76,107,352 visitors since 2 February 2002 

Sim Brother Series 4, Special Article
Tonight with Trevor McDonald - The Sim Brother Phenomenon

Welcome to this special edition of "Tonight with Trevor McDonald"

Three years ago almost to the day, "The Sims Zone" (TSZ) announced to the public who they had voted as the winner of their long-running simreality TV series "Sim Brother" to be Anna Kournikova. However, what is "Sim Brother" and why has it become a cult pastime in the sims community?

The Sims meet Big Brother
"The Sims" with its seven expansions is the best selling computer game of all time. Boosted by a massive online community with almost unlimited creations to allow your virtual reality to be whatever you choose it to be, it was not long before this game emulated reality by creating their own versions of a very popular gameshow.

"Big Brother" is a gameshow where a minimum of ten people are put inside a custom-made house, watched 24 hours of the day and gradually voted out, either by their fellow housemates or by the general public until finally only one remains to be that country's winner for that year of "Big Brother". It was not long before fansites for "The Sims" came up with their own copies of the show. Some sites used normal sims whereas some were adventurous and chose to use celebrities.

"Sim Brother" is the name used by most websites for the fusion of "Big Brother" with "The Sims". Some of them have used celebrities and others have chosen to use "unknown" sims in their shows. Some have allowed the public to vote in the same manner as the European series, and others have followed the American method where the head of house nominates and the housemates choose who is to be evicted.

Sim Brother at The Sims Zone
The European-based website "The Sims Zone" may not have been the first community fansite to have run a series of "Sim Brother" or to use the name. Andy, who has so far written three series of "Sim Brother" for TSZ, said that he first found the name "Sim Brother" on a German fansite but chose to do things a bit differently when he was working on his prototype series in 2001.

"I wanted housemates that members of the general public could identify with so I picked celebrities. It was actually while I was working through my second test house that Channel 4 (a UK television station) chose to do their first series of Celebrity Big Brother. They must have read my mind or tapped into my computer", he joked.

Following the first series, TSZ have since run two more series of Sim Brother. Nicole Kidman won the second series and Ruud van Nistelruuij won the third series in 2003.

Andy explains why he felt Sim Brother at TSZ was popular and what to expect.

"I feel that our three series at TSZ have done well because we have tried to be different and pushed the limits of the game as far as we can.

"A lot of custom content was used in each series from diary room carpet to the skins of the housemates and these were created inhouse.

"All of our created content was made available for download for viewers' personal offline use but not for them to use in their own series without our written permission. I encourage everyone who wishes to do their own series to start from scratch like we did.

"After our third series, I took a break from running Sim Brother as I felt the formula was becoming old. I needed something else to inspire me ... and now I've found it and with preparation, Sim Brother is ready to return to TSZ."

"I feel that TS2 has a lot more to offer than TS1. There are new dimensions and I don't just mean the incredible 3D graphics."

A New Dimension
For several years, Maxis had been working on a sequel for "The Sims" and this was given the imaginative name of "The Sims 2". In the Spring of 2004, Maxis released "The Bodyshop" as a download which added a lot of new ideas onto the old successful formula. Once again, the online community immediately got down to work on creating new mods for the game and with the Bodyshop program, creating new skins.

And that is where I became involved.

Sim Trevor McDonald
When Andy from TSZ asked me to introduce their site's review of Bodyshop I was surprised, privileged and rather bemused about my sim-likeness.

I did not know from this that I would be asked to be in Simdemol's series "Sim Brother - The Next Generation" and my likeness formed again.
SBTNG is one of the first series of "Sim Brother" on the internet to apply the familiar "Sim Brother" formula to "The Sims 2". Although I was not in the house very long, I enjoyed my experience in there. The series is still running and is due to finish in late May.

From there, I returned here to The Sims Zone to find what they have in store for us over the next 7 weeks.

Sim Brother 4
Today, The Sims Zone are officially announcing that they will be running their fourth series of "Sim Brother" which will begin on Friday, April 8th, and will run for 50 days, intending to finish on May 27th, which is the night that the UK TV station "Channel 4" begins their sixth series of "Big Brother". I don't think Andy wanted to be working on SB4 while BBUK6 was on.

As well as seeing the neighborhood view of the house from the opening titles, Andy and ChEeTaH, who is the producer of Sim Brother at TSZ, have invited us to have a look around the new house with them while they were tweaking it.

Who will live in a house like this?
"I chose to build the house in an oriental design as unless there is a Sim Brother Japan that I have not heard of, I don't think it has been done before. For a change, I also chose to put a two-seater couch in the diary room. Some housemates might like to lounge in it when talking to Sim Brother or Sim Brother might want to see two housemates at the same time."

"This is the gateway, through which the housemates will be entering in under two days. It will not open again until someone leaves either through their own choice or through eviction. The U-shaped pool should prove to be popular with the housemates, especially considering the warm weather in Regras Gorge. I must call in the pool guy before Friday to make sure it is clean."

"We hope you've enjoyed this brief look at the house and if you want to see more of it and find which eight famous or infamous people are entering, you'll have to come back on Friday."

Not only but also
Around the internet, a lot of different websites are running, have run or intend to run their own series of Sim Brother.
Sim Brother - The Next Generation has been running at Simdemol for 20 days and with another 7 weeks to go, it has a lot of good camera work and clever twists.
Sim Big Brother 2 has been running since January and has three episodes which are available in Diary Form from "The Sims" official site.
Big Brother Sims Style has begun tonight and will run for 10 days.
Sim Brother: The Experiment is scheduled to launch on April 16th and will run for twelve days. The house is already built and the housemates are being auditioned.
Huckool Productions are looking for eight real-life people to become housemates in their forthcoming series and looks quite impressive.
Sim Media since 2003, has run three series with normal contestants, one series with celebrity contestants and one series with Teen housemates that used "The Sims 2". Another series is anticipated.

And finally ...
Will Wright will be back on Friday at TSZ to introduce and present the new series of Sim Brother. Tune in at midnight BST to see who the new blood in the house are.

Until then, goodnight.


Sim Brother Series 4 Index