Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

The Sims

For a few weeks now, I’ve been rediscovering an old game I thought I had put away for good. My youngest is to blame since all I’ve been hearing in the house is The Sims 3 theme song. No, I haven’t been playing The Sims 3, but instead dusted off my copy of The Sims 2 and have lost myself in the pixels somewhere between my mouse and the game environment.

Electronic Arts' The Sims Games
Electronic Arts’ The Sims Games

If you haven’t played any of The Sims games, it’s an experience. As I’d mentioned, it’s been a rediscovery for me, given I have a virtual canvas to create the family, community and town I’ve always dreamed of. It’s a thrill to place myself in the game as a character to see what I’m capable of within the confines of a controlled environment. I say this with a smirk on my face knowing how deceptive a game environment can be. I’ll explain more about that later.

Now, The Sims 2 is an old game according to today’s technology standards. It came out back in the mid-2000s and soon spawned multiple stuff and expansion packs, adding to the game’s potential as life’s little petri dish.

I’ll never forget when I opened the game interface for the very first time. I really didn’t know what to do. I mean, here was this small community with floating green diamonds over the houses, and I had no clue as to what the goal was. First, I’d thought it was another SimCity game complete with animated people to control, but then I didn’t see the people. Second, I’d thought I needed to create houses and create a virtual economy. Boy, did I have a lot to learn. It took several attempts to understand I had to play the game at a more familiar level, the family level. Once I discovered how to enter the homes in the town, life became interesting. All it took was a double-click of my mouse and I unlocked a virtual home complete with appliances, electronics and kids fighting. No different from any other family.

Game architecture
Game architecture

Anyway, that was the first time I’d played the game almost a decade ago. Today, since The Sims 2 is open-ended, my goals have changed. I play a more leisurely game. Contrary to previous years, I haven’t built my own house yet complete with pool, Jacuzzi and big screen TV, but I have explored the various other communities available through the expansion packs with my Sim. My Sim now knows how to swim, paint, play darts and chess, workout and countless of other activities. My Sim puts me to shame for my sitting on my rump in a passive stupor.

As for the controlled environment I’d mentioned earlier, it is rather controlled, yes. You can’t kill your Sim on purpose, but you can certainly try. Nothing prevents a player to throw their Sim into a pool and removing the ladder or tossing them into a room and removing the door, thereby starving them to death. Or it doesn’t even prevent a player from starting a fire in the kitchen and watching the Sim go up in flames in a ball of charred cinder.

Fun stuff for a Freedom Friday, huh?

My favorite part about The Sims 2 is decorating the house with Christmas props, presents and all that jolly yuletide madness, and celebrating Christmas year-round. Better still, how about Halloween all year long? Who wouldn’t want all those spooky decorations plastered all over the walls and furniture? I know I would. Who knows maybe one day, the zombies will come knocking on the door.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

Have you played The Sims 2 or any of the other Sims games? If not, what is your favorite game?