Big-Game Hunting

Games that simulate hunting are the surprise killer application of 1998. Now I know why

During the second week of October, a curious thing happened in the software world: Windows 98 was not the top-selling CD-ROM in the nation. What was? Deerhunter II, a $20 sequel that pits high-tech computer gamers against low-tech deer. While this upset may have ruined breakfast for a few Microsofties, it came as no surprise to anyone who's been watching the computer-gaming world during the past year. Software programs that simulate hunting have dominated the charts ever since GT Interactive created the original Deer Hunter this past January; four hunt-and-shoot titles were in the Top 10 last month.

The first Deer...