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.: August 2006 --> What Sims teaches prepubescent girls

What Sims teaches prepubescent girls

» What Sims teaches little girls: good hygiene, household economy, and subversion. (via rw)
 [ 08.15.06 ]

1 Comment

As a nineteen-year-old who turns 20 in a few months, but is 5'3" tall, I wonder if I qualify as a 'little girl'? Well, never mind: I know of plenty of older women (and men) who play Sims, and that was my first problem with this; it stereotypes us.

As an adult, the author may not have found the game interesting, but plenty of people do - many because of the realism behind it. I also somewhat resent the implication that all Sims players play the same way; we don't. What is a doll's house for a small girl becomes a house-design tool for somebody else, or a virtual film for another. When I finally get my own neighbourhood up and running again (having just reinstalled the game after a bug which made it unplayable for me has been fixed), I should have something intensely political, with an alien (green skin and all) trying to run for Mayor while in other parts of the neighbourhood, family feuds are erupting and the resident Casanova is being hit with paternity suits left, right and centre. While simultaneously having to quit his job, because it's a day-job and I intend to turn him into a vampire... I guess he'll have to find a rich woman and kill her for her money.

The author also needed to do a little more reasearch into more basic facts. The expansion pack which she named was not 'Hot Date'; Hot Date was an expansion for The Sims 1, which never contained either mobile phones or drivable cars. She was thinking of its Sims 2 equivalent, 'Nightlife' - which also did not include mobile phones, as those came with the previous expansion, 'University'.

As for the Barbie stereotype, well... once more, it depends entirely on the player. As I believe I touched on above, I personally prefer the wilder aspects of the game; my favourite characters are my vampires, demons, aliens, zombies and Servos (intelligent androids). When the 'Pets' expansion comes out, I'll have werewolves, too. Though I seldom create a fat character, I also rarely bother to make my normal-sized characters 'fit' - if they body-build for a job (such as the Military careers), it happens more-or-less accidentally, but that's the only time I bother. I also don't stop them overeating, so they're perfectly at liberty to put those pounds on later. In the same way, my Sims tend to end up successful because the game is easy enough that it's difficult *not* to have them achieve success unless you deliberately restrict access to certain things (an example being the Email Challenge, where Sims are allowed no walls and no toilet).

To sum up: the author appears to have made two flawed assumptions. The first is that all or even most Sims players are young girls. This is untrue; there is a much higher proportion of women to men in the Sims fanfbase by comparison with other games, but plenty of men are interested. The second is that we all play rthe same way; this is somewhat ironic, as the whole joy of the Sims franchise is that nobody is constrained into one method of play.



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