Posts Tagged ‘The Sims’

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 worried people might see her creations as inauthentic. That only made the response she received to one of her West-African wedding dresses all the more surprising.

‘I’m African-American, I’m Black, but I don’t feel strong ties to Africa,’ read the email. ‘Would it be cultural appropriation if my Sim wears it?’ Read the rest of this entry »

ASA Rulings: Robot Dogs, Sugar Puffs And Time Team

Yes, a GIANT ROBOT DOG.

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, in some sense, valid. But the *not upheld* complaints often have an air of the ridiculous about them. Through the formal structure of the rulings you get a sense of raised eyebrows or rolled eyes, of overblown sincerity. I’ve also learned some unexpected things, like how many sugar puffs are in a portion…

Here are some of my favourites from the last few years:

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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 unsurpassed, I think. It has this detached, sciency atmosphere, far more interested in people as behaviours than people as people – like an experiment which coalesced into entertainment.
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Labour Days And Tales Of Terror: The Sims 4 Patched

weird tales of domestic horror

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 Your Tiny Hand is Frozen – none that have been discovered and purged, at least – but upon reading the entries below can anyone doubt that the suburbs that house our Sims have been infected with some uncanny disorder of the nerves?

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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 they’re not quite intelligent enough to live. They need to be coaxed into improving their lot, and influenced by the click and the cursor. Without either clicks or cursors, I first encountered The Sims when I was struggling to build my own place in the world. Let’s take a trip down the memory cul-de-sac.

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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 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 it in the first place. Why, of all the wonderful and fascinating things that exist, do I spend so much time thinking and writing about games?

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Belittle Computer People: Smile

Smile is a morose game. It’s The Sims stripped back until you can see the white of its skull, a few beads of blood spoiling the perfection of bone like the piss-burned holes in a field of fresh snow. Your little computer person has needs, just as a Sim or an actual human does, and the entire purpose of life is to ensure that those needs are fulfilled. In Smile, this means that every day is a struggle to survive, as cooking a meal takes valuable time that could have been used playing a game, which would have been fine if you’d been able to have a shower at the same time. Smile is free (donations accepted through itch.io) and was created during the Ruin Jam.

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