The Sims is a strategic life-simulation computer game created by game designer Will Wright, published by Maxis, and distributed by Electronic Arts. It is a simulation of the daily activities of one or more virtual persons (“Sims”) in a suburban household near SimCity.
First released on February 4, 2000, the base game has sold more than 16 million copies, making it the best-selling PC game in history. Including expansion packs, the franchise has sold over 70 million units worldwide as of January 2007. Since its initial release, seven expansion packs and a sequel, The Sims 2 (with its own expansion packs), have been released. Another sequel, The Sims 3, is also in the works. The Sims has won numerous awards, including GameSpot’s PC Game of the Year Award for 2000.
The Sims, lacking definite goals or objectives, which are common in most other computer games, focuses entirely on the lives of virtual people called Sims, placing the player in control of their virtual “world” and their daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, reading, and bathing. Will Wright, the game’s designer, calls it a “digital dollhouse”. Although players are encouraged to make their own characters, certain pre-made characters, such as the Newbie and Goth family, have become popular.
The player controls almost all aspects of the lives of a family either premade or self-created. Many choices lead a player’s sim to a large family or a lonely life.