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The Major Effect "The Sims" had upon the Gaming World (and why we don't talk about it)

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  • bekkasanbekkasan Posts: 8,534 Member

    I've been gaming since Atari and with puters since my brother built his first one. I played Kings Quest which was on a floppy disk when I was on break from school. I have a feeling we around the same age. I played mostly text based games as well as RPG's once Nintendo came out, so it was not the Sims that drew me into gaming. It is the fantasy and the stories that you become a part of that fascinates me.

    I did not play Sims until Sims 3 in 2012, although I did play several versions of Sim City prior to that. I loved playing dress up when I was a girl and messing with my dolls and barbies. My sims are my adult dolls and yep, I love telling stories with them. I spend as much time picking outfits and decorating the houses as I do telling their stories and adventures. I love all facets of the game and have stayed with Sims 3 as it suits me much better than version 4.
  • fruitsbasket101fruitsbasket101 Posts: 1,092 Member
    edited March 1
    Female here. I was just as likely to be found playing video games with my dad and little brother as I was playing barbie dolls, also with my brother. Our first console was the Sega Genesis and we would spend hours taking turns playing Sonic, Mrs. Pac-man and the original Mortal Kombat. We eventually moved on to ps1/ps2 where our games of choice Gauntlet, Tomb Raider, Bust-A-Groove, WWE Wrestling games, Crash Bandicoot, Kingdom Hearts, and many others. My brother would also play dolls with me and we had just as much fun doing that as playing video games.

    I started to play the sims because it combined my love of video games with my love of dolls so I kinda see the argument of it being a virtual dollhouse and don't find it inaccurate. I love playing the game but my favorite thing to do is to make sims in CAS. Both my dad and brother love making sims as well but while my brother will play for a little while, my dad will stop there and not play the game at all. So I don't really think its a gender thing just personal preference.
    Have a super fantastic awesome splendid amazing day! -TheQxxn
  • ElstarElstar Posts: 27 Member
    LGR summerise the creation of "Home tactics: the experimental domestic simulator" or "Dollhouse" pretty well

    The game is a sandbox and you play it how you want. It's a dollhouse for some, a building or time management for others and something else for even more others. Mods allows for even more customization. The sims has always have a broad mass appeal.
  • LiELFLiELF Posts: 3,732 Member
    I have to agree with the people who say that old gaming = exclusively male player base is a skewed stereotype. Something that people don't really think about or realize, is that we're talking about a long gaming era filled with male-oriented societal control and perspectives. Game developers were almost exclusively male so they catered to predominantly male ideals of entertainment, right down to avatar designs where most lead characters were male, overly buff, gritty, and full of testosterone, and if female, they were designed to appease the "male gaze" so they were excessively curvaceous, skimpily clad, beautiful, and almost always in need of assistance by men. I can tell you that those tropes just didn't appeal to me personally, and I would avoid most of those games (if I could) with an eyeroll. And socially, boys could be quite harsh with girl gamers because, in my experience, if they didn't know you, you had to "prove" yourself to them, and they just couldn't wait to mock your mistakes. So I think that a lot of girls/women went kind of underground with their gaming hobby. I know that when I played MMOs like City of Heroes, Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft, I would pretend to be male to avoid instant discrimination and/or harassment, and I knew other gals who did this too. Even in my tabletop games, I've had DMs who disallowed what they called "gender bending", which was playing a character of the opposite sex. Apparently, too many females wanted to avoid the sexist tropes by playing males. :| But I also think that, had earlier games catered a little more to creativity, balance, or diverse interests it would have seemed more "normal" to have girls and women who were gamers. we wanted to be gamers. We just weren't always interested in what was offered.

