There is a certain panic when all your The Sims characters start to run around like ducks, scared of the impending doom of fire. Some players can react and call the fire brigade, or grab an extinguisher – yet others just panic along with their virtual gamer counterparts and well that means losing everything you spent hours to build. People have spent hours on top of hours playing The Sims, creating the perfect life with everything they ever imagined, but it is a tragic tale that led to the creation of this beloved video game.
Will Wright is the creator of The Sims, and he was inspired to create such a game when his whole life went upside down. He lost every single possession he had along with his house to a terrible fire. His house was one of the first to burn down during the Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm. And it was only his quick thinking to get completely out of there and flee the scene which saved his life. He grabbed his first wife and neighbors, and they immediately left – not trying to save anything allowed them to keep their lives. People who tried to fight the fire, unfortunately, met a terrible fate.
It was this experience that had a positive benefit, it inspired him to create one of the best selling video games in history: The Sims. Wright was already one of the world’s leading game designers, but he did not spring to fame until the release of Sim City in 1989. The process he went through in real life: that of tallying up one’s lost possessions and thinking about what he valued in life made Wright truly think about if materials held any fulfillment for him.
Does consumerism make one happy? He had always been passionate about architecture so sprang into action to combine the two with video games. A game where players would be rewarded for simulating the daily tasks of life. The Sims was born, Wright explains the game was his way of trying to reacquire a life.
A story that shows that even in great tragedy can we find some positivity and benefits.