The Sims Experiment.

Games have always been a crucial aspect of any child growing up, for some mainly the older crowd this was board games, and cards jump rope in the summer and skating in the winter. Now with the advances in technology we’ve made for ourselves playing games isn’t as simple as it once was there are virtual worlds ready to immerse you into something completely new. Games like “The Sims” and “Neopets” are readily played by many users across the globe. For kids today the main source of entertainment would be these types of virtual communities. Form playing The Sims, it was not long before it would be running on my computer at all times, living and making my own virtual world. It was easily a very addictive game.

If you want to make your own world, your own life, and destiny, The Sims is definitely the game to play. This virtual world you create can be mashed and shifted exactly how you please. Jobs and events are endless and you can play for hours and not get bored, choosing to play this game was not too difficult, knowing that it had made millions throughout different platforms, (PS2, PC, etc.) clearly it had to be good. The Sims 3, claims to be a “life simulation” game and that is precisely what it is. You make your own sim, move into a house and live your life – that’s it. From the outside it does not seem overtly exciting, yet the deeper you play into this game the more addictive it becomes. The options seem endless what can be done in this virtual world, and it truly is endless, with the success of these games, many expansion packs can be bought to further immerse yourself into a fake world of your creation.

Making a Sim, was always a long process. Before playing a new game you had the option to customize a personal character to either look like yourself – or anyone. Almost any option was possible to form your Sim; sometimes that was half the fun in itself was creating a person to exact specifications of the user. This, personally is so wonderful to see. In many types of virtual or character based games, there is a set standard of how your character can look or what can be worn or even in extreme cases lack of female characters – but the choices here are endless, especially with each expansion pack your tend to receive more customization options. Making your own live never seemed so easy; because of how simple the process is, anyone can easily lose themselves in playing this game.

But that’s exactly the problem, time is lost very easily playing. Hours can sneak by without realizing just how much of a day has been wasted on a game. For children, this can be somewhat of a risk; video games and virtual worlds have become such an important part of a child’s fun, they can easily get sucked in playing for hours on end. By the time a new sim has been made, and a house, there goes an hour, playing around trying to build up skills for a job promotion – another hour. It almost seems silly to try to “read a book” multiple times in the game to up one’s skill level – yet not read a book in real life to up one’s own skill level. The concept of time leaves you as you continually play this game. Night being the worst, what used to be “just a few more pages” is now “just a few more minutes of play”.

Even though the base play of the game seems harmless, there is some “T” rated content, that could easily be overlooked by parents. Many children, will ask for a game, and most times the parents will comply in buying in not quite realizing what is actually included in the game. There are by far worse games than the Sims for sure, yet there can be mild cartoon violence and sexual content that children might not need to see. As much love as this virtual game gets, it is still rated “T” which means that its directed at a teen audience. Yet there are still younger children playing and thoroughly spending many hours clicking and directing their personal Sim. This is a matter that cannot be helped – as it is up to the individual or parent whether or not they deem this game appropriate.

Regardless of the slight violence and sexual content, being able to make your own world to get lost into isn’t that terrible of a concept. Some children and teens need this, even adults can find a brain numbing game to be helpful every now and again. Being able to make your own world, live and create everything how you want is actually a good idea, having a bad day the sims can easily make you drift from reality for a short period of time and enjoy the little world you’ve created. It can be easily understood why it is one of the most popular and best-selling games in the past few years. The options are endless and that’s why people keep coming back to play, it never gets old and there can always be something new to try to enjoy.

Losing the concept of time can happen in almost any game, or activity. Yet the only main problem with this franchise is the amount to purchase each game. The base game is needed to play, and from their expansions are also offered, yet the only problem is the price can add up. The base game is fun – yet after a while, people are bound to want to play and explore other options, and in-game neighbourhoods. To do so you must have the required expansions. This can easily add up after a while not to mention the in-game purchases, with can easily tempt a committed player. Also if the PC version is being used can take up quite a bit of space, slowing down the computer as a whole if it is not strong enough. Like any game there is always going to be someone thinking it is terrible and a waste of time, yet the sims is not that terrible. It’s a virtual world – so really it’s exactly as you make it and exactly how you want it.

The addictiveness of these games is startling to say the least, hours upon hours can go by and not a single word would be said between myself and others in the room. The game was on and my own little world was playing. This life simulation game is not something that will be easily deleted off a computer. The different platforms that the game can be played on are also endless. Iphone applications and Facebook games are also included in this mass world of gaming. So not only was the computer being use to play, the game was also bought for phone playing time as well. Once the game was so easily converted into an application along with the ever so popular computer game, spare time was never going to be the same. People easily get addicted to these types of games and the companies know that, by creating a multi-platform option, it widens the possibly of someone downloading and playing their games – then buying another to play on a different type of system.

The fact remains, this game is highly addicting, and its easily seen why it’s so addicting. The multi-platform use and the concept keeps so many people interested in playing, also the content is always growing. By being so involved with the game it really can draw in any type of crowd, by not just making them consumers in this, but also prosumers. The Sims is a vastly growing game, and highly regarded in the gaming industry. With its simple to use concept and wide variety of options it’s easy to see how it’s gotten to be at the top of the list in gaming.

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