Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Why The Sims?

When does life get so repetitive, that to get away from all of the toils and troubles the world can throw at you, the idea of managing a virtual person to do exactly the same thing becomes appealing?

It is as if your brain is trying to tell you that your imagination has commit suicide with a big hammer and rather than getting a new one, it decides to employ the metaphorical archiving guy in your brain to fill the position.

The only reason that any of this has come up is that I recently saw a trailer for The Sims 3 and that it was so strange; it seems to have been dreamt up by a gibbon that is high on methylated spirits and jelly tots. You can watch it and draw your own conclusions here.

Now, I have never made it a secret that I do not like The Sims series, nor do I really understand it.

I have enough trouble trying to wake up in the morning myself, never mind training an imaginary friend to get in to a routine so that they can get their lazy arse out of bed and not miss a bus. I should admit however that I have only ever played the first game.

There are a few fun things that my twisted peers and I managed to come up with to make the game more entertaining.

I’m fairly sure that a lot of people have done the trick of sealing the sims in a room by deleting doors, and then placing a lot of fireplaces and wooden furniture that acts as a very nice set of combustibles to doom the little beggars. There are also the odd occasions when you would delete the steps to a swimming pool so that any paddling sims would drown themselves.

One tale that a friend of mine told me about had me reeling about for quite a while, and made me actually want to play the game, just to see if such things could actually be done.

Allegedly, he made a really fat, unpleasant man who would invite the neighbourhood children around to his house. He would then give them a tour of the shed, but delete the door once the child was inside, making some kind of wrongly hilarious, pretend child prison. To top it all off, since he spent his days entrapping children, he financed building his house by making and selling jam from home.

Just the thought that it is possible to make a jam pedalling (potential) virtual paedophile was easily enough to send me into an unstoppable giggle fit, and debate whether to have my friend committed to a ‘special’ house with the other ‘special’ people.

It really is something quite extreme and, I must admit, odd, that in order to enjoy the game, I need to do it wrong. I am sure that this kind of thing is not what EA and Maxis have in mind. If the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ‘Hot Coffee’ sex mod was enough to make people edgy, how does a virtual child dungeon stack up?

Maybe one day I will venture back in to the folly of managing virtual lives that make sanding corners seem like sex and beer, but until then, I will stick with steam rolling armies of zombies.


Anonymous said...

Whilst what your friend did was pretty extreme (to say the least), a lot of people got fun from The Sims by using it for more dramatic purposes, rather than treating it like a 3D versio nof The Game of Life. Either way, The Sims 3 will sell like hotcakes regardless. It's almost futile to care.

Anthony said...

Hehe, I know. I just failed to get into it I suppose. I almost see it as an RTS but without an end game. I just said it in a REALLY round-a-bout way.