263: Multiple Roleplaying Disorder

Multiple Roleplaying Disorder

The Sims might just be the most ambitious roleplaying game ever created. If that sounds crazy to you, Troy Goodfellow will prove you wrong.

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This scared me a bit.

The Sims is really subtle when it comes to RP, but wow.

Good article.

I still don't understand the appeal of this game. My girlfriend loves it, but I cannot see the role playing joy that some people get out of it.

I guess it is like MMORPGs..some people get it, others simply don't.

I totally agree, I believe The Sims 3 is a much better role-playing game than most RPGs. In most RPGs, you customize the name, appearance and skills. But in The Sims, you not only choose all of those elements, but even the characters' personalities and goals. The genius of The Sims is that it constantly gives you many things you COULD do, but it never forces you to do any of them. This is why The Sims is so addictive: the game actually becomes whatever the player wants it to become.

Well with the Sims 2 I got exceedingly bored after an hour or two before I just got every hack to make the game easier. Quicker skill ups, quicker homework, sims only need like 4-5 hours of sleep in any bed and max comfort in bed or the shower, and so on. This is so I can actually play the game.

And the game was to recreate my friends and see how they like living with Starscream >=D

I used to love the Sims. I had the first game installed on my Pentium 1 laptop and I tried to recreate my family, while it was amusing, it was the hardest thing I've ever done in a Sims game. At first, I was a bit dissapointed that I couldn't recreate a faithful sim as close to the real thing as possible, but then it didn't matter, I just created them and voilá, I had a full house of 6 members. At first, I couldn't get the joy of playing the game, as I needed to satisfy the needs of a WHOLE FAMILY.

The stock houses were not enough to fill my family needs, then I created my own house as big and cheap as possible. Then I sold the old one and moved them all to the new house. Before I knew it, it was a complete dissaster, everyone was peeing everywhere, they were starving, they were always mad and they were always fighting with each other. I gotta admit that it was amusing.

Then the Sims 2 came and with it, a lot of great new additions to it. I tried to do the same thing, but first, I wanted to start small, then I created a young family representing only my parents. Before I knew it, they had adopted an alien baby named as me.

I don't know why, but I haven't got that spark of interest with the Sims 3, but after reading this article and remembering the bizare and fun times I had with past iterations, I may give it a second chance.

Yeah, The Sims series is the best RPG ever made.

Sims is ambitious for many reasons, but one thing just scared the living Hell outta me a few months back. As it is said in the article, the roleplaying aspect is massive in the game, and I would imagine, at first many people try to recreate themselves, or an idealized version of themselves in Sims. With the earlier Sims games, there was only so much you could do to make your Sim resemble you, but with The Sims 3, it's the wrong end of Uncanny Valley. Of course the graphics are not photo-realistic, but you can create a surrogate character that at least people can recognize "it's you". That raises lots of interesting, fun, and utterly terrifying possibilities.

Ever since the last game, I had aging turned off via cheat, I always stayed in the Adult stage. There was just so little time to accomplish anything in the game before the character got too old and died, and I wanted to explore every nook and cranny of the game with my character in it's full glory, max out all skills, jobs etc. Then a few months back, I decided to play the game as it was intended to be played, no cheats or tricks. I turned on aging and created my character as usual, who I fine-tuned to the point he looked and behaved like me as closely as the game would allow. I played like any other Sims game, got a nice house, got a job, girl, the life of my character was on track, and was getting close to reaching his lifetime goal. Then a small tip box popped up, saying that my Sim is aging and will become Old soon. Then in a blaze of stars and whatnot, my Sim turned into the last stage of Sim life, being and elder. And that terrified me to no end. Grey hair, crooked posture, trembling voice... and that's when I realized: he will never reach his lifetime goal now, there is no time.

I looked at the character, looking almost exactly like me, turning into a grey, crooked, wrinkled old man, and then something broke inside me. My own mortality, embodied by a bunch of colored pixels on a screen. That's when I realized, there is no cheat that can make me any younger. My character never reached his lifetime goal, he died trying desperately to reach it. I decided I cannot let that happen to me, I only live once...

