Dude, where is my…?

Posted 8 years, 10 months ago at 19:34. 2 comments

I am like the sea turtle that has swum for hours and now arises to the surface to catch my breath. For about a month I have been submerged in the world of The Sims 3 and thesims3.com Of course, I have eaten, I have gone to work every week day, I’ve fed my cat, emptied her cat box and I have occasionally attended a social event, but otherwise I’ve been glued to my computer playing the game. Finally, after months of waiting for the delayed release, reading up, calculating trait combinations and finding TS2 meaningless due to the knowledge that TS3 was soon going to be released.

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Since many of the things promoted by EA tend to have more bling than real content, I enter The Sims 3 world with mixed feelings, of curiosity and skepticism. Soon I find myself being totally fascinated by the large customization options in CAS, specially the option to make fat sims. And I’m not talking about a bit healthily chubby fat option like the one in TS2, which made us regular humans look enormous. I’m talking real life, full figured, curvaceous fat sims! From going from a mainstream barbie-doll sim in TS1/TS2 this really gives you potential to create all the type of sims you can think of. It takes me a while to get past the CAS actually and I spend days trying out different trait combinations and trying to make the personalities reflect on their looks. I go ahead and do the usual things, like creating a sims-self and my husband, I’m really disappointed that I can’t regulate the length of a sim, since one of our characteristics as a couple is that he is quite tall and I’m a bit on the short side. Of course, we turn out much better and young looking than IRL, it was all idyllic and boring so I create our negative counterparts.

The community is quite active and I chip in with my quota of complaints as everybody else. To my surprise a lot of players are quite upset with the new game mode and the so called story progression feature. I secretly love these them, although I admit it was a bit strange to get adjusted to it after playing TS2 for so long. The sims community has always been known for being very creative and even though the modders and mesh-creators have disappeared (hopefully they will be back soon), the builders are thriving. As it is right now I do not even bother to look in the Exchange, unless for patterns and buildings. The landscaping is fantastic and one can really be creative with the tools together with some few cheat codes.

All is fun and dandy this far, but when I am building my first great mansion I find myself unable to decorate all the rooms in detail. I am quite the pedant in decorating and I like making each room different from the other, I admit the customization of the items help a lot here, but if you put the same items with different colors/patterns in all the rooms it is still the same items. There is not even one single vase in the whole decorations department! Further, some real classics are missing, where is the hot-tub for the spa area? Where is the piano for the music room? What about the Hula lamp? It turns out that you can buy the Hula lamp from The Store, but I’m reluctant to buying anything from The Store just yet, there is something fishy about it. It is no big secret that EA is out to make the most money as possible, the question is whether they will play dirty or fair. I get the feeling that if I spend all my simpoints now on things, they might come with a future EP that I may want to buy anyhow in the future. So I will just wait, and see. Lets see who can outsmart who on this!

Girls Play The Sims and Boys Play WoW

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago at 09:49. 1 comment

During coffee break at work the other day I was once again reminded of the hierarchies of gaming, and how you can loose status depending on the games you play. I am always happy to participate in a discussion about computer games but early enough someone makes a comment about The Sims and classifies it as a girls-game. The room is full of male programmers around their 30s and they all comment and nod, agreeing that that is the case and somehow that it makes the game less of a game. Firstly, I do not see how it would be negative for a game to be a girls-game, but somehow it fell way down to the bottom of the hierarchy established by the group, just by that comment. I go through my mind all the things that once have been classified as girly, and yes, it seems that when done so these things are seen as either lame, undesirable or something that people don’t want to be related to. Secondly, there are boys that play The Sims, anyone that has ever visited any The Sims forum or site would know that. But hey, people say all kinds of things without having a clue!

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Sitting there, holding my cup of tea, I get a feeling of déjà-vu, this is certainly not the first time I am surrounded by male computer geeks who act condescending about typically female things. You would think the universities were blind and deaf when they wonder why there are so few females that apply for the developer programs. When I went to university I bought myself an Asus G1S and brought it to class all proud and happy, I was soon surrounded by classmates, but when I had turned it on and they saw that I had chosen a pink background, the sentence was set: “You can’t have a computer like that and put a pink background on it!” “You are killing it!”

When meeting male gamers, it is quite delicate to break the ice when revealing what games you play. I found I was easily accepted into the geek family by male gamers when I said that my favorite genre was historical strategy games, apparently heavy geek material. Voicing that I played WoW  also generated a sense of understanding and acceptance among the males, but if I said that I played The Sims a chill breeze would sweep the room and they would freeze sometimes staring back at me. Some would snap out of whatever thoughts were crossing their minds, in a way realizing they could not be voiced, and explain very diplomatically that they wouldn’t know if it is a good game or not since they had never played, but sure, why not….

Back at the office, of course, being the only human of female gender in the room, the eyes of the group turn to me, some are smirking, some stare attentively and in suspense. I realize that they expect a reaction from me, some kind of defense for something so offensive? Actually, I don’t find it offensive, the same way that I don’t get mad when someone says that I run like a girl, or that I scream like a girl or that crying is girly. Because, and here is the secret, I am a girl (well a woman by now), and I am happy about it. I usually try not to drag myself into these type of conversations, but well I ask: “Do you mean that guys do not play The Sims?” The same, smart guy, that previously shared his opinion about The Sims answers that guys do not play The Sims, he explains, girls play The Sims and guys play WoW. Well, in that case, I rest my case.