Video games can bring people together like no other form of entertainment. Meet a Dutch couple who fell in love through their shared passion for The Sims.
Rosana: Hello! I'm Rosana, sometimes known as Rosie. I run a bilingual fansite called SNW (which is short for SimsNetwork and its Dutch sister site SimsNetwerk). I mostly create and share my own custom content for Sims games. I also write articles and sometimes record videos.
Wouter: Hi I’m Wouter, a 32 year old Dutch guy. I used to be known as ‘Cheetah’ in The Sims community, when I still ran The Sims Zone. This was one of the major Sims fansites at the time, with a strong focus on the latest news and reviews.
How long have you been playing The Sims?
Wouter: I remember reading a preview about The Sims before the game came out, and I was immediately interested. I rediscovered it again within a month or two after the release.
Rosana: I've been playing The Sims since 2000, when the first Sims game came out. The game itself was really interesting, but what really got me into it was creating custom content! Besides playing with my Sims and building houses for them, I started making new outfits, walls, floors and furniture for the game. I haven’t stopped doing that since!
How long have you been dating?
Rosana: We went to the E3 expo in 2006 together to split costs, and because it's more fun that way. After E3 and our week in LA we got back home and we became a couple on the 19th of May. We commemorated that day by getting married on May 19th, exactly 11 years after we first started dating!
Wouter: 11 years already - time flies! We were still students back then. Now we have two children, a house, and jobs. Things have changed a lot, but we still love each other as much as in the beginning.
How did you first meet?
Wouter: The first time we met in real life was when a producer of The Sims 2 Nightlife, Tim LeTourneau, visited the Netherlands to show the expansion pack to several fansites. Rosana was already in the room when I entered. I still vividly remember her sitting in the corner, right in front of the screen. Later that night, when we went disco bowling with the entire group, I tried to start a chat… and failed horribly.
Rosana: I was really shy… I didn’t know what to say. But I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I often replay it inside my head.
Was it love at first sight?
Wouter: I’d say it was, even though we didn’t find out that the feeling was mutual until a year later, when we attended E3 in LA.
Rosana: Wouter immediately piqued my interest. I was shy though, and unavailable at the time. But I couldn't get him out of my head. At every Sims or gaming event we went to, we'd find each other and talk. I'm not sure if love at first sight even exists, but I am convinced he's my soul mate.
Do you have any other Sims fans in your family?
Rosana: Our eldest son Seth is an avid Sims player! The youngest, Quinn, is especially interested in toddlers in The Sims 4. His reaction to toddlers was so cute and funny to see. Another fun fact is that my mother has been playing The Sims for years as well. During The Sims era she didn’t understand why I’d spend hours in my room, until I installed the game on her PC. She’s been addicted ever since. So you can definitely say we’re a Sims family!
How else does The Sims play a role in your life?
Rosana: I designed the baby announcement cards for both of our sons myself, and the designs were inspired by the game!
Wouter: Our house is entirely decorated in Sims goodies! Well, not entirely maybe, but there is a lot of stuff that we gathered or even created over the years. And you can regularly hear The Sims music play from one of our Spotify playlists.
How did you propose?
Wouter: It was exactly 9 years after the last time we visited EA’s HQ together, so there was a bit of a hook there.
Rosana: Wouter proposed, and he definitely went down on one knee and all that. I don’t like getting too much attention in public. Luckily he proposed right here at home, which is something my own Sims do too, so I guess it is in an original Sims fashion!
How did your communities react when you announced the upcoming wedding?
Rosana: Everyone was excited and happy about it. My fellow Simming friends have been really supportive and excited for us!
Wouter: Lots of our friends definitely share their excitement with us. Some of them even helped out with all the wedding arrangements.
Get a first-hand look Rosana and Wouter’s Sims wedding in Part II.
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