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The Sims

2 weeks ago

Feature: Our grim task comes to an end

Motherlode: a pocket full of gravestones in Simento Mori part 3

When half the town was gone, an interloper appeared in an empty house. His name was Whitely and I still don't know where he came from -- he just arrived. Perhaps he saw an advert in the local paper for a house sitting vacant: "Previous tenant spontaneously combusted. Ready for immediate move-in. No questions asked." He needed to be dealt with. This is the final…

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3 months ago

Feature: The sequel to death, it's Simento Mori 2

Motherlode: combustion and singing in Simento Mori part 2

While playing through this second instalment of Simento Mori, an exploration into the limits and meaning of death in The Sims, I nearly swallowed a fly. I had casually taken a sip of my drink, only to feel the sensation of some foreign object (decidedly solid) making contact with the inside of my teeth. I had to extract its carcass from my mouth with my…

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Feature: Simento Mori: Remember, You Will Sim

Motherlode: playing The Sims to death in Simento Mori

Six months ago, The Sims inspired an existential crisis. I say this with no particular gravitas, but to say it: The Sims is an undeniably powerful force. You can read about that existential crisis here, but suffice it to say that I have both a deep admiration for, and significant vendetta against, Maxis property The Sims. Perhaps sensing this rage/respect combo for The Sims, I’ve…

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10 months ago

Feature: A wee existential spiral about The Sims

The Sims is the most haunted game in the world

A year ago or so, I re-downloaded The Sims. My partner and I wanted a low-effort game to play together, and I introduced them to the life-changing videogame craze: “Make yourself in The Sims and live the life you’ve always wanted!!!” We made ourselves, built a beautiful little home, and adopted a cat. I became a professional writer or something, and they went into the…

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2 years ago

Feature: Sims, Petz, Journals and Dreams

90s CD-ROM games still have a lot to teach us

Videogames were a presence throughout my childhood, thanks to my dad having a PC for work. When he didn’t need to use it, I was allowed to tinker and explore. The games built into the computer like Solitaire, SkiFree and Fuji Golf, as well as the CD-ROM games we got from stores like Office Max and Borders, quickly became second nature to me. Now, looking…

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Feature: Big talk

The games chasing EVE’s vision of a single shard MMO

The planet is full of aimless people. Dozens of non-descript robots silently going to and fro, with no discernable purpose or meaning. Yes, I’m at Gamescom, the annual gaming conference in Germany, but I’m not talking about the visitors on the show floor. I’m talking about the on-screen player bots of Dual Universe [official site], a sci-fi survival MMO making big promises about player numbers…

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3 years ago

Feature: You are what you wear

The importance of cultural fashion in games

Virginia never imagined she'd be telling a Black woman it was okay to wear Black clothes. As an African with lighter skin, Virginia had feared accusations of cultural appropriation when she first started making traditional African outfits for The Sims 4. Though she had spent the first 12 years of her life in West Africa, her mixed-race origins marked her as an outsider, and she…

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4 years ago

Feature: In my defence...

ASA Rulings: Robot Dogs, Sugar Puffs And Time Team

The Advertising Standards Agency publishes rulings every Wednesday on everything from psychic hotlines to videogames. I'm incredibly fond of their rulings. I think it's mostly because of the language the companies use to defend themselves, breaking videogame concepts down and presenting them in what's intended to be a neutral manner. The upheld complaints are generally less entertaining for obvious reasons – the concerns have been,…

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Feature:

Have You Played… The Sims?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. Later Sims games were probably better games, in terms of how they fleshed out the fantasy (and accidentally gave it more than the intended degree of consumerism critique subtext with all those expansion packs and DLC), but Will Wright's original people simulator remains…

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5 years ago

Labour Days And Tales Of Terror: The Sims 4 Patched

The Sims 4 [official site] has received a major patch and, true to form, the notes that accompany it are a delightful mix of the comic and the Weird. It's easy to imagine a Thomas Ligotti or Robert Aickman spinning some of the confusion within the code into individual tales of domestic horror. There are no garbled telephonic hauntings to match the unnerving dimensions of…

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Feature: Another mouth to feed

Surviving With The Sims

Note - this was originally published a month ago as part of the RPS Supporter program, hence the reference to our now-finished Survival Week. It's Survival Week here at RPS, so I decided that I'd write about my earliest experiences with The Sims, a survival game like no other. Left to their own devices, Sims are just about smart enough to struggle through life but…

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Feature: From The Archive

What I Write About When I Write About Games

Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun's 141-year history to pull out one of the best moments from the archive. This week, Adam explores his own gaming history to understand why he plays and why he writes. This is my first week back from a holiday, during which time I barely looked at an internet, let alone wrote on one. I didn't play…

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Feature: SimBitty

The Sims 4 review

Hurible badda flabber? Wibble durble booby. Fasherk! Yes, you don't need to speak Simlish to know The Sims 4 is now out and ready to let you spend your precious life ensuring little computer people have far sexier and more successful ones. Only now you can't drown them in your pool. Does the rest have what it takes to compensate for that shocking omission? Here's…

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6 years ago

Matters Of The Heart: The Sims 4

The on-stage presentation for The Sims 4 at E3 was a sinister piece of work. Forget your survival horror games and your gore-tastic third-person monster-choppers, this is the most disturbing video shown at the entire event. It begins with simple marketing buzz-speak - "In previous games you controlled the mind and body of your Sims. In the Sims 4, for the first time, you control…

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The House Always Wins: The Sims 4

I like The Sims. Quite what that says about me I don't know but there it is. Actually, I can be more specific - I like the idea of The Sims far more than I like what the series has become. The third game seemed to be going in the right direction, simulating the lives of neighbours, workmates and friends, but without extensive modding those…

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7 years ago

Feature: Escaping the shackles of simulacra

What I Write About When I Write About Games

This is my first week back from a holiday, during which time I barely looked at an internet, let alone wrote on one. I didn't play any games either, unless you consider freezing to death on a remote Welsh hillside to be some sort of game. As is often the case, not doing something for five minutes has made me think about why I do…

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Feature: Ville Or Villeany?

EA Suing Zynga Over The Ville, To “Take A Stand”

Update: The memo we saw is now publicly posted here. EA have announced tonight they're planning to sue Zynga, over the similarities between the recently released The Ville, and Maxis' The Sims Social. It's not the first time that Zynga has released a game that looks astonishingly similar to another company's game, but it's the first time they've met an opponent big enough to fight…

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8 years ago

Feature: From The RPS Archives

ErotiSim: Sex & The Sims

More from the archives, this time a 2007 piece on the dark eroticism inherent in The Sims, penned by the sorely-missed RPS co-founder and giant of words Kieron Gillen. It was the phone calls that made me certain. The Sims was going to cross over, one way or another. I worked in a cramped games magazine office for just shy of five years. There were…

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