Why ‘The Sims’ Is Still So Popular
Why buy a house and live the Australian dream when you can build it for a tiny computer family?
In the year 2000, EA released ‘The Sims’; a video game that let players control the life of a Sim. You could build their house, help them fall in love or just organize a rad party.
Of course, instead of creating the perfect life for their Sim, most people left them in a pool to die , turned one of their sims into a little goblin who creates paintings in the basement or tried to seduce Death.
Over the years the popularity of the Sims grew to the point that famous musicians were volunteering to re-recorded their songs in Simlish (The fictional language of the sims) with Katy Perry’s re-do of Last Friday night being a real stand out.
And now 19 years, three sequels and numerous add-ons later, the Sims is still somehow as popular as ever. But how has this game stayed so relevant for so long, while other games like Q-Bert sadly disappear?
One possibility could be YouTubers keeping the game relevant. Sydney-based YouTuber James Turner has a whole channel ‘The Sim Supply’ dedicated to the game, with over 1 million subscribers. He told the ABC that his channel isn’t just for kids, with 43 percent of his views coming from people over the age of 25.
So why are these thirty to forty somethings still interested in these artificial doll houses? James thinks it could be a product of nostalgia, the love for this game is a lot like the love for movies and TV shows form their childhood.
"That sort of nostalgia we all have from... growing up with these things."
Another possible reason for the game’s ongoing popularity could be the ability for players to live out their dream and desires. With a lot of people not being able to afford their own home, a simulated home is the next best thing.
Alice Tan, 36, told the ABC that she can’t afford a house in Sydney, but she can create her dream home in the sims.
"It's a two-bedroom, two-storey bungalow. It has a pool, a massive garden."
For Alice, anything she dreams of doing can be realized within the world of The Sims.
"You can control social events. If you want to get married, what's your dream wedding going to be like? Who you're going to invite, the dress, the caterer?”
The future of The Sims looks bright, I look forward to the days when we have a virtual-reality Sims and my children can take Simlish classes at school.