The Sims, the award-winning game from Will Wright and Maxis, has entered the world of social gaming with The Sims Social. "Officially" in open beta as of today, The Sims Social is a joint effort from EA Play and Playfish Games.

The Sims Social builds on the click-heavy gameplay model pioneered by games like FarmVille and Pet Society. Players earn in-game currency and experience by sprucing up their Sim’s home, starting relationships with other Sims, and sharing their accomplishments with their Facebook friends. To keep you playing, special rewards are offered for logging in on consecutive days.

After a few days picking strawberries and helping my Sim go to the bathroom, I can see the appeal. Every action, no matter how mundane, increases your wealth and experience, and the ability to show off your palatial Sim estate to your Facebook friends makes interior decoration a goal unto itself. There's also the ability to become neighbors (and eventually friends, spouses, and exes) with your Facebook friends, which could make for some awkward news feed announcements.

Oversharing on Facebook could become a problem for The Sims Social, however. In a thirty minute session, I was prompted at least a dozen times to share my miniscule achievements with the world. I declined every time, not wanting to be an imposition on my friends’ news feeds.

The Sims Social is part of a growing trend of large publishers like EA leveraging proven franchises in the social gaming space. Last year, EA launched FIFA Superstars, a soccer management game. This past July, Firaxis and 2K Games launched CivWorld, a Facebook version of Sid Meier’s popular Civilization franchise. So far, it seems to be working: the The Sims Social already has 1.45 million daily users, according to



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