There are only a few games that hang around for decades, increasing in popularity as they go. WarCraft is one, another is the ever-favorite “The Sims”. EA Games first launched its increasingly popular title way back at the turn of the Millenium in 2000. For those of us that are old enough to remember when it came out (and I am), we recall the massive impact it made on the gaming market at the time. A simple little game — the whole point was just to control every aspect of a virtual person’s life — became all-consuming.
So consuming, in fact, that celebs such as Katy Perry began to actually record songs in Simlish, the dialect that the funny little people speak. Fast forward to a whopping two decades, and The Sims is still as popular as ever. Why though? What makes the game such fun to play, and should you try it if you haven’t yet? (Also, if you have never played The Sims, what rock have you been living under?)
Full Control Over A Person’s Life Can Be Deliciously Evil
Let’s face it, having full control over a being’s life can bring out the nasty in even the best of people. I remember countless times that I built a swimming pool, waited for my Sim to go and swim, and deleted the steps. The result of this was that the poor character eventually drowned. Deny your Sim the use of a toilet, and they will soil themselves in public. Actually, my Sims tend to do that a lot by themselves. For some reason, they aren’t very good at the basics of life.
The point is that getting your Sims into not-so-nice situations is one of the great draws to the game. Life is hard, and we all try to be the best people we can. Except when controlling the lives of little virtual people who speak a weird language. I remember running to my partner with glee when I managed to persuade my Sim to fall in love with someone who wasn’t his wife. Not a whole lot of drama happened compared to real life, to be fair, but it was fun watching them all try to live in one house and share the same bed.
Play Out Your Every Fantasy
Creating a world for your Sim to live in is a whole lot of fun. With the release of all of the Sims 4 expansion packs, one can even make their Sim a vampire, or give them magical powers. Real-life is not always as much fun as we want it to be, so living vicariously through your in-game persona can take the pressure off somewhat. Building your dream home with jacuzzi’s, games rooms and everything else is sometimes the closest a person will get to actually living that lifestyle.
Media these days is all about fantasy and a world that is different from our own. Look at how popular the Twilight books were, as is Game Of Thrones. The Sims 4 has a whole bunch of expansions that bring the game into a fantasy realm, adding a whole new level to simply getting your Sim through the day. My current Sim is a magic practitioner. That means that they can access a Magic Realm where they can practice spells and all sorts of cool things. My previous guy was a vampire, but I quickly discovered that vampires cannot attend parties in the day time, otherwise they go up in a ball of flame. Very disappointing for his potential girlfriend, and devastating for his dog who subsequently ran away.
Play For Hours… And Hours… And Hours….
Be prepared to spend A LOT of hours playing the Sims. Seriously, you can lose yourself in this game and before you know it, days have gone by. Many years ago, I decided to build a complete replica of my house and my family in-game. I even measured out the actual dimensions of each room and built everything to scale. This took a very long time.
At the time, I had a pretty bog-standard office chair too, and boy did I feel that. After a few hours, my back ached, and when I eventually did crawl into bed next to my very disgruntled partner, it took ages to fall asleep due to various aches and pains. If you are going to play The Sims 4 properly, be sure to invest in a decent gaming chair. The game will take up much of your time, and you don’t want to resurface to the real world feeling like you are 94 years old.
Be sure to have an endless supply of coffee too. Maintaining control over one Sim is hard enough, but when you are tired after what feels like years of telling little people to use the toilet and clean up after themselves, it becomes a task in itself. Be sure to keep focus with delicious warm caffeine at all times!
Be Whoever You Want
I think one of the main draws to The Sims even in today’s world is that you can be whoever you want to be in-game. You have full control over your Sim, even to the point that you can choose their aspirations and favorite things to do. If having parties is your thing, you can build an epic entertainment house, and just have a bunch of other Sims round all the time. With the new expansions, you can even have families, have pets, and travel into outer space. There is so much one can do in this virtual life that cannot be done in real life.
So if you haven’t yet, take a spin at playing The Sims. But beware, you are very likely going to lose hours of your real life to running the lives of these funny little virtual people!