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Gaming: The Sims

Gaming: The Sims

Some of you may have heard of the Sims franchise. This is a series of games in which the player essentially plays God, controlling the every move of their game character. You can design your own person, and nowadays a cat, dog, or horse as well as build them a house, find them a partner, get them a job and watch them grow old. There have been 4 base games, each with loads of expansion packs. With the Sims 4 recently released, now seems like a good time to review their history.


Most of the games are mainly designed for the computer. The first Sims game came out in the millennium, and it came from the popularity of SimCity series. You can build your Sims, and customise their houses, which are supposed to be in a suburban area of Sim City. There weren’t that many expansions and “stuff packs”, but some of the more notable expansions include pets, holidays and wizardry. It was hugely popular when it came out, and by 2002 it was the biggest selling computer game in history.


Then came the Sims 2. This had massively better graphics than the first game, and it had more neighbourhoods so the storylines were more varied. Facial features and expressions of Sims are more advanced, and you can add your own music to the game if you know how. Unlike the first Sims game, The Sims 2 features Sims growing old and dying. When Sims get pregnant, the baby has similar features to the parent, unlike the first game. You can also choose your meals, which is exciting for those of us who enjoy cooking. There were more expansion packs with this game, like the opportunity to run a business or let teenagers go to university.


Along came the Sims 3, which was hugely different to the previous games. With the Sims 1 and Sims 2, your Sim could go to other places outside their house, but in order to get there you’d need to get past a loading screen. With the Sims 3, your sim could walk anywhere in the neighbourhood, and you could follow them around. In the neighbourhood you can collect rocks, seeds, and insects, which can be sold or used. With expansion packs, there were more collectibles around. The Sims 3 also featured more careers. You also have more independence in creating a neighbourhood, and there were a lot of expansions. Your Sims could travel to places based on real-life, like France or Egypt.


The Sims 4 came out last year, and fans of the game were very excited. It introduced multitasking, so Sims could do more than one thing at once. How a Sim feels could also influence tasks, so for instance if a Sim was angry whilst cooking this would be reflected in the final outcome. However, the game also got rid of popular features, like the swimming pool tool and toddlers. They also brought back loading screens. You can now download something that installs the tool. But the idea was to make the game run better on slower computers, which was a problem for many Sims players in the past.


The idea that the Sims is founded on appeals to everyone. Unlike warfare games, which only really cater for young men, the Sims appeals to everybody. We’ve all wanted to imagine what the world would be like if we were gods, right? Now we can find out. Get playing.


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