World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...

2009/05/22

Is The Sims Really a Girl Thing?

I’ve always got a list of the latest games that I want to get, and this year, among all the action games, and FPSs, there’s one name that doesn’t quite fit with the overall theme- The Sims 3.

I played the original Sims back in 2000, and for hours I was lost in that game, as my friend and I would compete with each other to see who could build the biggest and best house on an unlimited budget.

In the end, I deleted his house and claimed myself the winner.

In fact, he was just as fanatical over the Sims if not more. He had a friend who collected all of the expansion packs, and he would “borrow” them and play them all in one big super-Sims game.

The Sims 2 was just as good if not better, and better looking to boot. The animation was far better than the original, and I found that the themes of the furniture and other stuff was more varied and grouped to suit the architectural personality. I liked building castles with stone walls and creating moats and walls. Overall, I enjoyed it more than the original.

Then, I met a guy who had a cupboard filled with all of the Sims games, gathering dust on the top shelf. I got excited as I hadn’t played most of the expansions for the original (and still haven’t), until I asked the question, “Do you play them at all?”

“Nah, they’re my sister’s. That’s kind of a girl thing.” He responded.

True, there were times while I was playing, and as I selected different shades of blue for the walls, and got a smile on my face as I saw the Sims interact positively with each other, that I thought, “Have I gone too far?”

It’s funny how we still have these gender roles and such, and stereotypes, even today. You’ve got the aggressive, assertive male (ooh, scary), and the caring, nurturing female. What about the loathsome metrosexual, everybody? The one who is only one facial or mud bath away from batting for the other side? Wasn’t that supposed to be the end, the tearing down of these walls that have stood for so long that dictate what is masculine and what is feminine? It’s just like the old saying, “What boys can do, girls can do better”. Well, I think in this day in age of gender equity, “What girls can do, guys can do just as good” is appropriate.

Some argue that it’s all down to how we see and play the game. Some people have a god complex, and like to have the lives of people in their hands, for better or worse. Then some are control freaks who like people to do things just so, or not at all. There are the tyrants, who like to cause mayhem and destruction, and the architects and engineers who rebuild after the dust has settled. Others like to escape into another world for a few hours to escape their real lives, and look on it as virtual wish fulfillment.

It’s all really down to an individual play style. Some like to load a game, while sobbing silently, if the oven catches fire and the house burns down, while others laugh maniacally while shouting “Burn you little trolls, burn!”

Now, The Sims 3 is nearly ready for release, set for June.

Recently I read an interview conducted by SACM with Mike McCabe, the Regional Head of Publishing for Electronic Arts Mobile. Right at the end, the last question asked was, “What titles can we look forward to in the near future?”

“The most exciting game coming out in the beginning of June will be The Sims 3. It’s appealing to a very broad demographic, as it’s skewed to a more casual, more female audience.”

But look at what’s happened recently. The Sims 3 has been leaked onto the net just weeks before its scheduled release, and is available on all number of sites like Rapidshare and other torrent portals.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t piracy more of a guy thing?
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