PlayStation Blog: Looking Back on 18 Years of The Sims

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SimGuruGrant has published a blog on PlayStation’s website, looking back on 18 years with The Sims. He highlights different aspects of our Sims, and gives us some interesting facts.

The Sims franchise turns 18 years old this month, which means it’s old enough to drive, vote, and join the military. That is a very long time for a game about getting a job, passing out in a café from sleep deprivation, catching things on fire, and getting dumped. You know, life.

I’m not going to lie: working on The Sims is bizarre. In a typical week, we may debate whether Sims have to use the restroom too frequently, the rate at which sunlight should kill a vampire, and whether tickling is something friends do. For the record, tickling was a friendly thing in The Sims 2, and not a friendly thing in The Sims 3.

I took a brief trip down memory lane to reminisce about some of the things that still make me laugh and smile after a decade of working with these little digital people.

Demonstrating Romance

The soul of The Sims is seen in its animations. Sims speak Simlish — a fake language — but they act so expressively that you know just what they’re thinking. Our animation team is truly world-class, and working with them has long been a highlight of my job.

Back on The Sims 3, I was often given the chance to act out social interactions alongside longtime co-worker and friend Nawwaf Barakat. We had to demonstrate divorce, slap fights, work promotions, planting crops, and operating complex machinery. It truly ran the gamut of life. Which includes romance.

Once, we had to act out a romantic hug. This is the kind of hug a couple is enjoying in the corner of the bar that makes everyone else think “gross.” With a smile on her face, the animator holding the camera said, “Aaaand go.” We stood there, a foot apart, staring at each other. We extended our arms slowly, stiffly, and placed them on shoulders. We then jerked to face the opposite direction and pressed our… heads against each other. You get the idea. We finished and asked how it looked. The video revealed two deeply insecure dudes “hugging,” if you can call it that, in a way no two humans ever hugged. In the end, somebody else had to shoot that reference.

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