I found out about the Sims 3 on this forum (back then it was The Sims 2 Community, hosted separately from MTS). I found out about Sims 1 and Sims 2 when a friend gave me his old copies of Sims Hot Date and the Sims 2 base game for Mac back in 2006. Before I actually played them, I had a vague awareness of the Sims through advertisements but I didn't understand it was a single-player simulation game. For some reason, the ads left me with the impression that it was an online, avatar-based chat system, and I wanted no part of that.
I could count on one hand the number of times I've seen ads for the Sims out in the wild (i.e. not scanned or uploaded online) over the past decade, jeeze.
I knew about Sims 3 because I was involved in forums and watched news sites for Sims 2. I know about Sims 2 because I played Sims 1 and, to a lesser extent, watched some forums and news sites. I knew about Sims 1 because I happened to randomly see it on an endcap at Circuit City one day and thought it sounded neat.
I didn't know anything about the Sims series for years except that I didn't think it would be my kind of game (I was a die-hard FPS and adventure game player), I somehow had the impression it was some 'doll's house' type of thing where you had to make the characters do what you wanted them to do (no free will) - it sounded boring.
But then I saw someone do a screenshot playthrough of the Sims 2 on a games forum I'm a member of (the 'Let's Play' forum on the 'Something Awful' website) in early 2008, and I was in stitches, it was the funniest thing I'd seen in a long time - I had no idea the game was supposed to be FUNNY, and that the characters had free will and ran amok doing silly things. So I bought the base game + Night Life and University, and the rest was history - had to get all the other expansions, and then got TS3 when that came out, and then each of its expansions, and became completely addicted!
My cousins used to play Sims 1. I never got a go at it at their's, but they'd often talk about silly things that happened in-game. I thought it sounded brilliant.
When I was 8, I was at the shops and I saw The Sims Triple Deluxe so I bought it without hesitation. I never looked back. xD
A few years later, the very same cousins had moved onto Sims 2 and I thought I ought to get that too. My friends in my old school used to swap EPs and SPs with me, so it was a lot of fun (but I never got Nightlife D.
Then I heard about TS3 as soon as it was announced and decided to get that too. I played it, liked it, but couldn't like it in the same way as The Sims 2.
And so in the end, I came back to Sims 2 again. :D
For me it started with the Playstation version(s). I remember going to a friends house and playing that and being completely enthralled. Bought it for myself and thought it was the most amazing game ever. I didn't get introduced to the PC version of Sims 2 until much later. Then the addiction got worst and I was soon hoarding birthday and Christmas money to purchase EPs and stuff packs. I was out of control!
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I first got to know The Sims at my friends place somewhere round 2002 or something, when she showed me the game. I spend many happy hours trying to learn how to take care of my sims (like after they had wet their pants, I learned to send them to shower, not hot tub... LOL). Oh, happy times! Several years later I finally got a pc that could handle TS1 (seriously, I had the worst old pc ever before that) and I got the complete collection. Played about 1 month, loved it and then I saw Sims 2 stuff somewhere where I dl'ded some cc for S1. After I tried playing S2, I was completely hooked. I heard about S3 here.
I have no idea how I first heard of the Sims. I'd been vaguely aware there was such a thing for many years, but it held no interest to me. For what I knew, it had sounded more like an electronic version of paper dolls than anything else.
I also don't know, how my daughter found out about Sims 2, but she started asking for it. At that time I already had seen adds of Sims 3 coming, so I was averse to 'wasting money on a soon to be obsolete game'. However, on time grocery shopping, we came across a special: Sims 2 Base + 1 Ep for only 19.95€. There were, I think, three combinations available, but we picked the one with Seasons.
Had I not have known of Sims 3 from some unidentified source before, there'd not been any way not to know of it by Xmas 2009. The tv commercials for World Adventures were that frequent. These days we do have nearly everything (missing two stuff packs) for Sims 3, but it hardly ever gets played. Sims 2, however, rarely has a day to rest.
I found the original sims in a game shop, read the back of it and it sounded interesting to me -- I stopped playing not long after Unleashed came out as my computer didn't like it. Fast forward a few years, I'm online and out of curiosity I look up the original sims, and find out the sims 2 had been released. I initially got base+uni+NL, and eventually I got all EPs and a couple of the SPs.
I found out about sims 3 from here, and only ventured in to buying it when I saw I could get base+WA+AMB for the price of base+one EP. I only initially installed the base game as I wasn't overly sure how I'd like it, but installed WA and AMB later.
When I was young (Six or seven) my mom used to play Sims 1. When I was considered old enough (eleven or twelve) I was allowed to play Sims 2. Back in 2010 I finally bought S3 and have been hooked ever since.
My older sis would sepend the night with us and we would play sims 1 all night . Then we did the same thing with Sims 2 when it came out so when she got an ep id get the one before that. I saw Sims 3 on comercials on tv and addicting games
-Though this be madness, yet there is method in it-
It started with Sim City 2000, and then went into Sims 1. I didn't just get one of the EP's for that, I got the whole "complete Collection" and had a ball with it.
When Sims 2 came out, I was full of self-righteous indignity and swore I'd never move on.
I lied..and got Sims 2. Now I can't go back to Sims 1, mostly because I gave my game to a friend.
But I don't regret it at all.
This time, though-I'm sticking to my guns. Sims 2 is it for me. I've got all the EP's I want/need and am happily mixing it up with those pixels. Still fascinating to play the game 3 years after I got it.
I found out about Sims 3 from Sims 2 forums. Found out about Sims 2 from Sims 1 forums. Found out about Sims 1 from a friend of mine in high school who said she played it and thought I would like it. Hooked from then on.