Little bit of a disclaimer here; I speak for myself. I am not advertising for any products, I am sharing insight for an interest I personally find extremely fascinating and may be beneficial. The Sims is the property of Electronic Arts and the image is free to share. All rights are rightfully reserved.
The hit computer game series, The Sims.
What is The Sims?
Why did the games become huge hits?
What are a few things can we learn from The Sims?
The Sims is a franchise developed by MAXIS and produced by Electronic Arts (commonly known as EA) in which the player can take full control on the characters in the game. You can make them go to places, you can make them eat, you can make them dance, cook, sing, swim, sleep, play games, show off, play a musical instrument, become a gardener, become a detective, and just about anything else you can think of that the game provides. Not only does the games encourage the player to make these characters and make them do whatever they want, but they encourage the player to build houses for the characters to live in and build other buildings for the Sims to interact in. Think of it like a digital dollhouse with dolls you can play with; After all, I do think of toys oftentimes when I think of video and computer games. The Sims to me is like a parody of real life. Many things in the games are uniquely real but with a fun exaggerated spin on everything; Because it's a game, can't be taken seriously, all for fun. But it can be fun to take it seriously in some areas, take it from me, I like to laugh at myself for it. "NO! Those two can't break up!"
What I would like to talk about most of all about The Sims, is the social interaction part of the game. This unique revolutionary feature has been around since the first Sims game back in the year 2000, but I would like to talk about the feature used in the fourth main installment; To me, it feels very organized this way. Here is how this feature works.
Let's do a little pretending. You are the player. The Sim you have made represents you. There is another Sim in the area. Perhaps you want your Sim to go up and meet that Sim.
Click on the other Sim and you will be introduced with three categories.
Which would you pick?
Next, this part is really cool! After you introduce yourself, click on the Sim again, and you will be introduced with six features. After you click on the “More Choices” button to be specific.
Cool part about these is if you’re very visual, all except for Actions have a little symbol on them. Basically, what the Actions button does is to join a group or to travel with.
Now which would you choose to interact with this new person? Let’s say… we want to say something friendly to the guy or girl. Click on the friendly button.
Now, you get to choose the different topics you want your Sim to say to the other Sim. These options vary whenever you click on them. Here are some examples of these options when you click on friendly.
If you go to the Funny topic, here are some examples on what are available.
All of these options for each of the five main social categories. A wide variety of topics to choose from. When interacting with another Sim, choose carefully. Some Sims don’t enjoy gross jokes.
Now, when they talk to each other, you will soon learn that they do not speak English, actually, they don’t really speak any language; Instead, a made up scripted gibberish language called Simlish. What could they be saying to each other? You decide. What could they even be singing about? You decide. Seriously, they sing in Simlish and to me, it's so much fun to listen! May not understand what they could be saying to each other, but you would know what they’re talking about based on the categories that have been chosen.
I can go on and on about these social topics to choose from, but I would like to share another key important feature in The Sims 4 that I think would be very helpful in understanding social situations much more clearly.
In the fourth installment, there is a feature on the bottom left hand corner that displays an emotion for your selected Sim. Emotions can change depending on what the Sim is doing and based on what is going on. Here is a video I would like to share to explain more about this concept.
Forgot to tell you, The Sims have always been a Teen rated game. So no kids under thirteen. I know I sound like such a “rules guy” but I always respect the ratings for movies and video games; That’s just me. Worth the wait I think, but occasionally it’s fun playing the Everyone rated titles too.
What this video didn’t share which I think became such a cool feature is showing WHY they’re feeling this way. You can see this feature right below the Sims on the bottom left-hand corner.
I took the time to play the game just to find a good example for this. These messages are from the game.
My Sim is feeling Very Happy!
Wasn’t playing as myself, I was playing as a Sim I made based off of a character from a video game.
When I saw those features, I honestly was blown away! I wished the fourth game came a lot sooner so when I turned thirteen I would understand these different social skills through this computer game. But, The Sims isn’t just for teenagers, I’ve seen a lot of young adults play The Sims for fun. At this age, I’m having fun learning about these different social skills and emotions based on whatever is going on.
That, and making the characters, I enjoy doing that. Starting a little gallery so everyone can see it. Under the name TylerMcNamer in the EA Origin account. So if you enjoy The Sims as much as I do, feel free to find me; and speaking of creating characters, I have one more feature I would like to discuss. Character traits.
Everyone of us have a little something that makes us unique; This game showcases those unique qualities that make us who we are. When creating a new Sim, you will be introduced to an aspiration and three character traits. The traits are categorized in four different topics.
There are a lot to choose from in these four topics, but for now, I will share three of each.
There are no wrong picks for these traits. What we can learn about these traits is that not only do they have some kind of effect on the game, but to me, it helps get a little bit of a visual on what people can be. In real life, there are a lot of traits people can have, with the game giving the Sim three traits, I think it’s a good idea to keep it simple and not too complicated.
Then finally, just wanted to share this in case you're curious, the aspiration. Everyone’s got an aspiration; may take some time to find it, but it’s there. Three examples of aspirations are:
These aspirations can also have an effect on the Sim in social situations as well as how the game is being played.
The Sims 4 can be played in many different ways, one of the ways is that to me, this computer game can be used as a tool in understanding social situations; Understand how people would feel when things happen.
You will know when the Sims soon start to become friends by looking at the green friendship bar. The more that bar is filled, the closer they become as friends. In addition, if the player wants to, there will become a pink romance bar; The more THAT bar is filled, the more these two are in love! If you want to get that bar started, time to play cupid.
These things don’t happen automatically (I mean, they can with artificial intelligence, but I think it’s fun handling things manually), it all starts with interaction with one another. More time spent with others, the more the bars fill up.
Everyone can enjoy the game in different ways. I see it as a very useful tool in how to be social. Understanding the many concepts of social situations; know what emotions are when something happens and why they feel this way.
So if you enjoy computer games as much as I do, feel free to check out The Sims 4. Parents and teachers, feel free to take the computer game a look and discover its features in the social interaction part of the game. It helped me in a lot of areas, and maybe it can help you too, when the player takes the time to learn on certain areas. Of course, The Sims 4 is all pretend and it’s a game full of fantasy, but there is nothing so fictitious in social interaction. Think of The Sims like a simulation of what can happen in certain situations; We can all learn some things and be inspired.
Happy learning and have fun!