Monday, March 24, 2008

Confessions of a Sims Addict

A few posts down I said I had never been sucked into an MMORPG, and that is the truth. However, I said nothing about non-connected or "offline" games -- like The Sims 2. Yes, my friends, I'm telling you what most of you already know about me. I have been hooked on The Sims 2 for a couple of years now.

I often ask myself what I find so fascinating about the game. Maybe I simply have an obsessive compulsive disorder? However, I'm not convinced that game playing fits the definition of OCD despite some claims otherwise.

Maybe I like to play God? I love to control the lives of my little animated characters -- making them fall in love, out of love, fight, kiss, and "woohoo." They woohoo with their spouses, they woohoo with their neighbors, their maids, their mailmen, their college professors... anybody. Ok, maybe I play because I'm a pervert?

But without certain hacks, sim sex is comical not erotic, so you can hardly call me a pervert. Maybe I'm a closet sociologist? I like to watch sim interactions and their consequences. For example, one act of infidelity can tear apart many sim families in the neighborhood. Just like the real world, right?

Or I'm a closet geneticist? How many generations of sims do I need to breed to get rid of that ugly gene? I'm talking about those genes that often give sims the mandibles of a fruit fly and the nose of a Proboscis Monkey.

Or I'm a closet architect? Architecture is a field I was somehow discouraged from by my high school counselor. I don't regret going into Computer Science, but I think I would have done just as well building houses instead of software. I have uploaded more than 70 of my sim homes to The Sims Resource. Even if you don't play TS2, you can still check out the pictures.

Anyway, enough soul-searching for today. Here comes the new crack cocaine: The Sims 3. Some lucky game sites were able to sneak a peek. EuroGamer is one site that has already posted their Sims 3 Preview.

It's like EA has probed my mind. This game has something for the sociologist, the geneticist, the architect, and (no doubt) the pervert in me. They have enhanced the game aspects I love and eliminated the ones I hate. Sim personalities and goals will be more complex, but their basic needs (like eating and peeing) won't be a major part of game play. Also, the game will not be an online multiplayer game. From the EuroGamer article:
But while Sims players are a connected bunch, EA's research reveals that they're not too keen on playing together, so there's no online multiplayer - not even an Animal Crossing style "visit my town" mode. Humble, Bell and the rest of the team feel that this isn't what The Sims is about. Trading items, and even trading Sim characters or entire town layouts, is one thing, but the actual running Sim itself tends to be a very private experience, something that users by and large don't want to share.

That's right -- I don't share my crack cocaine.

There is no word on a minimum system requirements to run TS3. I have a feeling I will need a new computer though. So, how do I say "now accepting donations" in Simlish?

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