Ooboo vroose baa dooo! (Happy birthday, The Sims!)*
Written by an avid Sim-player employee;
I was seven years old when The Sims was released. I don't remember first playing, but I know I have an older brother to thank for introducing me - or rather not complaining when I took over the computer and started my own game. But I played and I haven't stopped since.
20 years since its first release on 4 Feb 2000, The Sims has sold around 200 million copies, been translated in 22 different languages, and is one of the best-selling game series of all time! (BBC, 2020)
Over the years I've gone back to the first ever game and it's expansions, (and yes I, still have all of my game discs! They are much too precious to ever get rid of!). But I have been along for the ride since the first game, right up until now, where I am currently juggling raising two kids, trying to stop my bees from getting grumpy, and practising my Sims' yoga skills to perfection in The Sims 4!
(Every Simmer will know the determination to reach the house at the top of the neighbourhood, all the way from your starter bungalow at the bottom!)
I have often struggled to put into words the joy of The Sims to my partner, who is a huge gamer. There is no storyline to progress through, you create it yourself. There are no first-person battles (although the little fight clouds never get old!). It's not a shooter, or a platform game. You create a person, give them a personality and essentially try to keep them happy. You get a job to pay bills (motherlode definitely isn't used ....), increase skills, start a family - or not, get abducted by aliens, mauled by bears and just 'be'.
But it's amazing! To me, there has been no other game that I have followed as avidly, no game which I have been itching to play throughout the day, thinking about what was next in my Sim's lives (what animal should I have them adopt next? Which college should I send my teens to? Who will marry who!?) and how best to 'Play With Life'.
I think I can still confidently say The Sims 2 is my favourite title of the franchise. This is the one I have continuously gone back to even since the latest Sims 4 release, and I probably still will if the rumours about The Sims 5 are true!
One thing that hasn't changed throughout any Sims game for me, even now at 27 years young, following the franchise for it's full 20 years, is enjoyment. The enjoyment has not left.
(Who didn't want to befriend the unicorn in the Sims 3 and have it added to the household .... but also not want to tame its majestic wildness? Just me??)
There has always been downsides. Even now I cringe at spending so much of my hard-earned wages on another expansion pack, just so it can rain and my Sims can build snow-people! But I honestly feel (and this is purely from a personal point of view, I have not looked at any stats, I'm purely making up my numbers!) there is no game that has captured so many people's hearts for so long. No other game that can continuously maintain interest and love, as we Simmers play hour after hour until the next expansion or sequel is released ... and then we start all over again!
So thank you EA, and Will Wright for the hours (probably years at this point!) that I and so many millions of others have spent on this amazing game. I don't like to think of how old I'll be in 20 years, but here's to 20 more!
I'm off to make a celebratory Fruitcake, via my Sim of course.
Ooboo vroose baa dooo!
Make sure to have a look at our Sims collection here at NXTech!
1. BBC (2020) [online] Available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51266122 (Accessed Feb 2020)