The Sims 2 fandom is thriving on TikTok, 18 years later

For a game that turns 18 in September, The Sims 2 is surprisingly popular on TikTok. A small but passionate collection of fans made videos using the old game, drawing on nostalgia for the classic. While SimsTok primarily focuses on gameplay and tricks for the latest game in the series, older titles are cult. The #sims2 and #thesim2 tags on TikTok have nearly 200 million views, even as the game becomes increasingly difficult to play on modern consoles.

Nostalgic SimsTok is not only focused on The Sims 2: Comparisons between the four games are common, and hardcore Sims fans generally have their favorite game, the one they fight for and swear is the best. Danielle, the user behind daniellebuildsmainly done The Sims 4 videos, but On A Lark decided to post a comparison between different generations of Sims games – and was completely surprised by the fervor of the reactions.

“In my free time, I played [The Sims 2] but I would never post about it, because I didn’t know if people would care,” she said. “Because I didn’t know people grew up playing like me. So I posted a few videos, and they blew up and I was like, Oh. That’s why I kept posting them.

Danielle said she now regularly sees people coming out to defend their favorite Sims game in the comments of her videos. Others post their own TikToks defend his favourites. The division is usually based on the game they grew up playing. The first one sims released in 2000, the The Sims 2 in 2004, and the Sims 3 in 2009, there are therefore fairly clear generational markers. To Danielle, whose first Sims game was The Sims 2there’s just something about this game newbies can’t quite capture.

“The Sims [in The Sims 2] really, they are so different, but in such a good way. I feel like they have their own personality,” she explained. “With The Sims 4 you can make different sims but they all feel the same to me.

It’s a natural evolution for The Sims 2 fandom.

Image: Maxis / Electronic Arts

at Danielle’s The Sims 2 videos are often comparisons between gamesor TikToks that highlight unique specific game elements to this generation of Sims. But juxtaposing the old game with the new isn’t the only way The Sims 2 fans celebrate their interests on TikTok.

One of the biggest The Sims 2 creators on TikTok, pinokokosha, creates wordless mood videos with little to no accompanying text. Instead, they show gameplay snippets that blend into a simple one-minute story. They look a lot like experimental shorts. In a, an old couple spend time together in their idyllic home, until the old man dies and the woman sleeps alone in the empty bed. In anothera lonely vampire Sim wakes up at night to go to a restaurant and adopts a stray dog ​​he finds on the street.

Commenters describe his videos as “Sims ASMR” and “nostalgic hits”. They are soothing and hit on iconic parts of The Sims 2 gameplay that has yet to be replicated in subsequent games. In particular, they highlight minute character interactions, like couples sleeping side-by-side moving spooning in the middle of the night, toddlers sneaking out of their cribs to splash in the toilet, and the Sims awkwardly bumping their noses over a candy. kiss – all the little details that colored The Sims 2 and made it so dynamic.

Narration has always been central to The Sims fandom, but even more so with The Sims 2. The game has inspired a culture of sharing original content and fanfiction via The Sims 2 official site, independent forums and blog sites, and YouTube. Some of these stories focused on original content, but one particular feature of The Sims 2 were the prefabricated characters. Every Sims game comes with them, but The Sims 2 these have iconic status within the fandom. Their distinct personalities, as well as the fun interconnected story that Maxis weaved into the game, made them memorable for fans.

User omgzephyr frequently creates videos about the premade characters, a mix of narrative videos and funnier riffs on TikTok noises. Casanova Don Lothaire is a frequent feature of omgzephyr videos, usually as the butt of the joke, but other staples of The Sims 2it is the great cast also comes into play. Others bring a more modern internet twist to Sims 2 prefabs, creating memes using popular TikTok audios or even cosplay like them.

The tradition runs deep, as different generations of games are interconnected. It has been part of the Sims franchise since the very beginning. The Sims 2 characters often appear as predefined families in The Sims 4be like downloads or in the game themselves, passing on their legacy to new fans. Some TikTok creators, like bellagothstan (which is on hiatus at the time of writing), take Wiki-style deep dives into the intricacies of The Sims 2 traditions.

And then some try to just pick up the gaming experience The Sims 2. Rather than sharing factual comparisons or “things I miss about The Sims 2”, they recreate the experience with popular audios. the The Sims 2 is still the only game in the series to feature a special event camera, which played an in-game cutscene for great moments in Sims’ lives – including the first time a Sim “WooHoo’d” with another. The scene is comedic and pretty PG-13, but it didn’t prevent players from being mortified when their parents came in.

Using The Sims 2 making music videos was also a special feature of the fanbase. Sims fans are still making music videos using the game, but back when YouTube was full of polished creators and emo music reigned supreme, there was a certain early web seriousness for old videos. Omgzephyr even posted a video recreating the experience.

In the comments, many fans talk about their favorites and wish they could play the game as well. TikTok offers a small window into when The Sims 2 was easily accessible, with a fandom following him in real time.

It’s not that easy to play The Sims 2 in 2022

the promotional header for the sims 2, with a wide variety of sims

Image: Maxis / Electronic Arts

Unfortunately, each generation of Sims gets harder and harder to play. For one thing, it’s nearly impossible to find a legal copy of the game. EA ran a promo in 2014, where you could redeem the full Sims 2 Ultimate collection on Origin by proving that you had a physical copy of the game somewhere, but the promotion officially ended in 2018. Also, even if you somehow get a copy of the game, whether through an old disc, this EA promo, or a resell copy, the old software just doesn’t work the same. way on new computers.

Working The Sims 2 on a new computer often means downloading mods and fiddling with game settings to get rid of black boxes and glitchy graphics. Sometimes that even means going into internal files and tweaking the code. And sometimes, even that is not enough.

“However, lately my game will crash in the middle of the game,” Danielle said, after recounting the steps she took to resolve a graphical issue. “And I’m like, of course i forgot to save.”

But the mere persistence of The Sims 2 fans is not something new. When The Sims 3 came out, hardcore The Sims 2 fans are still stuck with their game on LiveJournal and Tumblr, even though the game has become harder to find and play. There may not be as many fan builders for the game as there once were, but they’re still around – converting assets into The Sims 4 for The Sims 2, post a fanartand yes, doing TikToks.

The rarity of the game also attracts a nostalgic audience who cannot play it alone. Many comments on The Sims 2Linked TikToks are full of people saying they’ve been inspired to try and play the game again. And if they can’t get their hands on the game, or can’t get it to work properly, there’s sure to be plenty in the comments who are willing to offer a helping hand.

“Please never stop doing this!” read a comment on one of pinokokoshka’s videos. “You made me play The Sims 2 again!”

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