Back in 2002, I was not a gamer. Seriously, I wasn't. I didn't consider what I did as gaming. At the time, I was playing Diablo II with my family and a couple of friends, and enjoying learning a new form of entertainment. Anything else was not even a thought to me... I was happy with what I was doing.
But then, I saw this advertisement for The Sims Online and beta testing. Now, I had played The Sims, and The Sims 2000. And I thought, "How cool!", so I signed up. A few weeks later, I received my beta CDs in the mail and loaded the program. I was instantly mesmerized by this new world, where things were colorful and inviting! And, to top it off... I could have green hair!!! Oh this was heaven for me!
So I created my very first Sim, and named her Mags. She had green hair and wore a green dress, and had green shoes, and was green... as far as gamers go. I had no idea what I was doing! Wandering around, checking out homes, wondering what everyone was doing. In the early days, houses could have all of the items for money or skills under one roof, and not have to specialize by category. And stores? They didn't exist. We all had our catalogues and that's where we purchased our items. And this was beta, so naturally we had some fun bugs to play with! One of my favorites was the Buffet Bug. For those of you that don't remember... the buffets were bugged - literally. You could not clean them, and so they gathered flies and dropped our room scores. And you couldn't pick them up to delete them or sell them! So we had at times 6 - 8 buffet tables stacked in a closed off room at the back of the house just waiting for the bug to get fixed!
Being a beta tester, we were always aware that what we achieved would not necessarily be what we ended up with. In fact, we all knew that the chance of us losing our homes, our money, our skills, and our identities was a distinct possibility. So it was with great regret that we suffered through The Great Wipe in November 2002, just before launch. But many of us found each other again and rebuilt what we could; all the while laughing at how much fun we'd had so far.