    My gaming journey actually began with the classic tabletop, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons when I was at the end of high school. Yeah, it was with a group of boys, but they didn't even blink when I chose to play a fumbling, male thief (I'm female and a proclaimed "Tom Boy") and that was the beginning of a lifelong love for tabletop gaming. I've always had male buddies since I was a child and I never liked playing "house" or "mommy" with babydolls. I remember a time when I was about seven, out in front of my building looking for something to do, and a little girl was playing "House" and asked me to play...it lasted about ten minutes, lol. There was a ruckus and a roar coming from around the building and one boy was chasing another because they were playing "monster", and I abandoned the little girl to join that game instead. The first thing they wanted to do was make me the victim who got devoured, to which I protested that I wanted to destroy the monster, and we finally came to an agreement that while the other boy distracted "it" with an attack, I could at least make an escape. I was a little miffed because I didn't think they played very fairly, lol. It's funny to think of the things that stick in your mind from childhood.

    As for tech gaming, I used to manage a retro arcade that had all kinds of vintage games and I got really good at Golden Axe, could beat the game on one token, using only one life, with any of the characters. Then I got my first console, a vintage Sega Genesis, that was given to me by a friend because he wasn't playing it anymore due to the Playstation craze, and I absolutely loved it. I actually still have it and all the awesome games I collected and played, like Shining Force 2, Master of Monsters, X-Men, The Tick, Shadowrun, Toe Jam and Earl (a favorite), Rastan, and others. I've been wanting to hook it back up for another go at nostalgia.

    I was a little late to the PC gaming craze. My first PC game was Vampire the Masquerade, which was now my favorite tabletop game of the same name (and still is. They just released a new edition last year!) But this was the game that actually "forced" me to buy my first desktop PC. I had to play it. This opened a new world of PC gaming, though I had played a couple of really old, vintage games on an ex boyfriend's old computer that were hilarious; Tank Wars and Worms. Worms was especially awesome because we could have up to four people play it at a time and we could name our teams and throw bombs at each other and have people switch out. But once I entered the PC gaming world, I still stuck to mainly RPG style games, like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights, Dungeon Siege, etc and a few MMOs and, of course, Vampire's Bloodlines. (There's a new one coming out this year, Bloodlines 2! Squee!) And I learned how to connect and play with other people via LAN gaming.

    As for The Sims, I remember my ex boyfriend playing a Sim City game (not sure which version) and just watching in fascination. But it looked way too complicated for me so I didn't play it myself, but I considered it. He told me about The Sims and said it was a pretty good game, but honestly, I thought the concept was kind of stupid, lol. I don't think he made it sound interesting because he didn't mention the Grim Reaper or the satire of it. I remember asking, "why in the world would anyone want to play out a person going to work and living a normal life? Just go live your life!" So I didn't have a very high opinion of the concept. To me, it sounded like "playing House" all over again. Boring. But...

    I got deeply into Final Fantasy 7 and it's extensive storyline, had the Advent Children digital movie and used to research all of the easter eggs, Dirge of Cerberus, Crisis Core, Before Crisis, and hidden background stories, etc. I really fell in love with all of the characters. Strangely, this led me to Sims 2 via a Youtube video of someone who had used custom content to make FF7 characters in their Sims game and I just freaked out. I watched the gameplay and was immediately obsessed with it. The Youtuber had put links to the CC and pack that they had, and I promptly bought Sims 2 Deluxe with the Holiday Stuff extra disc and Nightlife and downloaded the CC. It was the beginning of a long-term love affair and I eventually bought every pack for Sims 2 and, using all of the amazing CC out there, was able to create an amalgamation of my nerdy life in one Sims world that included Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, FF7, The Tick, X-Men, Dark Elves, LoTR, Steampunk, villains, heroes, punk, gothic, my Sim self and companions, and anything else I could dream up. It was my own personal, geeky paradise.

