Social simulation game
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Social simulation games are a subgenre of life simulation game that explore social interactions between multiple artificial lives. The most famous example from this genre is The Sims series of games.
Influences and origins
When The Sims was released in 2000, it had been called "almost the only game of its kind". But there are several important precursors to The Sims and the social simulation genre. Firstly, the game's creator Will Wright acknowledges the influence of Little Computer People, a Commodore 64 game from 1985. The games are similar, although The Sims is described as a richer gameplay experience. Secondly, Will Wright acknowledged the influence of dollhouses on The Sims, a comparison that has since been repeated. This has informed the gameplay of this emerging genre.
Animal Crossing was released in 2001 for the Nintendo 64 in Japan. While released towards the end of the life cycle of the Nintendo 64, it developed a following that led to it being ported to the Nintendo Gamecube and released throughout the world. As the game's popularity has surged, this series has also been described as social simulation games. Harvest Moon, a series that began in 1996 and is often compared to Animal Crossing, has also been described as social simulation games. Its social simulation elements are derived from dating sims, a subgenre that dates back to the early 1980s, with games such as Tenshitachi no gogo in 1985 and Girl's Garden in 1984.
Since the success of these games in the early 2000s, game reviewers have begun to refer to similar games as belonging to a social simulation game genre.
Several other social simulation games have emerged to capitalize on the success of The Sims. This includes several sequels and expansion packs, as well as games like Singles: Flirt Up Your Life with heavy similarities.
- Alter Ego
- Animal Crossing series
- Harvest Moon
- Jones in the Fast Lane
- Little Computer People
- Miami Nights: Singles in the City
- New York Nights: Success in the City
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
- Singles: Flirt Up Your Life
- Tokimeki Memorial
- The Sims series
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- Astro Ranch: iPhone Gets Its Harvest Moon, Wired.com
- Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon Review, GameSpot
- Tenshitachi no Gogo at MobyGames
- Tenshi-Tachi no Gogo, GameSpot
- AtariAge at CGE2010, Atari Age
- Butts, Steve. "Review: Singles - Flirt up your life". Retrieved 2008-03-20.