Simulations are either horribly bad or really technical. I happen to play the inbetween mostly because they're not always horribly bad but they tend to have some downfalls due to verging on technical or being technical. Not to say that there's anything wrong with that but it's safe enough to say that simulations are one of my top favorite types of games to play. I'm just such a nerd for them because i've played them in some form over the period of my childhood. I don't know if it is a good or bad thing but perhaps I should just get into why I love simulations.
Now how I got to love simulations isn't exactly because I play it just to play it. I play simulations because I want to understand the experience, if partially, because it allows me to feel or understand how people do the sort of things that most people don't think about everyday. Simulations allow me to experience the life of a pilot like in Microsoft Flight Simulator or deliver goods in simulations like Trainz where I load and unload consists for delivery, or 18 Wheels of Steel whereas i'm a trucker and my job is to deliver goods while traveling across the country. These games all offer unique experiences and each one gives you a perspective of how the lives of people are as they deal with many challenges.
I grew up playing many simulation-ish games. My starting point would definitely have to begin with my Nintendo 64 days when I played quite a few different games that got me closer to the genre as a whole. I remember how when I was younger my mother would go out and leave me at a house of a neighbor who had a son who owned a console. I forgot exactly what console but i'm thinking it was probably a Dreamcast or something. I'd always play this racing game and I loved playing it even if I sucked hardcore because I was just enjoying the experience and trying to learn the best way to play it.
This game was played quite alot. I just love cars blowing up.
As I aged and started to really play games on my Nintendo 64 since I owned one and played it quite alot. I played a racing game quite similar to what I stated on that console but it wasn't the same and I can't bring up the name, Demolition Derby 64 which made me want to experience even more, San Francisco: Rush even if it was arcad-y and a dirt racing game that really made me eventually give in to playing the Dirt series of games in my future. These weren't all the games I owned for my N64 but it was the few games that got me to slowly verge into simulations.
The first RCT in the series and the first one I have ever played. If only Atari didn't suck so much these days.
My mom still had me left off at peoples houses till I got much older and I actually got into Rollercoaster Tycoon once I got much much older but still not adult age old because I was still quite a few years away from it and independence in a majority of my life. RCT was probably one of the simulations or close to sims that I played alongside Airport Tycoon and The Sims. These games made me love to think about certain aspects of the gameplay and how to conquer challenges. Airport Tycoon had me dealing with placement of runways and terminals, RCT had me think of ride layouts and what was profitable, and The Sims allowed me to live a life aside from my current life. Each offering a different perspective on something else.
When I got around 12-13 is when things really started to pick up for my interest in simulations when I got my first version of Trainz. I can't remember what version but it was laggy on the crappy computer we had(I had joined the PC master race without even knowing it) and 18 Wheels of Steel. Both of these games had me playing some different role even if I could barely play Trainz. 18: WoS offered me to the ability to drive tractor trailers and experience the hard life of a trucker who has to deal with traffic, weigh stations, and deadlines. A game which i'll say pushed me so far into the genre that it has been hard getting out of it.
18 Wheels of Steel or the game that I had a problem where I couldn't stop playing. I had a MAJOR problem. I was hooked.
Nowadays at my current age, I still play simulations alongside actual other genres like shooters, platformers, and other stuff. I really can't name every genre I play but there is quite a list. Simulations being one of the top played along with a few others. I probably won't ever grow out of this genre but delve more into it to experience what it has to offer and gain knowledge in an area where i'm a fan of but not interested in as a lifestyle. It's a hobby like my gaming habits and nothing more.
There's a little bit of my life and as to why I feel that simulations rock. I've grown up playing games that have offered different experiences and the simulation genre is just one of the few that I still play today. I really wish that the genre wasn't so niche in terms of popularity but then again that might just mean I want hipsters to join the foray. Anyway, that's enough from this guy. I hope you have some good memories with the genre as I did.