    So you could say that I sometimes play "House" with my Sims, only the characters are a little stranger. But I still prefer to have drama and adventure in my games and playing "Monster" or with my beloved Vampires, rather than playing domestically. And I still love to create Sims, probably even more than I used to because the Sims 4 allows for more flexibility and diversity of appearance in CAS without CC, and even some fantastical designs, if you own the right packs, so I can create them all myself instead of finding someone else's design and downloading it. And now, after all these years, I'm even finding a brand new interest for building. I had tried it before in Sims 2, but it seemed very complicated and I couldn't maneuver it very well. And although I'm still quite an amateur in that, I'm still proud that I've successfully built my first complete house and am working on a tiny mushroom house now, lol. So my play style continues to expand, which I'm grateful for.

    It's been quite a gaming journey and although I still dabble in other games like TESO online, The Secret World, Fe and some others, I always come back "home" to the same two ongoing games: The Sims 4 and Lord of the Rings Online (which is turning 13 this year!) Maybe one day I'll look into getting Sims 2 optimized on Windows 10 when I have the time.
  • Frn0731Frn0731 Posts: 7,068 Member
    I'm female and I started with pong, nintendo mario bros, and my favoutite The kings quests series by Seirra shortly after that Sim City and then The Sims. Also I was introduced to these games by females and none of my male friends were ever interested in video games. As to this day most of the people I know who play video games are female.

    @davina1221 My husband and I always played dr. Mario against each other at level 17 and 18 It would get quite intense. Unfortunately our T.V. is unable to play this game now. We still have it sitting on our shelf beside the t.v. and talk about figuring out how we can hook it up to our 55 inch screen. It's the only game he every played.
    Laugh out loud. Often
  • SindocatSindocat Posts: 4,541 Member
    edited March 1
    Hi, my name is Sindocat. I am 51, and I am a guy.

    I have always shared my gaming life with my sisters. Twins, they will be 53 next month. One plays over my shoulder in The Sims every week. The other has introduced me to most of my online games, and it was actually her daughter who got me into The Sims. This shared experience goes way back to childhood and Atari games like Pitfall, and arcade games as well. Also, table-top roleplaying games, which we actually began playing separately, but about the same time.

    That gaming was seen as a male hobby, and marketed toward boys, doesn't change the fact that girls and women have played all along.

    Further, I have always turned to the phrase "electronic dollhouse" when I describe how I play The Sims. Sure, it's story for me. But I do spend lavish amounts of time on design - clothing and interiors. My Simming sister doesn't bother - if it's functional, it's fine. Since we're under the EA umbrella here, I'll mention the housing system in Star Wars: The Old Republic, in that game called "Strongholds". I spend a significant amount of my in-game currency on decorating my home base, and also rather a lot on making my characters dress like I want. My sister who also plays? Well, she doesn't.

    BmAjZJG.jpg
    Pirateer Bucky Jaxo raiding an adrenal refinery with a Mandalorian accomplice, Hutt Cartel security footage, Quesh

    (Some of my characters get a biography for roleplaying purposes. Bucky gets a rap-sheet. But I digress.)

    My Simming sis only really enjoys watching me play what she calls the "barbie-doll" aspect of my MMOs, but the MMO-ing twin has no time for it. And even the Simming twin enjoys other games - like Tropico, a Sim City type build game where you manage a small Caribbean island. But of us three, I am the doll house player.

    Now, some would say, "interior design and fashion? How gay!" and a superficial glance at my posting history, my households and so on would confirm "Yeah. So what?" Gaming is not a gendered activity. That's all projection, and social pressures (namely, economics and marketing) skewing results. I am not a fashionista in real life. But I am a giant nerd - and I maintain that gaming is nerdy, in the best sense of the word.

