Best-selling PC game The Sims turns 10

the sims turns 10 -- happy birthdayWhen The Sims launched in 2000, the life simulation game showed everyone that something as mundane as getting a video game character into the bathroom and then to work on time could be as entertaining as pulling off double headshots in a fast-paced first-person shooter.

If you've never played The Sims -- it's like a digital dollhouse, where players create families and move them into a home and watch over their daily lives. If you don't feed your Sims, they will die. If you don't clean their homes, they get cranky. If they don't get to work on time, they will eventually be fired. In the end it all boils down to managing your Sims' time so they stay as happy as possible.

The game series debuted on February 4, '00, and has been followed with The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, and a large list of expansions and spin-offs. The Sims has also consistently topped the PC gaming charts as the best-selling game, bringing in $2.5 billion in revenue and attracting gamers of all stripes -- male, female, kids, adults and non-gamers.

It's also important to point out just how much The Sims is -- clearly -- an inspiration for many popular Facebook/social games, such as Pet Society (now owned by EA), YoVille, PetVille and others. These games generally have a similar premise, custom create a character, name it, then make sure it's clean, well-fed and entertained in order to level up and earn more cash. There are small differences, but The Sims influence is unmistakable.

As for social networking, The Sims has started to incorporate certain elements, but hasn't necessarily innovated on that front -- yet. Players can upload videos game to You Tube from the game, and there's a dedicated Twitter as well as Facebook/MySpace fan pages that keep players abreast the latest updates. Especially with the company's recent purchase of Playfish, it seems like only a matter of time until a Sims game arrives on Facebook or the existing Sims game has a much tighter integration with various social networks.

In the meantime, the crew wishes The Sims (and the Sims creators) a happy anniversary -- here's to 10 more.
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