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The Sims

Developer: EA Maxis Publisher: Electronic Arts
04 February 2000
The Sims - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.42 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
551 Ratings /
#1,139 All-time
#41 for 2000
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Releases 3
Filter by: All 3 Windows 3
2000 EA Maxis EA  
CD-ROM
XNA 0 14633 15008 7
The Sims Mega Deluxe
2004 Maxis EA Games  
4xCD-ROM
XNA
The Sims Complete Collection
2005 EA Maxis EA  
4xCD-ROM
GB 5 030930 048402
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Clever, Charming, Disturbing, and Bizzare.
From Will Wright and the creators of SimCity comes The Sims, a landmark video game and the beginning of a long lasting and commercially successful franchise. The Sims allows players to create people, families, houses, and neighborhoods to simulate the (ostensibly) everyday lives of everyday people, called "Sims." Since so many video games serve an escapist function for players, who would have thought that a video game franchise about regular life would be so successful and alluring to so many? The Sims is an entertaining game and surprised me in the ways that it is not about regular life. I know that some of the especially creative, quirky, and generally weird elements were missing in later additions to The Sims franchise, which I think allows the first game to stand above the others. A descriptor or secondary genre of "low fantasy" I think might fit the game. However, beyond the specifics of gameplay are some fascinating meta-elements to the experience and video game event of The Sims which are worth reflecting on at a philosophical level. Getting below the surface to investigate some of the deeper features and implications of the game, The Sims has some profound and eerie things to say. Admittedly I probably dumped around 100 hours into the game when I was young, and although I wouldn't recommend anybody invest anywhere near that amount of time into The Sims, players who are interested in the history of video games and the significance of games on our lives should look into it further.

Released in 2000, The Sims stands at an interesting point in the history of video games where the industry transitioned over the years from being mostly nerdy and appealing to niche groups of consumers (SimCity in its early days definitely falls into this category) to developers releasing titles that appealed to broader audiences. It feels like something of a natural progression for the developers of Sim City to create The Sims, especially because at their core they are both stat management games. In both games, players manipulate the environment (by building and arranging the interiors of houses or the layout of cities) and actions (eating, sleeping, work, entertainment, social interaction, study, etc.) of their Sims to manage key stats, such as their energy, hunger, comfort, and financial, career, social, and material gain, to contribute to their overall happiness or the overall flourishing of the city. Further evidence of the reciprocity between The Sims and SimCity is the fact that SimCity 4, released in 2003, allows players to include Sims in their SimCity, and even import Sims from The Sims, if it is installed on their computer. Reflecting on the resemblance of the two games and essential similarity in the way they are played felt to me like evidence for the power of Plato’s city/soul argument in The Republic; that there is a natural resemblance between justice within a political community and justice within a person, because the institutions of a political community arise from the needs and desires of the individual people that constitute that political community.

Anyway, players succeed in The Sims insofar as they maximize these stats, although one of the most famous and entertaining things to do in The Sims (or Sim City for that matter) is precisely making everything go wrong for Sims. How long will it be before my Sim gets fired from his job if he doesn’t go to work? Nobody is going to steal my expensive stuff if I leave it out in the open in the yard, right? Just how long can my Sim go without food, sleep, or going to the bathroom? Surely they wouldn’t incorporate macabre themes or death into this game, I would think? Actually game does, and in many creepy ways in fact. When players encounter death and the silly and grim ways the game handles it, that demonstrates the everyday life presented as being simulated in The Sims is really something of an idealized Western consumerist everyday life in the late 20th and early 21st century, and the actual simulation really isn’t so everyday at all. This allows The Sims to satirize that idealization by smashing it with themes of surrealism and mortality. Players get to play rock-paper-scissors with the Grim Reaper to try to win back the lives of their Sims, there are a number of silly hidden ways for Sims to get injured or killed (like looking at aliens with a telescope, or catching a Guinea pig virus from a Guinea pig or other Sim, which was actually something of a computer virus), and ghosts of deceased Sims can permanently haunt houses. The Sims doubled and tripled down with supernatural, low fantasy, and surrealist elements in its many expansion packs, such as “Livin’ Large,” introducing Sunny the Tragic Clown, Zombies, and a Paranormal career path, and “Makin’ Magic,” which definitely capitalized on 00s Harry Potter hype.

