Thursday, June 22, 2006

If my Sim is working, am I?

The Sim games have always been centered upon moving up the career ladder, but you never used to see them actually working. They would disappear on their way to work, and their skills and mood would largely determine whether or not they got promotions. At last, there is an expansion pack in which the actual quality of the Sims' work is what determines their level of success. It is called Open For Business and it lets you start small businesses of various types.

I have a serious problem with this game, though. In what sense is a game about work not, itself, work? You worry about restocking items, sell to customers, and ring them up at the cash register. Does the fact that I'm actually at a computer make it somehow not work? Sorry, but virtual work is work.

If that's true, one wonders if any other virtual acts become the acts themselves. A number of things stand out in the Sim games where the player is clearly not doing the act by virtue of the Sim doing it: having sex, eating, dying, and sleeping, for instance. Being born is another example. These are physical, though. Is there anything other than work that you can be doing in reality by doing it virtually? Listening to music and watching TV are the only other examples I can think of.

3 Comments:

Blogger XWL said...

If that's true, one wonders if any other virtual acts become the acts themselves

Gambling, and Warfare spring to mind.

Gambling, many folks play poker online exclusively and make and lose money just like they would in a face to face game.

Warfare, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are essentially controlled as if they were a video game. Soldiers who found the original control scheme needlessly complex replaced it on their own with a PS2 style controller, and has since been adopted the standard interface.

Kids growing up flying virtual crafts blowing up virtual targets have now had the chance to fly real aircraft, remotely, and blow up real bad guys.

As far as Sims style games, they definitely aren't everyone's cup of tea.

12:57 AM  
Blogger tiggeril said...

I gave up on Sim games the moment I realized that my sims were just as socially inept as me.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

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6:49 PM  

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