VOTE NOW: The Laser Orgy 500 - the Phoenix's quest to crown the greatest video game of all time.
The Sims and World of Warcraft both came out in the early aughts, the former in 2000 and the latter in 2004. The franchises are two of the most popular franchises of all time, alongside Myst, believe it or not -- but unlike Myst, these two games have had years of expansion packs and upgrades. The two titles are empires of the computer games industry. Both have immersive, addictive worlds, but they don't have much else in common.
The Sims reminds me of playing with a dollhouse, except it necessitates much more creativity and imagination since you're playing with an entire city of dollhouses. Plus, you get to construct and design most of the set-pieces and characters yourself. The game's often stereotyped as a "girl game," but I've met many a dude who admits to being addicted to The Sims. It's difficult to get hurt or die in The Sims, so it's theoretically appropriate for all ages (and perhaps this is part of why it's considered "girly" -- it's not violent enough). However, I know plenty of gamers who enjoy finding creepy ways to torture their Sims characters. Finding ways to get around The Sims' G-rated gameplay is one of the "fun" parts ... if you're into that sort of thing, I mean.
World of Warcraft also has an immersive world that hooks gamers, but unlike The Sims, WoW doesn't claim to be a "life simulation" game ... unless your life includes orcs and elves. WoW is a massive multiplayer online game, making it less lonely than The Sims, and perhaps even more of a time suck since real people are expecting you to log on and help them fight and earn loot. WoW also has perfected addictive gaming using RPG elements: leveling systems, earning money to buy cool items, crafting your own tools, putting together a sweet set of armor, and so on. It's all cleverly designed to get players addicted, since after all, the longer you game, the stronger you get. Games from all genres have borrowed from this paradigm to try to keep gamers playing longer, but none have done nearly so well as WoW.
At this point in time, all other MMOs cower under WoW's massive shadow. Meanwhile, no other life simulation game has really challenged The Sims' reign, either. But, which game is better? Decide for yourself in the Laser Orgy 500!
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