I’ve been a gamer since I was old enough to understand how to use a mouse. My earliest memories are ones of me and my sister sitting around the computer in my cousin’s bedroom (a wild concept in 2002), building our dream houses in her dad’s copy of The Sims. Since the Sims 2 Double Deluxe dropped in 2008, I have at one point or another owned every Sims product put on the market, and I’ve downloaded gigabyte after gigabyte of mods and custom content.
And I’m not the only one. The Sims franchise has sold over 29 million copies across all four iterations, and that doesn’t include sales for the console iterations or all the expansions and game packs that traditionally follow each release.
Despite its massive success, Sims players are often looked down upon by other people in the gaming community. When I tell my friends who play more “serious” AAA console titles that I love to play Sims, they treat it like a joke or something that I shouldn’t be taking as seriously as I do my other hobbies. For content creators like myself, The Sims is as serious as any other game. YouTubers like The Sim Supply and Deligracy have amassed followings of over 500,000 through gameplay and build videos of the Sims 4. Modders and Custom Content creators have thousands of followers on Tumblr, and sim-specific sites like thesimsresource.com and modthesims.info boast hundreds of thousands of custom pieces of clothing and furniture across all four installments of the game. These mods and CC items add more levels of customization to the game, allowing players to create Sims with vast wardrobes and deeper, more interesting lives.
On the surface, The Sims is pretty basic. It’s a sandbox game where the player creates and controls every detail of virtual people’s lives from their physical appearance to their career and who they marry. While the premise may not sound exciting in itself, the community has created a massive archive of gameplay challenges that encourage players to use new approaches to gameplay that make a new and exciting experience every time you load up the game. The level of creativity and dedication that goes into the creation of these challenges is inspiring, and watching the results play out in your own game is incredibly entertaining. I’ve played several challenges myself, and every time I find myself enjoying parts of the game that I’ve never wanted to put effort into exploring before.
The Sims Franchise is a timeless one. Millions of players across the globe have poured hundreds of hours into playing and creating. Personally, I have 334 hours logged for Sims 4 alone, not counting the time I put into editing pictures and videos. As a loyal player since 2002 and a dedicated community member since 2009, I am excited to watch the community grow and continue to challenge the way that people view, and play, The Sims.