The Daily Ping

There were rumors of a Ping book, but those were started on the internet.

February 14th, 2000

The Sims

Please help me. I’m a Sims addict.

I’ve owned this game for about, ah, five days or so now and I’m hooked. It’s an incredible piece of technology (and art, at that). It’s SimPerson, really. You make a person, and then that person lives his or her life – under your control, to a degree. Initially you have to do things like find him or her a job, make him or her eat, and so on. But as time progresses, you’ll want your Sim to do better. He’ll need to work out, read, and play chess to be better. As he gets better, he gets a better chance at a work promotion.

You don’t have to choose one particular work path for the Sim, either. There are ten different fields to choose from, from reputable (doctor) to, uh, questionable (criminal). You’ll have to deal with things like burglars and fires and acts of God. You have to pay bills, and take out the trash.

The driving thrust of the game, however, is human interaction. Your Sim is in a neighborhood and, as thus, isn’t isolated by a long shot. Your Sim can associate with neighbors via the phone. Invite them over and talk; see if they get along. Not everyone will be happy. My Sim Jimbo, for instance, was initially designed as a heterosexual male with a neat streak. He’s not overly outgoing, but he is nice and has a good job as a cop. Turns out that he’s homosexual and really has no friends outside of his lover!

It’s interesting how the game handles sexuality, too. First, there is no nudity in the game (even when Sims use the bathroom – it’s pixelated). Sex itself is actually just kissing. Babies pop out of nowhere, recalling the old Bill Cosby routine about Polaroid babies. (Don’t worry! You can’t have a baby via the first kiss.) But there aren’t major differences between the way heterosexual and homosexual relationships are handled. The key change is that in order to have a child, a homosexual couple must adopt. But it’s allowed. (I really think Maxis is to be applauded on this.)

The game is wonderfully open-ended. You can create your own skin for a Sim, along with his or her own head. You can download new houses and objects for them to use. It’s quite remarkable.

No game is perfect. There is no religion in the game, although this might be intentional. There are no weekends, but you can miss a day of work if you like. (Miss two in a row, and you’re fired.) Kids never grow up – they don’t become adults, although babies do become kids. And all Sims are ageless. But they can die.

Overall, The Sims is even more engrossing than SimCity. It’s probably the most unique "game" I’ve ever seen in my life. -pm

Posted in Technology

What is this then?

The Daily Ping is the web's finest compendium of toilet information and Oreo™® research. Too much? Okay, okay, it's a daily opinion column written by two friends. Did we mention we've been doing this for over ten years? Tell me more!

Most Popular Pings