I first found The Sims through a friend. I had heard about it and was interested, but never actually went out and got it. When I mentioned it in passing, she offered the loan of her son’s copy. He had bored quickly and the disc was just sitting and gathering dust.
The Sims are like tattoos, I think: it’s either one-and-done or give-me-all-the-things.
I fall into the latter in both categories.
But like tattoos, my desire for more wasn’t always feasible. I had to stop playing the original because my computer couldn’t keep up. I kept going back as much as I could (which was too much, at times — more than once I uninstalled everything because it was eating too much of my time), but eventually I just stopped. When Sims 2 came out, I thought about going back, but there was still the computer issue, not to mention the time and cost. I just let it go, and when the urge came on I’d just go find something else to play with.
Cut to April 2011, a very bored night when I absolutely had to be awake for a while. There was nothing to do, so I went window shopping (monitor shopping? ) at Amazon. I don’t remember how I got to video games; I might have been looking for a new game for the little guy. At any rate I stumbled across Sims 3, realizing not only did I now have an adequate computer, but also that I could buy it right that second and download it. I didn’t have to wait to go to a store to buy a damn disc, I could be installing it in less than a minute.
I jumped on the impulse quickly, before I could talk myself out of it.
Here I am, not quite two years later. My computer and I have managed to keep up with all the expansions so far (although my graphics card hates me like poison). I’ve found the same things hold true as my last go around.
While I love creating Sims and the whole playing with dolls aspect, what always, always draws me in is the ability to design and decorate living spaces. There’s only so many things you can make the pixel people do, and it just gets boring after a while. But designing rooms? That never gets old because the possibilities that come with custom content are endless.
And I’m actually learning about interior design as I “play.” I’m learning furniture placements, how to mix styles, how to dress basic areas. If I ever do go to school for ID I’ll have a leg up, as well as a good way to showcase my ideas.
There is one other aspect/possibility of The Sims, one I’ll be looking into more as my little guy gets older:
Can The Sims be used to teach adult daily living skills?
I think it’s a good possibility. I don’t know if J will need help in that area, but if he does, this might be a way to model behaviors. Just like real life, a Sim needs food and bathroom breaks, they need to clean themselves and their houses.
Ahh, I just went Googling – yes, there are many autistic people who say it helped them figure things out. They cited what I suspected – that seeing the hygiene bar go from green to red helped reinforce the need for routine bathing, that the moodlets for dirty room helped make the connection between mood and surroundings.
It’s amazing what one can learn from a game, isn’t it?