From the sarcastically exuberant music featured as players purchase things for their Sims to the cartoonish sounds of shows and commercials from televisions, The Sims is satirical through and through. It also has some meta moments where it demonstrates self-awareness and breaks the fourth wall, such as having Sims be able to play The Sims on their computers and having Sims wave and shout at the player when things aren’t going right. It made me wonder about the subtle, hidden, or unperceived ways that my everyday normal life isn’t so everyday. Playing The Sims, I felt like something of a benevolent or capricious Greek god or fate, toying with the lives of the Sims as if they were dolls. But this made me look over my shoulder and sent a chill down my spine, making me wondering if there are any entities or fates playing with my life in a similar manner, as if I were just a doll to them, and if I'm breaking some fourth wall by realizing this. Bravo, Will Wright.

Reflecting on The Sims, my overall impression of the game is that it’s clever, charming, disturbing, and an overall bizarre experience. Bottom line, is it a good game? I’d say yes. It’s well made, well thought out, influential, and entertaining. Will Wright must have had so much fun making it. I haven’t played later additions to The Sims franchise so I can’t speak to them, but I can recommend The Sims as a unique gaming experience to people who would find it interesting, even though I wouldn’t recommend dumping tons of time into it.
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2021-07-02T15:58:38Z
2.5
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Catalog

cloudydonut The Sims 2022-08-18T21:09:59Z
2022-08-18T21:09:59Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Spitfyr The Sims 2022-07-18T17:32:34Z
2022-07-18T17:32:34Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Chatran The Sims 2022-07-17T03:22:27Z
2022-07-17T03:22:27Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
AlexChillton The Sims 2022-07-08T21:03:33Z
2022-07-08T21:03:33Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TheKingEdoardo The Sims 2022-07-07T12:23:41Z
2022-07-07T12:23:41Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
matemm The Sims 2022-07-06T15:44:36Z
2022-07-06T15:44:36Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TheLamestUsername The Sims 2022-07-05T02:35:49Z
2022-07-05T02:35:49Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Venomander The Sims 2022-07-04T18:08:08Z
2022-07-04T18:08:08Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DaBlackGoku The Sims 2022-07-04T02:02:15Z
2022-07-04T02:02:15Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
somatic The Sims 2022-07-02T20:13:02Z
2022-07-02T20:13:02Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DeuG The Sims 2022-07-02T10:19:33Z
2022-07-02T10:19:33Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Nosfeshiro The Sims 2022-06-29T01:50:43Z
2022-06-29T01:50:43Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  

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  • Previous comments (3) Loading...
  • HiroM 2021-05-09 09:25:30.870075+00
    The fact that this game uses Comic Sans makes it at least half a point worse.
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  • tommyinchainsrekl 2021-05-14 23:15:44.655082+00
    One time when I was like 5 or 6 years old I was playing this and had an enormous family. I put klapaucius to get money and just have fun building and a few minutes after the house was finished a fire started and I watched everyone die as I didn't know how to fix fires. Since then I don't think I could enjoy it again like before and the fucking burglar music didn't help.
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  • Cen 2021-06-17 01:43:18.174901+00
    A re-release with aging and all the expansions would honestly be amazing
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  • DaymanNightman 2021-07-03 05:00:23.123524+00
    Never thought I'd see comic sans hate in 2021
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  • deyvidbavey 2021-07-26 08:19:27.677312+00
    the comic sans font is iconic
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  • fumpy 2022-06-18 03:01:22.638909+00
    The music in this game was amazing
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