Sometimes computer gamers try to stay too cutting edge. We wait eagerly for new releases and upgrade our graphics cards as often as I changed boyfriends in my preStick days, which doesn't leave much time for appreciating the classics of computer gaming.
I don't mean that I'm breaking out my King's Quest box set, but I am rediscovering the Sims.
The original Sims was almost universally loved because everyone could play a different way. I like decorating a dollhouse (made easier by all the downloadable Sim decor!), while my old roommate Andy likes to send him Sims out to amass huge fortunes. My friend Kristin used to make Sim soap operas, complete with catfights. In a dorky dating moment, Stick and I made a Sim couple. We took turns playing, and after a few hours, watched happily as the Stick-Sim became a general and the Meg-Sim painted pictures.
Sims2 takes all those different playing styles into account, and you can assign your Sims a life goal. Some of my Sims want to reach the top of a career ladder, some want to have a family, some just want to sleep around. Er, that's "WooHoo around" in SimVille.
WooHoo, of course, can lead to wee ones. Sims2 babies look like a combination of their parents, and as they grow up, they remember events. Yeah. Your Sims remember who taught them to talk, they remember their first kiss, moving to a new home, getting sick, falling in love or their first car crash. (Ok, that's not true. Only FTTW Sims remember that.) They still don't remember which bed is theirs, though, and just wander off to the first available spot when they get tired. Perhaps all Sims are born polyamorous.
The Sims Online, which I received as a herald of futuristic sim-societies to come, was frustrating because of the Barrens Chat phenomenon. I needed to upgrade my PC to play it and once I did, I found that all the other players were horny preteens. There are few things more unpleasant than cybersex between those who cannot spell "tongue".
But the Sims 2 is the most fun you can have without taking over the world.