A to Z of Gaming Me: S

We’re starting to come to the trickier part of the alphabet, but S proved easier than man entries to fill in. You may already know of (and perhaps share in) my love of Failbetter Games’ Sunless Sea, and probably already read my review of it a long while ago. But there is a bigger, more gaudy game that is burned into my brain and gaming soul. One that once belonged to a man named Will Wright.

from: http://submissions.thesimsresource.com/images/sims1-2.png

That’s right. Today’s entry the A to Z of Gaming Me is The Sims. To narrow it down slightly, The Sims and The Sims 2 (which I think is still the best version). *cue Build/Buy Mode music*

from: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/sims/images/d/d8/Neighborhood_1.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100121081730

I got into The Sims fairly late in the game. I think the last main expansion, Makin’ Magic had released shortly before I got hooked, and it was only because of a (then) family friend’s kids that I really had any exposure to the series. But boy did I sink deep.
I don’t remember ever owning ALL the expansions and stuff packs at the time, nor did I really get into the modding and custom content scene. I enjoy the vanilla games enough to not need extras. Despite Yahtzee’s opinion, I have continued to have a fondness for The Sims and am grateful that it showed me the path of God games and simulations.
Yes I still remember the cheats. No, I never made myself in the games – I like to think that it’s because I knew my own real life could never compare to having 6 dogs and a spell book.

from: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/sims/images/6/6e/The_Sims_Unleashed_15.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20090314190422

The Sims 2 launched in my teenage years. I distinctly remember buying it in Tesco and it being a smidge under £30, though it may be have been £40 now I think about it. I remember it being a ridiculous amount of money and having to wait a while before being able to play it. It had higher requirements than I had at launch, so I amused myself reading the official Sims 2 guidebook over and over again. I learnt a lot from that book, and I think I still have it somewhere.

But what did Sims 2 bring that the original didn’t? A LOT. Aging, genetics, better graphics, actual songs in Simlish, the list is long. And yet, it maintained the joy and horrors of the original. Yes my Sims could have children that looked like them (sort of), but I could still set fire to everything on day one and also drown someone in the pool.
But ultimately, The Sims 2 brought purpose. Our minions in a snowglobe were doing things to better their futures and their childrens futures. They had goals and dreams and hates and loves. They got WEEKENDS and rewards and proper careers. I wanted them to succeed, because that meant more fun later down the line. For some macabre reason, I wanted one family to spread its spawn across the map. And when the expansions rolled around, there was more for the Sims to do and play with.
University added college stuff and another age group to go through, whilst Pets added customisable dogs and cats.

from: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/sims/images/d/d6/TS2ALLCOVER.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120111042110

It all brought me joy and a sense of accomplishment when I built that house just so. I found fun in designing houses, and even now occasionally catch myself thinking “oh that house would be fun to build”.
I bonded with friends over the game. I fell out with my brother over the game. I still cheated, and still haven’t made myself.

It may be considered a girls game, a teenage waste of time, and/or a guilty pleasure. It may have gone somewhat recently, and be even more restricted in 4 than perhaps the original game. But it is a series I am not ashamed to say I play, and on occasion still dabble in. I miss it when it isn’t installed, but I tire of it easily now. But it is a part of my A to Z.

Next week, we look at T, where we go back in time once again to Khin’s childhood.

One comment

  1. I remember my Dad’s horror when he realised how much space The Sims and its expansions took up on the computer. I think that was when he realised he shouldn’t just let me merrily install my games on the family computer…

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