PC Gamer US Edition
The Sims Image Credit: PC Gamer US Edition
The Sims Image Credit: PC Gamer US Edition

How The Sims Changed PC Gaming

Six stories of how The Sims changed PC gaming for everyone


The Sims 2 as an extension of an already-embarrassing teen existence

By Keza MacDonald

There are two types of Sims players: The ones who create maniacal fantasies, in which hapless, interchangeable Sims are mere pawns in their sadistic games involving swimming pools and deleted ladders, and those who painstakingly recreate people and situations from real life and then run bizarre social experiments with them. As a teen playing The Sims 2, I was the latter.

I’d discovered The Sims on a friend’s mum’s PC a few years previously, whilst staying up late into the night on a sleepover, prodding little computer people who couldn’t ever seem to figure out how to use a dishwasher without help. But those early Sims were pixelly automatons. The Sims 2 had the character creator of my dreams. Instead of prefab faces with Lego haircuts, it had nose-length sliders and color wheels and personality traits. My first few afternoons with the game were entirely spent within the Create-ASim menus, painstakingly recreating pretty much everyone I knew with unerring accuracy. (I still have a bit of a talent with character creators. Give me 20 minutes and I’ll do you one kickass Mii.)

Naturally, the next thing I did was take my tiny digital ve

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