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February 14th, 2000

The Sims

Please help me. I’m a Sims addict.

I’ve owned this game for about, ah, five days or so now and I’m hooked. It’s an incredible piece of technology (and art, at that). It’s SimPerson, really. You make a person, and then that person lives his or her life – under your control, to a degree. Initially you have to do things like find him or her a job, make him or her eat, and so on. But as time progresses, you’ll want your Sim to do better. He’ll need to work out, read, and play chess to be better. As he gets better, he gets a better chance at a work promotion.

You don’t have to choose one particular work path for the Sim, either. There are ten different fields to choose from, from reputable (doctor) to, uh, questionable (criminal). You’ll have to deal with things like burglars and fires and acts of God. You have to pay bills, and take out the trash.

The driving thrust of the game, however, is human interaction. Your Sim is in a neighborhood and, as thus, isn’t isolated by a long shot. Your Sim can associate with neighbors via the phone. Invite them over and talk; see if they get along. Not everyone will be happy. My Sim Jimbo, for instance, was initially designed as a heterosexual male with a neat streak. He’s not overly outgoing, but he is nice and has a good job as a cop. Turns out that he’s homosexual and really has no friends outside of his lover!

It’s interesting how the game handles sexuality, too. First, there is no nudity in the game (even when Sims use the bathroom – it’s pixelated). Sex itself is actually just kissing. Babies pop out of nowhere, recalling the old Bill Cosby routine about Polaroid babies. (Don’t worry! You can’t have a baby via the first kiss.) But there aren’t major differences between the way heterosexual and homosexual relationships are handled. The key change is that in order to have a child, a homosexual couple must adopt. But it’s allowed. (I really think Maxis is to be applauded on this.)

The game is wonderfully open-ended. You can create your own skin for a Sim, along with his or her own head. You can download new houses and objects for them to use. It’s quite remarkable.

No game is perfect. There is no religion in the game, although this might be intentional. There are no weekends, but you can miss a day of work if you like. (Miss two in a row, and you’re fired.) Kids never grow up – they don’t become adults, although babies do become kids. And all Sims are ageless. But they can die.

Overall, The Sims is even more engrossing than SimCity. It’s probably the most unique "game" I’ve ever seen in my life. -pm

Posted in Technology

FROM: matt wright
DATE: Thursday February 17, 2000 -- 8:13:32PM
I got the sims on saturday night and since then everyone around here has started families on it. It's hillarious, one of my friend's made another friend and a girl he likes and called them the "skullfuckers", they are great just as annoying as real life. The game is so excellent, I just wish you could like take your sims into simcity and shop and stuff.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday February 17, 2000 -- 11:57:33PM
Now, that's an idea, Matt!

I'm dying to try out The Sims now... what are the system requirements? Chances are I don't fit them. *sigh* Maybe when I get my new computer come July it'll be in the Bargain Bins. :)

Of course, there's no Sims like the Africa Wildebeasts. :)

... Ryan

FROM: Matt
DATE: Saturday February 19, 2000 -- 2:15:35AM
Those silly widebeasts!
The requirements are 233 MHz intel pentium processor or more
300 MB plus space for saved games and windows swap file
and then some cd rom stuff that I'm sure you have

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Saturday February 19, 2000 -- 3:32:15AM
Sheesh! I'm nowhere close to those requirements (Pentium 90, 64 megs ram, about 40 megs free). :)

Guess I'll be waiting until I get my new PC (July barring any brokeness that comes from owning a home).

... Ryan

FROM: Matt
DATE: Saturday February 19, 2000 -- 8:41:15PM
If it eases the tension of buying a new house any, than I can inform you that I still owe you about $50. Maybe you can use that towards the purchase of a nice bottle of champagne to christen your home.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday February 20, 2000 -- 1:12:02PM
That's right -- you do still owe me money. :)

As far as christening the home, don't forget that you get first dibbs on the guest -- ahem -- facilities if you help us move! :)

... Ryan

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday July 12, 2000 -- 10:25:28AM
Just bought The Sims online for $29, shipped. I probably won't even be able to play it on my home PC. Oh well. ;)

FROM: Brian
DATE: Sunday June 10, 2001 -- 4:17:03PM
Even though this is an old topic now, I couldn't resist sharing my dearest Sims experience: A member of my "NumbNutz" family started a fire in the kitchen. I couldn't get them to call the fire dept. Instead Mr. NumbNutz just stood there by the fire screaming. Ms. NumbNutz was outside watering flowers. I tried to make her stop and call for help, but she preferred gardening. Tragically, Mr. NumbNutz gave DIED in the fire. There was just a little urn there afterward. Ms. Numbnutz would grieve every time she came close to it. Anyone else ever killed a sim?

DATE: Monday June 11, 2001 -- 9:25:54AM
Well, that's what you get for calling them NumbNutz. They're genetically predisposed to being stupid. :P

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Monday April 7, 2003 -- 1:37:27 am
Ryan --

I came across the Africa Wildebeasts page. What program is this that you sim the action with?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday April 7, 2003 -- 9:09:32 am

We used to use Football Pro 98... what a great game (still is). Too bad Sierra dumped it.

I've since moved the team over to Madden 2003, but some of the magic was lost in the transition.

FROM: Stephanie [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday September 5, 2003 -- 5:55:32 pm
Hey you know what there is a Sims 2 game coming out!!

What is this then?

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