Making My Own Family Tree

When I’m not researching my family history, I like to dabble in video games as I’ve posted about before. A recent game that was released the The Sims 3. The Sims games have been around for a few years, so most of you probably already know about them.

The Sims 3 is a strategic life simulation video game in the popular and critically acclaimed The Sims franchise, originally created by Maxis. The games in The Sims series lack any defined goals. The player creates virtual people called “Sims” and places them in houses and helps direct their moods and satisfy their desires. Players can either place their Sims in pre-constructed homes or build them themselves.

I know it doesn’t sound that fun to play, but it can be. Depending on which traits and personality you give your Sim, many crazy things can happen. Anyway, the game keeps track of the genealogy of your active family pretty well. Though, it doesn’t let you see other family’s genealogy unless you’re playing them, which I wish they would allow. I started by creating myself and my wife as Sims. It’s usually the first thing I do since it’s natural. I kept the game at normal speed, so it plays pretty quickly in terms of your Sim’s lifespan. I’m already into my 5th-generation, so my great-great-grandkids.

I took some screenshots of the genealogy, though I had to cut-and-paste some of it together since it doesn’t show you more than a few generations and once. It also changes based on your active Sim.

My Sim-Family Tree
My Sim-Family Tree

As you can see, my wife and I only had one child, Zeus (What? You don’t like his name?) It’s my fault we only had time for one child due to the way I created us and spent time learning the game. By the time he was born, we were both “Elders” in the game and couldn’t have any more children. Zeus had two twin daughters with his wife, Daisy and Violet. When it came time to choose a new active family, I went with Daisy. She went on to have two children, Alexis and Brian (named after his great-grandfather.) Currently, I am actively playing Alexis’ family and she now has three children, Odin, Ronnie, and Freya. (I seemed to have went with a Norse god theme, didn’t I?)

I’m going to try to see how far I can go and how far it will keep track. The other family in the tree (inside of the black box) are children of my character. See, I died a natural death (while I was making hot dogs for dinner, no less) and so did my wife. All of a sudden, my son gets a letter saying if he can bring the remains of a loved one to the Science Lab, they may be able to bring him back. Well, I tried it and even though it said it failed, there I was. I was a ghost, but there I was. It automatically moved me into my son’s house, but I moved that character into his own house. It turns out the game reproduces automatically to keep the city feeling more alive (no pun intended.) So, even though I “live” by myself, I somehow had two daughters. Plus, I don’t think I am going to die again. I’ve lived through like 4 more generations.

It’s interesting to say the least. I thought it was a clever tie in to genealogy when I saw that. I’ll keep you posted if any other neat things come up. You can see some other screenshots I posted over at our gaming blog, Sideshow & Syrana (though she posts much more than I do.)

I can even visit my ancestors in the cemetery. If I go at night, I may even be able to talk to their ghost. I have yet to try that in real life.

Published by Brian Zalewski

I started genealogy research about mid-1999. My grandfather had passed away in April of that year. Since then I’ve done a lot of research not only for myself, but for friends and other relatives. In 2006, I married the love of my life, Darcy, and welcomed the birth of our daughter, Aerissa Jean, in 2010 and our son, Xander Lee, in 2012. I can’t wait to tell them stories about all of their ancestors.