Twenty Twenty: A Pop Culture Podcast

The Sims: The enduring appeal of the second life simulator

November 10, 2020

Twenty years after it first launched, The Sims is still going strong. Much more than a nostalgic relic of the noughties, the game has a thriving community of fans. In this episode, Tara, a longtime player of the game, explains it’s enduring appeal to Simran — a self-identified Sims noob.

We get into the tensions of escapism and introspection within the game and talk about the challenges of reflecting the ‘real world’ in a simulation. We’ll also ask: is The Sims “a beguiling capitalist fantasy” or can a more meaningful commentary on consumerism be found amongst the hypnotic tones of the ‘buy mode’ music? 

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Clips used in this episode: 

The Sims 1- House Fire

Sims 1: Craziest Party Ever…

The Sims 1: The Tragic Clown

The Sims 1 - All Places to "Play with" (Woohoo)

Lily Allen - Smile (Simlish)

The Sims Soundtrack: Build Mode 1

References: 

The Nod, Autumn 

Playing The Sims Is Better Meditation than Meditation, GQ

I Think About My Painting Goblin in The Sims a Lot, The Cut

My land of make believe: life after The Sims, The Guardian ,Liv Siddal

Will Wright - New Yorker profile

The Sims at 20: two decades of life, love and reorganising the kitchen, The Guardian 

Playing "The Sims"as though you were Kurt Cobain, Miguel Sicart

Inside the online communities making beautiful black Sims, Dazed

The Untold Story of 'The Sims,' Your First Favorite Jazz Record, VICE