Ten Long YearsThis is the coolest gaming story I've seen a long time: Fate of the World: the Decade-Long Game of Civ II.
Here's a description (thanks, RPS):
What happens when you play a single game of Civilization II across ten long years? Well, carpal tunnel syndrome and a lifelong fear of pixels smaller than than the size of a fist. Also, an in-game world which is “a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation”, riddled with nuclear fallout and caught in a terrible stalemate between three ultra-nations which have been at war for millennia.
Yes, that certainly does sound familiar (Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia, in case you're wondering). The game is up to the year 3991, and the story of what's happened makes for fascinating reading.
Civ II is in the exclusive list of games that I regularly played past four a.m. (back when I was single, and I could actually stay awake). I played lots of games until one or two in the morning but only great games kept me up past four.