Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Sims Makes History

A recent online survey of PC gamers has revealed that "The Sims" is one of the most popular and best-selling games of all time.
Electronic Arts, distributors of the game, announced that the virtual-life game created by Will Wright and Maxis, has sold over 7 million copies worldwide (2002) to dethrone Myst as the top-selling computer game of all time. If you combine The Sims with all its expansion versions, The Sims series will have accounted for more than 13 million sales worldwide.
The Sims was first released on February 4, 2000 and, since then, seven expansion packs and a sequel, The Sims 2, have been released.
The great appeal of the game is that, instead of meeting a set of objectives, players engage in a fully interactive environment and are encouraged to make choices about everyday living. It is up to the player to decide how he wants to spend his "virtual day," with the only real objective being how to organize his time and activities to help him reach his personal goals.
Like real people, Sims (which also refers to the virtual character in the game as well as the game itself) have a certain amount of free will, which means they can choose to ignore a player's commands and do something else that they think is more important, just like real people. For example, you may want to make them go to the supermarket or visit a friend, but if their energy level is too low, the Sim may just decide to sleep instead to build up his energy reserves.
The game calls for players to make decisions for their Sim characters about personal development (such as adding specific activities like exercise and reading to enhance creativity, and logic), personal hygiene (how often he must clean the house, do the dishes or take out the garbage), personal finances (what kind of job does he take on and how does he spend his income), eating, and sleeping.
Let's say the Sim does not have enough eat or sleep, or has not created a healthy environment, they could get sick and die. If the Sim does not have enough recreational activities, his fun level bar falls and he becomes depressed (but never to the point that he commits suicide).
Players also have control over how their Sim character relates with other characters. They can make their Sim a nasty person who insults, slaps or even attacks other Sims, which usually means they get insulted, slapped and attacked in return.