19 Comments

The Sims

For a few weeks now, I’ve been rediscovering an old game I thought I had put away for good. My youngest is to blame since all I’ve been hearing in the house is The Sims 3 theme song. No, I haven’t been playing The Sims 3, but instead dusted off my copy of The Sims 2 and have lost myself in the pixels somewhere between my mouse and the game environment.

Electronic Arts' The Sims Games

Electronic Arts’ The Sims Games

If you haven’t played any of The Sims games, it’s an experience. As I’d mentioned, it’s been a rediscovery for me, given I have a virtual canvas to create the family, community and town I’ve always dreamed of. It’s a thrill to place myself in the game as a character to see what I’m capable of within the confines of a controlled environment. I say this with a smirk on my face knowing how deceptive a game environment can be. I’ll explain more about that later.

Now, The Sims 2 is an old game according to today’s technology standards. It came out back in the mid-2000s and soon spawned multiple stuff and expansion packs, adding to the game’s potential as life’s little petri dish.

I’ll never forget when I opened the game interface for the very first time. I really didn’t know what to do. I mean, here was this small community with floating green diamonds over the houses, and I had no clue as to what the goal was. First, I’d thought it was another SimCity game complete with animated people to control, but then I didn’t see the people. Second, I’d thought I needed to create houses and create a virtual economy. Boy, did I have a lot to learn. It took several attempts to understand I had to play the game at a more familiar level, the family level. Once I discovered how to enter the homes in the town, life became interesting. All it took was a double-click of my mouse and I unlocked a virtual home complete with appliances, electronics and kids fighting. No different from any other family.

Game architecture

Game architecture

Anyway, that was the first time I’d played the game almost a decade ago. Today, since The Sims 2 is open-ended, my goals have changed. I play a more leisurely game. Contrary to previous years, I haven’t built my own house yet complete with pool, Jacuzzi and big screen TV, but I have explored the various other communities available through the expansion packs with my Sim. My Sim now knows how to swim, paint, play darts and chess, workout and countless of other activities. My Sim puts me to shame for my sitting on my rump in a passive stupor.

As for the controlled environment I’d mentioned earlier, it is rather controlled, yes. You can’t kill your Sim on purpose, but you can certainly try. Nothing prevents a player to throw their Sim into a pool and removing the ladder or tossing them into a room and removing the door, thereby starving them to death. Or it doesn’t even prevent a player from starting a fire in the kitchen and watching the Sim go up in flames in a ball of charred cinder.

Fun stuff for a Freedom Friday, huh?

My favorite part about The Sims 2 is decorating the house with Christmas props, presents and all that jolly yuletide madness, and celebrating Christmas year-round. Better still, how about Halloween all year long? Who wouldn’t want all those spooky decorations plastered all over the walls and furniture? I know I would. Who knows maybe one day, the zombies will come knocking on the door.

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Have you played The Sims 2 or any of the other Sims games? If not, what is your favorite game?

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19 comments on “The Sims

  1. If a zombie was a vegetarian would they resort to eating greens. I know they are suppose to be mindless but the instinct kicks in and there they go ravaging the fields of corn and eating the ears.

  2. I never bought into the Sims concept. Thanks to your blog post, my Sims knowledge has at least quadrupled. Decorating houses Halloween style seems quite charming. If they publish a zombie edition you will certainly be the first in line, Jack. ;-)

  3. I lost entirely too much of my life to the original Sims… I remember taking a week off work to clean out my house after the departure of a girlfriend… Noticed she had left the disc behind. Taking a break from scrubbing to let my lungs acclimate to the bleach smell, I popped it in to see what the fuss was about…
    I don’t remember anything else until the following Monday, when I had to return to work. XD I’ve been a Sims addict since then.

  4. I love the sims! I am the same as you, building is good but I love making my sims different people with different skills etc :)

  5. Good to read a game review on here! The Sims is one that can really keep you engaged into the long hours of the night. I remember it being a funny game too. :)

  6. Amazing game. Do people still do it? I was Sims and Doom addicted. Great fun.

  7. My kids grew up playing Sims and I think they could write a book about all they learned about life by playing this game. I can’t tell you how often I said,”Where did you learn that?” And the reply would always be the same…Sims. We also had some very traumatic times playing Sims at our house. One time my youngest daughter recreated our family and then decided that I should have a fifth child. I became overwhelmed and died. Then, the father got angry, turned red and the grim reaper came. It was bad. Zoo Tycoon was another favorite game for my girls when they were younger. Great post…thanks for bringing back some fun memories! :)

  8. my daughter likes Sims and both of them play Minecraft-which is a game I totally don’t get, the graphics suck and it seems pointless yet they play it for hours. LOL
    outside of MarioKart I don’t have the attention span to play video games, I try but they never holds my attention.
    I can see how Sims can be fun though : )

  9. I never got hooked on video games, except for one which was about riding quads. Now my kiddies, opposite end of the spectrum. Addicts! Good post!

  10. I forgot about this game! Building the houses used to be my favorite part.. I might just have to start playing again. Thanks for reminding me how much fun it was!!

  11. I haven’t played Sims much, but I know my siblings and I have gotten caught up in mini-games and side games in more action-packed games where you can build or decorate your character or a house. Why beat the level when you can redecorate the frontroom?

  12. I LOVE The Sims! I started with the very first Sims. I then went on to Sims 2 and while I have Sims 3 on my PS3, I just haven’t had the time to get into it. It’s just one of those things where you need a lot of time – of which I have very little of these days.

    I keep on saying to myself that I’m going to just book a week off from work and have a stay-cation where I can just zone out with my Sims.

    It’s like playing God, isn’t it? Especially when you have one Sims have an affair with every SIM in the neighborhood and then cause a jealousy fist fight when you get a bizarre love triangle thing happening in one room.

  13. I started playing SimCity with my son, who is a city planning kind of guy, for a sixth grader. :) I found it to be really complicated and I was glad he was with me. lol

  14. Excellent post Jack! The Sims 2 is probably one of my favorite games of all time, the game play is incredible, building houses (and some mansions) is one of the best parts of the game, the soundtrack is so amazing and so on. Y’know I should really play that game game again now that I am thinking about it. :)

  15. I remember playing the first one back in the day. And while it was fun in the beginning, gameplay felt like a chore at times. Get up in the morning, have a shower, breakfast, go to work, come back in the evening, have dinner, go to sleep… rinse repeat. At the end of a simulated day there was hardly any time left to do something fun.

    But I liked Sims II and loved Sims III. In the latter one I quit my job and earned my living as a busker, so I was my own boss and could decide when and where I wanted to work, which meant more free time to do fun stuff.

  16. My daughter used to be utterly addicted to SIMS, I thought they were a bit creepy! 😉

  17. My children refused to let go of their old game system because they wanted to keep their Sims II environments. They prefer modding vII instead of playing vIII. I am not sure why, but it has staying power with them.

  18. Never really gotten into the Sims, but I once played a game in the 90s called Sim Life which I guess was a sort of precursor to the Sims. You basically had to create your own living breathing ecosystem – you built the environment and designed all the animals and plants. It was a great idea, but it was poorly implemented and I think it was a bit of a flop.

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