This game simulates the lives of people in a suburban household, a microcosm of SimCity. The player is in charge of characters called Sims and must respond to their physical needs, emotions, and desires. The personalities in the game interact based on an advanced artificial-intelligence program, and the player intervenes to keep them moving toward a desired objective, whether it is to have a larger house and more possessions, to maintain a happy family, or to create interpersonal conflict and wreak havoc on the neighborhood. The player essentially controls the Sims, but each Sim has inherent needs that control its responses to the player’s interventions. As in SimCity, moreover, there is no universal goal to achieve or prize to attain—just different possible outcomes based on the player’s creativity. The Sims was first developed as a building game, like SimCity but based on the environment of a suburban home instead of an entire city. Controlling the behavior of the family members, however, was more engaging, and they were given a central role.
Gallery label from Applied Design, March 2, 2013–January 31, 2014.