So The Sims can do much more than just allow roleplaying, it can even carry on to the real life, and that scares the cr*p outta me...

I've been arguing that The Sims is an RPG for years now, so it's good to see an article going into the concept in-depth. I mean, what's not RPG about it? You roll a set of characters, give them traits and customize their appearance. Then you send them out in the world to face a set of challenges, and they improve various skills upon overcoming those challenges. It's just getting jobs instead of killing giant rats.

Sims would be a good RPG if any of the stuff you did actually mattered or if it was at least fun to some degree.

The Sims is a game. Like almost every other game ever(Portal excluded) not everyone enjoys them. The possibilities are almost endless. It's quite a bit more Tabula Rasa than well Tabula Rasa was.

ImprovizoR:
Sims would be a good RPG if any of the stuff you did actually mattered or if it was at least fun to some degree.

Can't argue about fun, because we all find fun in different things; saying a game isn't fun isn't very helpful to discussion.

As for whether anything actually matters, it matters because raising a family matters. Balancing bills matters. It's about stuff that matters in the way that Tetris is, only you have to manage time and not blocks. That you can make a good game out of any of this is astonishing, to be sure, but there we have it.

The Sims is the one hit game that is not about power fantasies, even if it does have a consumerist/materialist core. If the only stuff that actually matters is saving or conquering the world, then our idea of what makes a game "fun" or not is pretty narrow.

Troy Goodfellow:

ImprovizoR:
Sims would be a good RPG if any of the stuff you did actually mattered or if it was at least fun to some degree.

Can't argue about fun, because we all find fun in different things; saying a game isn't fun isn't very helpful to discussion.

As for whether anything actually matters, it matters because raising a family matters. Balancing bills matters. It's about stuff that matters in the way that Tetris is, only you have to manage time and not blocks. That you can make a good game out of any of this is astonishing, to be sure, but there we have it.

Why would anyone find it fun to do in a game the same shit they find boring and frustrating in real life?

Troy Goodfellow:
Multiple Roleplaying Disorder

The Sims might just be the most ambitious roleplaying game ever created. If that sounds crazy to you, Troy Goodfellow will prove you wrong.

Read Full Article

Hey, it's okay. Female Shepard is my canon too. I've been through two crazy space adventures with her. I tried playing ME 2 through again as Male Shepard and it felt like I was cheating. Plus all the spoken lines just sounded really weird and wrong. Kudos to the voice actors for giving such nuanced performances of the same lines that stuff comes across completely differently.

As far as the rest of the content of the article - thanks for finally opening my eyes. The Sims IS an RPG, and a pretty bold one for going where other RPGs don't go: it forces you to play all aspects of a psuedo-real person's life, including the stuff that's so boring they don't even show it in movies or on TV (going to the bathroom, making food, studying, childcare).

But therein lies the genius of the game, and what I think is the real reason it's sold so well and is still so consistently popular. The quality of a real life is determined not by the big, flashy moments, but by the little things that happen every day for years. Sure, a wedding is important - but a MARRIAGE is what counts. Sure, the birth of a child is a wonderful memory - but only because RAISING CHILDREN is a fascinating adventure.

People, and especially gamers, have been trained to think of life (real and digital) in terms of a chain of big, memorable events. But those events only have meaning because of what they represent - hours and days and weeks and months and YEARS of working to make those big events reality. That's why all kinds of people get really attached to their Sims, but not their Space Marines. Sure, we fought with the Space Marine through the big, final battle, but we didn't help him improve his grades in high school and then guide him through the trials of boot camp.

I'd love to see a Space Marine Sims game that let me do that. Then I would really care about the epic final battle I'm supposed to care about. Not because it was flashy and involved lots of spaceships, but because my beloved, hours-crafted Space Marine was involved in it and there was a chance he could die. And I simply won't value his life unless I've actually PLAYED his life.

Because if I have, that means he represents hours of MY life. He's become part of me because I've allowed myself to become part of him. And isn't that what a true, hardcore RPG is all about?

