Happy Birthday Wing Commander CIC!
The Wing Commander Combat Information Center is 14 years old this very day, which is mighty ancient for any gaming website, let alone one that limits itself to a series of games kept alive almost entirely through the efforts of some of the most dedicated sci-fi fans in the world.
In spite of there barely being any new Wing Commander games to speak of aside from a handful of fan projects, CIC manages to find something for readers to mull over on a daily basis, including just yesterday a scan of a review from a 1998 issue of PC Zone magazine that I remember well, since its author Chris Anderson was my boss at the time (oh to be a young games reviewer again). Alas PC Zone is no more, Chris Anderson has seemingly disappeared from the face of the planet, but at least Wing Commander is still going thanks to the nutty Wingsters of CIC.
Such is the weight of material compiled by the site over the years that if it were to disappear (in the wake of Kilrathi invasion, say) it would constitute a monumental loss to gaming history. Some of the stuff up there is just incredible. There’s an archive that includes design documents for Privateer 3 and Privateer Online, enhanced cinematic sequences and behind-the-scenes vids from all the games and of course all the WingCo manuals you could ever hope to read. In short, Wing Commander CIC isn’t a dusty library, it’s the centre of the living Wing Commander universe. I might even argue it’s the finest fansite that exists for any game, but I am a little biased.
Anyway, to celebrate 14 years of tireless operation, the CIC crew have been stringing up the bunting and will be hanging out in their IRC mess hall later on, reminiscing, singing songs, shedding tears and dreaming of a future that sees Chris Roberts heading up a new Wing Commander project. Drinking may be mandatory by that point, especially from the UK contingent given the time the celebrations are due to kick off.
Though we can’t join in the fun, we wish CIC all the best and will be raising a glass of milk to many more years of tireless devotion to the cause. If a new Wing Commander does one day take flight, its inevitable success will partly be down to CIC – you can be sure of that.
Happy birthday chaps!
As a happy aside, in less than seven weeks it will be 22 years since the original Wing Commander was first released. Expect lots of reminiscing by WCNews and other sites over the coming weeks and months. Hoorah!