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11/20/2002

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tim

Although I can't speak from experience (and for as long as I'm on dialup, I will probably never speak from experience on this), but Pearce's comments sound pretty correct.

As for me, I think that to play Sims Online would seem like a bit of an uphill battle. In the original game, the quest for a big house, fancy furniture and happy sims kept me playing for weeks, but to come up against other people attempting to do the same thing - well, I don't really think that my control-freak mind would be able to handle that.

Who needs a broader social context in which to drive poor sims insane and subsequently to their deaths. If I want to leave my sim stranded on a fenced-off island in the middle of a swimming pool surrounded by happy guests, I'll do that. I don't want other people walking in and looking though. They might think I'm weird... :P

Kaji

Maybe it is just because I am an anti-social misanthrope, but I have trouble understanding why The Sims is the least bit entertaining. Unlike Ultima Online/Everquest/etc., The Sims doesn't really take you to another world, just one where you can buy a virtual big screen television. I will admit that I cannot buy a big screen television in my world, but that's beside the point. “I could send my sim out to go swimming, or I could go swimming myself.” The game has all the troublesome micro-management of the real world with nothing but a bigger couch to show for it.
The online version just looks as though it will be the same thing with the addition of online idiosyncrasies. A person using his sim-avatar to socialize with other peoples' sim-avatars while everybody is trying to ignore the fact that none of this is real just doesn't register with my definition of what could possibly be fun. It seems like a large arena for people to meet people without actually having to meet people under the rules of actual society. This is what leads to events like mentioned above. I'm not defending Everquest or Ultima Online or any of the many facsimiles, but at least there, personal incarnations have the opportunity to advance in ability and do things that are only possible in a virtual, fantasy world. While The Sims Online raises some interesting philosophical questions about the direction that gaming is traveling in, I have yet to come across a good argument as to why it's quality entertainment.
Life can already be mundane enough. I can't see any good reason to duplicate it into a full scale online experience. “But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.”

Bowler

I for one never got into Sims, simply because the first things I saw people doing was making dinner, washing dishes, and taking out the trash.

I thought to myself "jeez, I don't even like to do those things in real life. Why would I want my in-game avatar of myself to have a better life than the real me? I could be actually washing dishes right now, instead I'm having the virtual me virtually wash virtual dishes."

It didn't make a lot of sense to me.

But Sims Online has the potential to become the first real cyberspace. I'm probably giving out way more credit than is actually due EA (considering the last three Sims expansion packs have completely destroyed and broken the game for some people), but if they could somehow incorporate real mall stores in a virtual setting, and allowed you to incorporate your real life credit card in transactions, you could "try on" clothes at the Gap with your avatar, and then complete a credit transaction and have those clothes mailed to you in real life. You have the opportunity to make shopping on the web a more robust experience, but I doubt that they're going to do something like that.

pepitopea

habbo hotel when it was still in its beta stages a few years ago was incredibly fun and extremely instructive in terms of pushing the boundaries of digital social relations and challenging the limits of what could be accomplished and pulled off in what was in fact only meant to be an online avatar chat.

sims online looks really dull. sorta like AOL did when compared to pirate BBSes.

habbo sucks now too.

pepito pea

randomlife

I've only delved slightly into The Sims, but what I found interesting was investigating the game's AI. What makes Mr. Sim decide to stop watching TV? Why does Mrs. Sim feel the urge to take that particular path to the bathroom? What happens when I move the bedroom door to the back of the house?

I always wanted to be able to set up a few conditions, careers, furnish the house, befriend a few neigbors and then let it go for a few days. However, it would inevitably result in Mr. and Mrs. Sim neglecting their jobs and peeing on the carpets. Cool, but I always wished they had a little more autonomy.

But if all the characters in Sims Online are being controlled by real life people, I don't see the fun anymore. It's just creepy if Mr. Sim pees on the carpet because a human told him to.

maiku

I never became a Sims addict. The attraction for me was to play for a few hours and then reflect on life and all of its choices...

