Today, February 4, 2012, marks the twelfth anniversary of the initial release of The Sims and the birth of The Sims series. Originally imagined by Will Wright in the late 1990s as a virtual dollhouse and an architectural program, the original game, its 2 main sequels, 20 expansion packs (with the 21st, The Sims 3: Showtime, due to release next month), and millions of players have made a tremendous impact on modern video gaming, and has made The Sims an icon of modern popular culture.

The Sims series has come a long way, from its humble, isometric-perspective and 'ten lots to a neighborhood' beginning, to the full 3D, beautiful graphics and full seamless neighborhoods of today. Along the way, the game has made some new additions, including interactive pets, magic, Sim-owned businesses, weather, apartments, interactive careers, and big-city living. We've seen its first, less than successful, steps towards online gaming as well as more recent attempts to promote interaction between the players, taking what started as a very single-player game and making it ever more connected. Along the way, players have created thousands of downloadable objects and thousands of game modifications, have created many successful fan sites for players to share their stories, creations, and (hopefully not too often) their technical problems and frustrations, and they even created a pretty awesome wiki all about The Sims, which you're reading right now (congratulations)! (Incidentally, The Sims Wiki celebrates its 7th birthday in just two days, on February 6th 2012!).

The Sims 3rd Gen Logo
Who knows where the series is going from here? Who knows if we'll ever get weather into The Sims 3, or if we'll see so many of our favorite old families make a comeback (I'm personally hoping that Showtime brings back the Mashuga family... but not really)? Who knows what The Sims 4 will hold, or if The Sims 4 will still be a single-player game at all? But wherever the series goes from here, we'll still have a series of great games and 12 years' worth of awesome memories.

Happy Birthday, The Sims!

Leave a comment below about your favorite Sims- related memories!