In February 2000, a computer game was released that would forever change the world. Well, that’s not entirely true. What this computer game did do was allow humans to create worlds. Several of them. Maybe even hundreds. The possibilities are endless. What is the game? The Sims!
You may have heard of this game. It’s had over ten incarnations on many different consoles. The most popular version are their computer games, including The Sims 1, The Sims 2, The Sims 3, and The Sims 4 respectively. For purposes of this post I’m going to be talking about The Sims 3, but each of them have their pros and cons.
So why should you play it? Isn’t it a little odd to play a game about pixelated people? Doesn’t this mean you play god?
Thank you for the assistance in demonstrating my point, Jeremy.
The answers are yes and yes. I used to think The Sims was a weird concept, too. And sometimes you can play god, which includes controlling and even killing your Sims (which can make things awkward and sad). But here are a couple of reasons why The Sims 3 is just plain fun.
1. There are endless possibilities.
Let me just say this: the possibilities are endless. In The Sims 3 base game alone, you have the ability to create an entire town with dozens of life paths for your Sims to go down. But then there are countless expansion packs that expand the possibilities even more. Want to have pets? That can be done. Want to go to university or on vacation? Go for it! Want to visit to the future? Let’s go! Want to create a family of vampires and reenact Twilight? Done. The Sims 3 is a whole world, which isn’t an exaggeration. You really can do anything. (More on that later.)
2. You can create your world.
One of my favorite things to do in The Sims is to build houses. (I kept making new games to build new houses and then never played them again.) You’re able to make complete houses and decorate them as you please. You can make pools, garages, attics, and lofts. For me, it’s therapeutic.
You can also create the Sims themselves, which can be fun. Personally, I really enjoy experimenting with genetics and having a couple have a ton of kids to see how they all turn out. It isn’t just limited to creating humans, either--you can make blue aliens, if you wish. (Avatar, anyone?)
You can even edit your town to suit your needs, which means that pretty much everything in this game is customizable.
3. You can have storylines.
The level of involvement with which you play is up to you. Some people have created entire stories about their Sims and posted them online. Some people don’t care what happens to their Sims and play with a detachment. I find myself somewhere in the middle. While I don’t write out an entire story out, it’s entertaining to see what can happen to my Sims. Plot twists abound, including career changes, unexpected relationships, and even deaths. Which brings me to…
4. Anything can happen.
And I do mean anything. (Especially with The Sims 3: Pets in the mix...)
When things like this happen, it can be extremely unexpected. One time, my Sim got married to her longtime boyfriend. Her new husband was cooking something and the house caught on fire. He caught on fire and promptly died. The Grim Reaper arrived, ready to take his soul. But wait! Because my Sim was so unlucky, the Grim Reaper decided to spare his life. It was quite the roller coaster.
Ultimately, you can control most of what happens to your Sims, but in the event that you can’t, it’s enjoyable to watch plot twists happen in front of your very eyes. Whatever happens, you can be sure it will surprise your Sims, too.
5. It’s a good experience
The Sims 3, while having wasted many hours of my time, is ultimately a very enjoyable experience. Sometimes it helps to just relax and focus on other people’s lives for a change. While Sims still have to deal with paying bills and cleaning their house, you can use some cheats if you want to have a less hands-on experience. There are many challenges that will appeal to more competitive people, such as the Generations or Genetics challenge. For the hopeless romantics, you can fall in love, get married, and grow a family (and play them throughout the generations). You can climb the corporate ladder and buy out all of the businesses in town. You can also just create a family of Sims and see where their lives go. Whatever way you choose to play, there’s something in The Sims 3 for everyone.
If you want to play, I’d highly recommend starting with The Sims 3. Now that The Sims 4 is out, The Sims 3’s price went down, and it’s a good place to start. Sometimes you can find bundles with The Sims 3 base game and an expansion pack together. You can even try out The Sims 1 or The Sims 2 for even less money--while I haven’t played them, I’ve heard they are enjoyable as well.
If you want a free taste, you can check out the app Sims Freeplay for your mobile device. While it’s very fun, it’s not nearly as immersive or free-play as the name suggests and you can do a lot more in The Sims 3. One thing’s for sure: whatever way you choose to go, The Sims can provide you with hours of fun.