ImprovizoR:

Why would anyone find it fun to do in a game the same shit they find boring and frustrating in real life?

Who knows? They do find it fun, however. That's what's interesting. You can come up with all kinds of theoretical reasons why you think The Sims shouldn't be fun, but the fact is that it's one of the most popular and critically acclaimed game series of all time. So there's something there that's "fun."

Rowan Kaiser:

ImprovizoR:

Why would anyone find it fun to do in a game the same shit they find boring and frustrating in real life?

Who knows? They do find it fun, however. That's what's interesting. You can come up with all kinds of theoretical reasons why you think The Sims shouldn't be fun, but the fact is that it's one of the most popular and critically acclaimed game series of all time. So there's something there that's "fun."

There's always someone who doesn't get "it" and instead of leaving it at that, they have to try and convince everyone else they shouldn't get "it" either. The Sims series is intriguing, but I think EA is losing some of the magic due to lack of innovation and the demand for more money for less.

I guess I'm an anomaly, because I never created a wish-fullfilment sim. I never created myself, in fact, I think that would be downright creepy! I thought that was much better than my friends who created themselves and put them in a house with a little harem but apparently that is the norm.

I never considered The Sims much of roleplaying, more like watching people do their things. Of course, no matter how much you set the sliders there will always be a gap between how you imagine them and how they really act. That's why you're there to help them act more like you want and stop them from peeing on the carpet.

I only played the first Sims, but I think I would actually enjoy playing an entire family as it ages, as it happens in the sequels. It would be like One Hundred Years of Solitude only happier and with less incest (I hope). But I have zero time for games that suck me in like that nowadays and my computer can't run it anyway.

(Female Shepard is my canon. Sorry.)

yesssssssssss

Any and every game you breakdown can be a role play game if you pigeon hole them enough. Why are people still on about this... Even a flight sim - you are playing a pilot. It's not a huge leap.

The Sims is of course a role play game. But further more it's a gratification engine, it's like giving toys to a damaged child in court and asking all the horrid questions. It's car crash gaming for people what to escape there own fates and ask the 'what if' question and because the game is so open it says more about the players than forcing them into a role. As it doesn't force anyone. It gives them the control to say 'well if it were me. I'd do this' It's voyeurism with perks. You watch your heroes play it out. You are forced to watch their interactions as they break your rules.

My better half plays this game and has done since the first, And I'm still horrified by it more than any blood slaked traditional RPG. The cruelty that you inflict, the easy rides you can give. There are no basis for how to play it.

Thank you for introducing me to Alice and Kev. I ended up reading all the posts and a lot of the comments. It has really opened up my eyes to the struggles of the homeless. I'm definitely going to be more sympathetic the next time someone asks me for spare change.

I dun like the Sims >.> .
But the article was good (and pretty damn unnerving somehow).

And here's a question: I never tried it, but can you kill kids in the game? Because that wouuld put it in the league of games like Fallout. But because it's shiny and all cute and shit, it just gets ignored.

And I never made a male character, because they all act like stereotypical gay people. It's fucking annoying. If I want to make an asshole that looks like one, I want him to act like one and not just wave around chasinng fucking rainbows.

I played the Sims and its sequel aaaages ago, and I enjoyed it. I never had any interest in picking up 3, though. I didn't agree with its practices with regard to standard content vs. "expansions".

This article reminded me why I liked 2 (and 1) so much. Maybe I should go pick up 3 after all.

I am reading Alice and Kev now. Terrifying.

I read Alice and Kev a while back. It was sad to see it go. Such a gripping story, it was amazing to see it unfold the way it did.

I don't know that I've ever been moved in any real way by The Sims when I played it, but I certainly spent enough time playing that it had to mean something to me. At the very least, it makes for a great source of escape from reality, if only for a little while.

Thanks for a really great article.

