Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Sims 3...

Okay, so I'm breaking the geek seal right at the start, and admitting that, yes, I play The Sims. I've played this ridiculously addictive and admittedly dorky game since the first version came out long ago. And I love it. So there.

So, why do I love the newest iteration, The Sims 3? Well, for one, I can actually play it on my laptop, which has less to do with the game and more to do with the fact that I finally have a decent laptop. Aside from that, they've gotten rid of those heinous, slooooooooooooow loading screens that used to make playing the Sims a great thing to do while trying to get boring reading for school done, as most of the time playing the game actually involved waiting for the game to load. But no more! Now the whole game loads at once, and then it's seamless game play. Good dorky times.

This new version also goes to the next level as far as being able to create really life-like sims, with very interesting personalities. You can pick up to 5 traits for your sims to have, and the unique combinations result in them doing alot of wacky things of their own accord that make the game much more an experience in voyeurism this time around than ever before. Very entertaining. The sim I modeled after myself, for example, is a "mooch, light sleeper, friendly, flirty couch potato" and when left to her own devices, all she will do is watch TV. So true to life! But with a little prodding (i.e. telling her to stop watching TV) she's turned into an avid gardener! (Okay, so that's sooooo not realistic, as all I can seem to grow are weeds, but I do wish I had a green thumb, so...close enough. Hmm, and I should probably explain the "mooch" trait. I picked it b/c I really do enjoy getting stuff for free, I mean, who doesn't? So I thought that trait would represent that part of me...instead, it means that my sim likes to steal food from people's refrigerators. *sigh*)

Anyway, Sims 3 is also really cool because there's "The Exchange" on the sims website, where you can download characters and houses that other people have created and plop them into your game and let them carry on with their little sim lives and interact with your sims and lots of funny stuff happens! This is possible because of another new feature in this version of the game called "Story Progression" which means that while I'm playing as my simulated self, gardening away, other characters in the neighborhood are falling in love, having kids, breaking up, moving out, and sometimes even pining after my sim! I just so happen to get a lot of calls from the sim I modeled after the hubby and plopped into a bachelor pad in the neighborhood :o).

But I digress. The coolest thing I've found so far, and the thing that actually tipped the scales and forced me to buy the game (wink, wink) is an experiment a girl named Robin is doing about homelessness using the Sims game. How cool is that? She created two characters named Alice and Kev, plopped them in a dilapidated "park", took away all of their money, and pressed play, and has been watching how they survive in the game without a home. It sounds a little lame, but believe me when I tell you, it is fascinating. Admittedly, I'm very interested in how people behave and interact, which is why I think this game is so much fun to me in the first place, but I think the idea of using a game to "watch what happens" (Bravo, anyone?) to people in really shitty circumstances is awesome. Plus, you can download the characters Robin created and have them wandering around in your own game, which I of course did. Sometimes I invite Alice over for dinner, and she ends up falling asleep on a lawn chair in the backyard before I can invite her to stay the night and sleep in a bed. :( If you want to check out the experiment and the story of Alice and Kev, click here.

Well, there you have it. I'm a big dork. :o)

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