to the extreme with games like The Sims by Electronic Arts.

David’s software legacy is there for all to see. Activision deserve credit for their part in advancing the course of computer games and it should also be remembered that Activision were responsible for the pioneering software Alter Ego a truly amazing text based life simulation that was stunning in its day and received rave reviews in computer magazines including ZZap 64!.

As a special tribute to David Crane and the Little Computer People – Commodore Zone has developed a dedicated Little Computer People Page on this website and there is a category for LCP in the discussion forum. All the information you ever wanted to know about LCP (some of which is mentioned in this article) is available. Including a unique and exclusive feature only available at Commodore Zone – an LCP disk library! Which will allow you to download an LCP 'Research Project' disk for every LCP name ever released! So if you have lost your LCP due to a lost or damaged disk – the chances are you will find a suitable replacement here!
Alter Ego Activision
Alter Ego by Activision