I've always described my Sims playing as "micro-managing" gaming. One of the reasons I like it so much is because I get to personalize and manage so much of my sims' time. That's also one of the reasons I liked Dragon's Age. The amount of personalization in the dialogue choices enabled me to feel like I could really direct the character. The RPG experiences in games like Red Dead Redemption don't appeal to me as much because I feel like I am jumping though the game play hoops only to watch a movie of what is supposed to be my character interacting with people.
For me, the Sims doesn't need an epic "saving the world" element to be fun. Sometimes, just getting kids up and ready for school in the morning can be an adventure. I agree with TheBluesader. It is the time and effort that you put into them that make the big moments in life all the more special.

ImprovizoR:

Why would anyone find it fun to do in a game the same shit they find boring and frustrating in real life?

Playing The Sims isn't really like doing the same thing you find boring and frustrating in real life. It's more like, real life with a comedic twist and a magic wand to amek things go in a far more interesting direction. Most of the things that happen in The Sims hardly ever happens in my life. Yes, there's washing dishes, showering and eating. But there's so much more to the game that makes it unrealistic and fun.

Of course I can't speak for all the Sim players out there. Personally, I have been using The Sims franchise to tell stories since the early days of The Sims 2. I can design their "scenes" and "costumes," get them into the appropriate poses, then take pictures with minimal trouble. Standard gameplay is only fun for me every once in a while, but the game itself is great for making comics and videos.

This article has made me interested in playing The Sims, I'd never had any desire to before it. Mayhaps I'll give it a try sometime!

Troy Goodfellow:
(Female Shepard is my canon. Sorry.)

No one ever apologizes for calling Shepard a "he", nor did Bioware apologize for putting a white MaleShep on both the European and North American box art despite the character having no set canon. Be proud of your FemShep.

Heh ... The Sims ...

... I admit I have played 1, 2 & 3 ... but never for more than 2 hours in a hit. Usually played as myself. I must say I really enjoyed the initial stages - playing as a bachelor, trying to get some cash together, dates, nice house.

As soon as it progressed to around 70% of your life expectancy I grew bored. I just didin't give a damn anymore, and - as noted in the article - I developed a kind of 'Sim Fatigue' when I had to deal with more than one of the 'herpa derpa floobida wib wub'-gibbering stiffs, so I was never interested in the family/flat mate aspect.

For this reason, one of my all time favourite games remains Kudos 2. Nowhere near the complexity of Sims, but it's wonderful at catching a sense of the yuppie life. They made another game ... Rock Band or something? ... where you played as an aspiring garage band trying to be The Next Big Thing. Both games in dire need of a smart phone version so I can ... err ... 'check stocks' at work.

I like to burn houses in the Sims! One time I got my Sim wedged between a wall and a bed until they defecated on themselves.

With no door leading outside. In the Sims you can create almost anything in personalities, from crazy deranged but smart or crying whimpy sims.

Is the vampire dog still in this game?

Torturing Sims is almost as much fun as tortuing Halo grunts, or Mudokons.

Me, I started with the mini-me sim, but that was not really fun. It was more fun to create a life very different from my own.

I created a Vader, and Luke skywalker family in Sims 1, and tried to see what it would be like if those two were not Jedi. I don't know if I got Anakin/Vader right or wrong, but he was a whiny depressed criminal. This was before the new trilogy.

In Sims 2 I created a crackpot team of secret agents who lived out of their base of operations. Had a few love triangles going, and tried to make sure these were the best Sims whenever they competed in the neighborhood. Had a "master of disguise" that I radically changed the appearence of on a regular basis.

I also created two different single parent families, the children of which were love birds for years. Until the girl grew up, because girls mature faster than men right? She went on to have a very successful career as a Chef on TV, and I even recorded her cooking and put the videos on her TV. I was going to have her marry her high school boyfriend, but I really liked her mother's house. I had put so much work into making that house a home, it was too ideal to give up. His place was nothing special either,...

I also had a group living in a Pirate house. That was entertaining. I made sure these were some very colorful characters as well. They really livened up the neighborhood, especially bitter old Grandpa.

This was when I wasn't trying to keep up with the Strangetown neighborhood. I haven't played Sim's 3 yet, probably never will.

 

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