Well, the computer is almost back to its old self. The programs are reinstalled, passwords and preferences have been entered, virus checks are in order.

There's only one thing missing.

The Sims is not installed yet. No, not the brand new Sims 3 that will be released here on Thursday. No, not its precursor Sims 2. I'm talking about The Sims, originally released in 2000. Old school.

It's a bit clunky and prone to crashing, but it's my fave computer game. I can play with the characters that I create, or I can spend hours building and decorating their houses (oh yes, hours!). And the absolute best part of The Sims is the online community that has built up around the game. I'm certainly not the only fan of the original game :)

The Sims allows custom content to be created and added to the game (furniture, clothing, landscaping, hacks, etc.). Creators of custom content share their work online so that others can use it, and thus begins a community of shared interest.

I'm a member of several online forums that share files, host challenges and provide helpful advice to players and creators, and I spend quite a bit of my online time involved with the Sims community (oh, and downloading new content for my game of course!). I've met some lovely, generous people through The Sims, which increases my enjoyment of the game even further.

But back to the game itself. I recently bought a copy of The Sims Complete Collection on eBay. It was intended as a back-up to my original disks, but I guess I'll install this complete version on the new PC rather than one expansion pack at a time. I'm a bit nervous about installing it and uploading all my custom content back in - like I said, it's prone to crashes.

So fingers crossed, wish me luck, and if all goes to plan I will be re-absorbed into the world of The Sims once more...