Recently, an extremely traumatic incident occurred. Due to this incident I have to shift my rant (at least just for this week) from my usual television or entertainment centered rants to supporting something that not only stood by me through many years, but shaped me into who I am today: The Sims. Hear me out on this one. One afternoon I was conversing with my peers in my study group about what was considered “cool” back in our tween days. We were laughing about Uggs, game boys, boy bands and all those cringeworthy memories. As we ventured on the topic of recreational activities, I thought it would be appropriate to throw in my all-time favorite computer game. My peers, however, stopped laughing abruptly and one of them had the audacity to say “The Sims? Nah, I never really got into that game.”
“Never got into that game?” There are SO many flaws in that sentence I don’t even know where to start. First of all, one does not merely “get into” The Sims. It isn’t just a game you just “play” for recreation, it is a type of game you rip the plastic off the second you get home from the game store, excitedly put into your computer, turn on the music, and happily sit through the intro videos out of respect for the creators. It is the type of game you cancel plans for and sacrifice real life friendships in order to improve virtual relationships between your Sims. It’s the type of game you can start playing at 9am and then glance back at the clock and see that it’s 8:45pm and you barely notice that you haven’t moved, eaten or showered all day because you place your Sims needs over your own (and rightly so). It is not a game, ignorant peer that shall go unnamed, it is a way of life.
So instead of ranting about something I despise, I choose to speak about the wonderful and quirky aspects of a game near and dear to my heart:
Rosetta Stone: Simish as a second language, honestly I could probably write a beginners book on Simish or teach a Simish 101 class due to my extensive hours playing Sims and majority of my year speaking Simish in Senior year with my best friend. I was, and still am, debating putting “fluent in Simish” on my resume, but people have warned me that while impressive, I would be waving sul sul (good-bye) to all and any of my job opportunities. But enough of my confessions (part 2, feat. Usher) Simish is unparalleld to any other fictitious language created. Turning up the volume and hearing the Sims jabber along about love, careers and aspirations in the same way a toddler would babble at the age of 2 and 3 quarters is bound to make you laugh.
Saying Woohoo will never be the same, One feature that is probably one of the staples of Simology is the “woohoo.” But don’t let the G rated name fool you, the game will definitely show the shaking of the bed, steam and sparks flying. This game probably taught a lot of innocent tweens about the birds and the bees in a pretty visual way. Lets just say my parents were a little concerned about my recreational habits when they walked into my room at the same moment that the painfully long video montage of the lead up to the Woohoo attacked my screen… so thanks for that Sims.
Expansion packs, as if the Sims world wasn’t beautiful enough, the creators decided to shower us with more gifts (read: leave a dent in our parents wallets) and add even more parts of the Sim life.
University- Probably one of the most exciting expansion packs of all time. Believe me when I tell you I was more excited and nervous when the expansion pack was loading than in move-in day at Cornell. I mean there were a lot of differences between just going to school as a teen and going to university as a young adult Sim, trust me. You no longer just ran around and played “tag” with your friends, you had the cooler option of “hanging out” in their postered filled dorm rooms. You could run around the common rooms streaking, or for the more reserved Sims at least know you had the option. You could rush a Frat or Sorority, or befriend 3 secretive looking guys in suits and get punched for a secret society. You could pull an all nighter working on your “thesis” rather than spend five minutes working on your “homework.” And best of all, you could finally own a cellphone. And best of all you return back to your home a fully grown adult with your wild years behind you, and quite a few more career options than your old neighbor Dan Pleasent who was created way before the expansion pack…
Nightlife- probably the saddest of the bunch. The fact that you spent over 50 dollars on a game that literally allowed you to customize your already customizable swimming pools, added one neighborhood lot with “night clubs” and could own a car (that a player still wouldn’t be able to maneuver) instead of just calling a cab is a waste of simeleons.
Vacation- Despite the fun options like being able to ski on the mountains or tan by the beach this expansion pack stayed a little too true to reality proving that just a day into the trip, your Sims needed a well earned vacation from this vacation.
Unleashed- Owning a virtual pet was never more fun: matching your pets to the personality of their owner down to the fur and eye color, the lack of odor and shedding, being able to clean up after them with a push of a button and, lets be honest, being able to have 104 cats without you getting your very own episode of TLC’s My Strange Addiction is a win-win situation.
