The phenomenon of the Sims
In the world of video games, there are categories of games such as shooters, adventure, action, and role-playing games. Then there are the Sims. This game was introduced by Electronic Arts in February 2000 and became a cultural phenomenon. It sold twenty million copies and spawned the development of hundreds of fan sites dedicated to his own personal Sims environment.
Sims was the first game to introduce a significant degree of online socialization through the use of a gaming platform. A Sims player creates his own family, buys or builds his own house, and has numerous encounters with other characters generated by the game’s AI (artificial intelligence). Your Sim character, or “avatar”, goes through life experiencing career changes, family development, many of the real life experiences that lurk outside our doors in real time. Its unique character, the quirks of the game (such as the gibberish in which the Sims communicate) and the capacity for infinite change made millions addicted.
The game turns the player into the “deus ex machina”: the off-screen God who controls the lives of individuals. As a player, you can help your Sim build not just a home and family, but an entire neighborhood. The game’s characters incorporate enough quirks and human neuroses as they are introduced that the game remains an addictive fascination for its players. As one critic put it; “Do you want to play frankly and see the life of a typical nuclear family? You can. But what if you prefer to dress your Sim up as a Viking and have him play his guitar to save money on the subway while living with two women, her? She is lazy and paranormal, who are a couple? Go ahead. “
The company followed up its initial success with seven expansion packs and in 2004 released a completely new version, Sims 2. The new version has better graphics and many more options for your Sims and their families, who happily still speak Simlish. The video engine is more 3D than the original 2D; the characters in your game have more options to do and more characteristics that make them interesting, even genetic similarities when new members of the family are born. You can customize the family dog: long or short hair? Blue eyes or crossed eyes? Smart partner or clumsy fool? It’s up to you.
By 2005, the audience for The Sims and its various expansions had grown to more than 52 million worldwide. The game has been translated into 17 languages and the franchise has come to life on platforms ranging from Xbox to mobile phones.
One of the main characteristics of the Sims phenomenon, and one that probably made it an exceptionally popular game, is that it has attracted a large number of female players. The Sims have used the ingenious trick of building a player base evenly divided along gender lines, attracting women without alienating male players. Game publisher Electronic Arts estimates that women could represent up to 60% of Sims players.
According to Psychology Today, “Most long-term players say that designing Sim homes is the main pleasure of the game” and, in fact, the construction and interior design aspects of The Sims are as impressive as its “human” element. . Players can easily mirror their real world homes; a game review called Sims “The Ikea Game”. Most video games have a product popularity curve, like any other consumer item. The Sims seem to be challenging or redefining this feature for the video game market.