The day Maxis released the first Sims game, my sister and I both purchased a copy. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. I was about 10-years old and well-versed in PC gaming at the time. The Sims introduced a new kind of video game to me, something I hadn’t quite dabbled in before. Now, 13 years later, The Sims franchise is still marching on strong and I don’t think its reign will ever end.
It wasn’t too long before I figured out the first money cheat in the original Sims game. Before that, I was a struggling Sim living with the cheapest appliances and barest essentials. My Sim kept peeing herself and smelled like rotten meat because she didn’t have the money to afford new food or repairing a broken shower. But when I found that money cheat, I was hooked. Suddenly, I was showering in dollar bills, purchasing the most expensive items and houses that the game could offer. I was living the high-life. That was before woohoo’s and showering together and animals and medieval castles—yet it still entertained the heck out of a 10-year old.
As The Sims progressed throughout the years, I continued to follow along. I got The Sims 2 and a couple expansion packs. Then I had to get The Sims 3. Graphics didn’t matter to me. I could spend hours just working on the house or creating a family. I’d start my game at around 3PM, forget about dinner and fall into bed around 2AM after my eyes glued themselves shut. Running a Sims world was tough and took a lot of time. It was like playing God, and I loved that feeling.
As a writer, The Sims offered an incredible opportunity. Using the photo album, you could create a story. Some stories were created and posted online in blogs. I would always start a story, get sidetracked, and start another. When The Sims 3 started branching out into extravagant expansion packs, that’s when things really got interesting. The Sims medieval was set in a completely different time period which made for different opportunities with items in the Sim world. Add the Supernatural and Generations expansion packs and you could have yourselves one heck of a story.
The reason The Sims franchise will never die out is because people love playing God. We love it. We love to feel powerful, to be able to kill off Sims and bring them back to life, to control fate and create destruction when we want. We are a conceited species and The Sims feeds that. Creating a household just to kill everyone off and make it haunted will never get boring, especially after a long day at work where you just want to grab your co-workers necks and shake them vigorously. The Sims is an outlet for those who want to get lost in another life for a little bit, where you are the most popular tenant on the block and everyone loves you or you are a pop star with a best-selling album. After 13 years, The Sims still encompasses that swag that has carried it successfully for so long, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere, anytime soon.