Mother_lode, ah the cheats in this game that made us feel a little bit like a CIA agent, coder or girl with the dragon tattoo. If mother_lode, rosebud or kaching means nothing to you then you clearly lived a sad and (probably poor) Sim life. I took pride in making my Sims’ life time goals align with my own: eating grilled cheese sandwiches and watching television. It was also way easier to just delete your mail, garbage and dirty dishes rather than carving out time in your Sims busy schedule to do so, thanks to moveobjetsON. While others looked down upon those who used cheats to live a life of spleandor, I defend my beloved cheats by saying that it was merely a fortune my Sim family inherited from their great aunt and heiress to toaster strudel, Muriel. Also good luck furnishing your 1 1/4 bedroom house when you’re out of simoleons before you can even buy a toilet.
Move aside Myers-Briggs,
I staunchly believe that you can tell a lot about a person based on how they play the Sims:
Type A personalities are first confused as to why this game has no “rules” or point system determining how well they are doing. After they come to terms with this free play game they can be found making their own rules and deciding to make perfect little Sim families. These people can be found inviting the dean over so that their children can go to private school, making their Sims reach their top level job, completing each bar in the skills category just so they can be obnoxious and serve lobster and souffle every night and essentially getting out all their type A, control freak, OCD tendencies through the Sims (There is still a lot of research going on whether this game is thereputic, or making their tendencies more severe).
Easily bored personalities can be found with around 45 different families with outrageous hairstyles, backstories and ostentatious houses. But don’t be fooled by their densely populated communities, try clicking on any of these families and you will see that it’s paused around 2 Sim hours after move in day.
Artistic personalities can be found painstakingly designing every inch of the house, from deliberating between the off-white or cream color tiles in the bathroom to the different types of potted plants on the balcony (Either way your Sims are going to have a full bar of Environment, so calm down). They can also be found downloading everything from new hairstyles, ear lobes and undergarments off of the website because the 2000+ clothes and features combinations are just not doing it for them. Like the easily bored players their games are barely played, but you have to admit their houses and families look better than the premade ones, no offense Pleasant family.
The dramatic personality, we all know a “friend” (stop denying it…) who found a twisted pleasure in taking out the ladder when your Sim was naively swimming in the pool and watch them bob around helplessly turning into a Sim raisin because they couldn’t physically pull themselves outside of the pool. Or better yet, placing chairs (check they are real wood in buy mode first) in front of fire places and watch them all catch fire. This dramatic personality will probably end up with a neighborhood of pyromanic, dried up little raisin Sims that can’t even be in the same room as each other without them attacking each other with a ball of cloud, limbs and stars erupting.
Dumb and dumber, the only glitch in this beautiful world is one little thing called: common sense, or lack there of. But this provided tons of laughs and appreciation for your own logical brain. And no matter how high a degree you have from the expansion-pack university your sim went to, or that you are at the highest possible position at the paramedic career track, your Sim will still be unable to sleep in his bed if there is a night table, lamp, wall or piece of lint standing in the way. Or God help you if there is another Sim standing in your Sims way, might as well save the time and go straight to build mode and break down the wall because there is no way your Sim will ever learn what “side step” means. The scariest moment in my life was when my favorite Sim’s omelette caught fire (I have no idea how, she had all her cooking skills and was a culinary master) and no matter how many times I clicked “go there” she would still be screaming “Zep tor maboo!” pointing at the fire. Rest in Peace Sarah, at least you passed away doing the thing you loved most.
I think what it comes down to is that on Sims you can be whoever you want to be, playout all your wildest dreams, take risks and live in a world where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. The fact that you can literally jump out of your bed and spin around and be ready for any event (a formal gala, going to bed, or swimming) is a skill that I would give 400 simeolean filled money trees to have. So my lovely readers brush off the dust on your Sims CD, and get ready for the best hours of grilled cheese, marriage proposals after a two hour dates, and utter perfection. Oh and don’t forget to position your computer screen in just the right way to make sure that stressed out engineer on your right and that 49 year old Grad student on your left don’t judge you. Happy Simming, Sul sul!