They always seemed a lot of work to me, these so-called “god games.” You have to build a world with resources and inhabitants, and then you have to encourage economies and smite naughtiness, all while reliant on your peoples’ love and adoration to keep alive. There are an awful lot of “have tos” in god games.

True, not all are exactly as described above, and some are more strategy than anything else, but still, people are depending on you! They need food and shelter and clothing and medicine and law enforcement and …

Maybe I just take it all a little too seriously.

While most people were putting their Sims in small rooms with no doors and no toilets, I was trying diligently to make my uncomfortable male and female roommates fall in love between their busy work and neighborhood social lives. (I succeeded, by the way.) You see, because they shared a home with only one bedroom, they were rather … uncomfortable when bedtime rolled around, what with the bed sharing and all. I figured they would be better off, were they, you know, in love. I thought that was the point, to better their lives.

Sure, it could be really interesting, perhaps even downright satisfying, to send a hurricane at that stupid settlement on the coast that’s lording it over all the other settlements trying to ship goods. And I guess if one Sim is really just a ne’er-do-well, maybe he does deserve a little time in the closet with no doors.

Maybe that is the point, to put a little bit of that high power into our hands to see what we’ll do with it, to make us consider complex geo-/sociopolitical situations. We may do silly things occasionally, but at least we think about the difficult situations we find in the game. Anything that causes us to stop and think broadly about the situations in which we find ourselves, or see others facing in the real world seems pretty OK by me, even if it is work. Likewise, we hope you’ll stop and think broadly about god games as you enjoy this week’s issue of The Escapist, all about god games.


Julianne Greer

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