    So I challenge some of the assumptions of the original post. I will readily admit that The Sims did have an unanticipated success, and likely does appeal to a broader demographic than your typical shoot-em-up. But I also contend that other games have similarly broken those barriers by finding an unexpectedly broad audience - while it is perhaps past its prime, World of Warcraft was runaway success story, and yes, among both men and women. And where we have these breakout games, it is because they have unexpected, broad, general appeal, which reminds us - to the bafflement of Marketing, who likes niche demographics to market to - gaming is (and always has been) for everyone.
  • NyteRoseNyteRose Posts: 1,553 Member
    Female here. I play the Sims as a semi "dollhouse"- I like to use CAS as a character creation tool for my writing. I can spend hours creating, shopping for CC hair/clothes/shoes, etc, and perfecting a Sim's look. My Sims also get backstories (usually) unless they're a throwaway for starting up a fresh save. I'm not a family player or a builder.
    It can't rain all the time- Eric Draven, The Crow
  • davina1221davina1221 Posts: 3,266 Member
    Frn0731 wrote: »
    I'm female and I started with pong, nintendo mario bros, and my favoutite The kings quests series by Seirra shortly after that Sim City and then The Sims. Also I was introduced to these games by females and none of my male friends were ever interested in video games. As to this day most of the people I know who play video games are female.

    @davina1221 My husband and I always played dr. Mario against each other at level 17 and 18 It would get quite intense. Unfortunately our T.V. is unable to play this game now. We still have it sitting on our shelf beside the t.v. and talk about figuring out how we can hook it up to our 55 inch screen. It's the only game he every played.

    They now sell a system on eBay that has most all the games preloaded. That might help.
  • telmarinatelmarina Posts: 1,900 Member
    I remember when my dad showed up at home with a spectrum zx back in 84. It was my first gaming experience. Me (female) and my brothers played together for hours. All kinds of games, fight games, war games, rpg, puzzle, adventure... all kind. Always together. We got into simcity, sim ant and so on in the 90's. In 2000 i found out about the sims in a gaming magazine. I bought it but i played alone. One of my brothers didn't play any more. The other got into simulation games, but he never got interested in the sims. I did. I don't play the sims as a dollhouse though. I can't care less about cas and build mode. I do whatever i have to do in cas and bb mode quickly just to make it functional.I play the sims as a game. That's maybe why im not that much into sims 4, i find it too much of a dollhouse with great graphics but not that much of a game.
  • GalacticGalGalacticGal Posts: 15,744 Member
    I didn't begin gaming until 2005. I can't drink Ensure because they put Soy into it! (I'm allergic.) Else, it might be helpful. I'll be officially a "Seasoned Citizen" in a very short time. I'm not afraid to admit I'll be the big 65. Yes, I'm a female and I don't give a wit about how 'old' I am because age is just a number. And it's a crying shame that we can't 'talk' about how the Sims changed the gaming market. I hate this PC crappola. It's just another way to control the conversation, frankly. To shut down the dissenting opinion.

    OP, you are spot on!
    You can download (free) all three volumes of my Night Whispers Star Trek Fanfiction here: http://galacticgal.deviantart.com/gallery/ You'll need to have a pdf reader. New websites: http://www.trekkiefanfiction.com/st-tos.php
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  • ButteredToastButteredToast Posts: 39 Member

    First of all, I love this type of discussion. OP: thank you for a thoughtful post.

    I always feel that the Sims franchise is not only a game changer, but an industry game changer. Starting with SimCity (Sims Ant?) in 1989 and the Sims in 2000, the game industry (well, some companies anyway) realized a potential for combat-free/minimal combat type of game. Alternatively in Japan, the first Harvest Moon was released in 1996 which I like to think is the genesis of combat-free farming sims of today.

    When I was a kid, "video games" in our house meant Zelda or Street Fighter or Mortal Combat. To be honest, they bore me. I played enough of them as a kid with my siblings to know that I was not (still am not) into them. I even ignored mmorpg during their heyday. Although most in my social circle played some sort of mmorpg one time or another, I had zero interest in playing them. Thankfully I discovered Sims and later, point-and-click puzzle-based adventure games. Without them I would not have gamed at all. And I would have grown up into a very weird nerd. I mean have you ever heard of a nerd who loves math and science and work as an engineer but don't game at all? Egad! :D
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