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The Sims Online as Social Networking Game Inspiration?

10 December 2009 1 comment

I made an off-the-cuff comment a short while ago regarding both The Sims Online and the current crop of social networking games that is now making me scratch my head and say hmmm

Consider social networking games. Many of them require a lot of similar behaviors pioneered by The Sims Online, such as going to another person’s cafe (as an example) and picking up trash and chasing out dancing penguins.

I’m not describing The Sims Online in the above quote, but rather what we do now in many social networking games, by the way.

I only beta tested The Sims Online, so my experiences with the game are very limited and so what follows is based on what my friends (some of whom wound up sticking with The Sims Online once it launched) and I did during beta.

The game was very similar to The Sims, where you’d have a house that you’d buy and place stuff in. You would go around to other houses of other players and socialize and use objects to help your avatar gain in skill and earn money. This is an extremely basic overview of the game and how it related to player interactivity.

Now consider the many social networking games such as the ‘Ville and ‘City games out on the social networking sites. You have your own area of the game in which you build and do stuff. Then you visit friends, where you can go an aid them in limited means. Doing so well earn you cash and some experience points. Granted, in these types of social networking games you are limited in what you can do (usually limited to just pressing an “okay” button), but the fundamentals are there.

Is it fair to say that The Sims Online inspired some of the design choices of some of the most popular social networking games out there today? I don’t know, but there is a very strong similarity in design.