Balance: The whole idea of balancing work, play time, and social interaction, for example. Unless you're a fan of sleep deprevation, it's hard to have it all.

Consumerism: Sure, you can buy the big screen TV and the VR goggles, but you can also get by with books, a radio, and a lot of conversation.

Relationships: It takes effort! With a little work, the people you don't initially hit it off with can end up being your closest friends.

Pretty deep for a 10-20 variable model!

Liz

Has anyone seen the cover of Newsweek?

Kaji

Oh dear God! That Newsweek article was disturbing. “Barthelet, who envisions having players buy and sell real estate, clothing and more within the game.” Whatever happened to that age when video games were fun, not work?

antares

"whatever happened to that age when video games were fun, not work?"
I think if you're neurotic enough, games have always been a combination of the two. I spent at least 40 minutes last night playing through the same fight in chrono cross, all because my attempts to steal from a boss kept failing.

Bowler

"whatever happened to that age when video games were fun, not work?"

The more complex games are, the harder they are to get through. As soon as playing a game feels less like fun and more like work, I consult the hint guide, or just stop playing it altogether.

A good example of this is Tomb Raider I and II vs. Tomb Raider III. TR1 and 2 didn't require a walkthrough for me. TR3 somehow completely changed the balance of living and dying, so I needed a hint guide to get through it. Ultimately, the game became so utterly frustrating that I sold it and the worthless walkthrough just a week after I had bought them.

But I wouldn't call fighting the same boss over and over in Chrono Cross or playing through Metal Gear Solid three times just so you can get all of the bonus goods "work" if you're trying to accomplish a personal mission. It's a labor of love.

Kaji

I think you may have misinterpreted my definitions of work and fun. I find the challenges of games like Crono Cross and Metal Gear Solid to be lots of fun. The thing I was pointing out was the retail nature of what the guy said about the future of The Sims: Online. Selling real-estate and clothing isn't a game. It's a job. I've already seen the economy based game play of Everquest and Ultima Online, and I can't understand the appeal of this virtual marketplace stuff. If anyone reading this has spent considerable time buying and selling items in a mmorpg, please say where the fun lies.

kyo

"whatever happened to that age when video games were fun, not work?"

Um... If he's talking about FPS like AvP2, or Quake... yeah sure. Maybe there is not much work involved there 'coz you find the weapons in the game... and you have fun from fragging people to pieces.

I agree video games require both. I spent five hours playing PSO Ep 1 and 2 yesterday, repeating the Mines area over and over so I can upgrade most of my teches to level 25+. It is fun to see my force becoming stronger everytime her level goes up. True, PSO can be repeatitive, but there's this part where you can take your characters to online, and online version tends to be harder to go through than offline.

And I play video games to get away from real life. If I wanted to see a person taking out trash, making dinner, or kids getting into an argument, all I need is take a step out from my room and it is all there. Sims does not seem too appealing to me...

Bowler

Kaji, to be honest, you didn't leave me much room to interperet anything. :)

And to be fair, going into a virtual mall to buy real or fake clothes in a virtual retail outlet isn't work, at least for some of us.

If you don't understand the economics models put in games, that's cool. It's not meant as a put-down. But for those of us who can appreciate the idea of having to use a budget in a game, it's not work in the slightest. It's part of the game.

It goes beyond the concept of just Everquest and UO. Even games like Command and Conquer and Warcraft are focused on economics. It could even be argued that economics and budgeting are at the core of the design of their gameplay. You can't win if you just waste your money and resources away, or if you don't bother going out and harvesting said resources.

And similar financing is what's at the core of Sims. Get a job. Buy stuff. Stuff = happy. I'm not saying I like and you don't get it, because I don't like it myself. I'm just saying don't categorize all financing games as work, because some of them are kinda fun.

alex kidd

seems like just a matter of time before they come up with some patch to discourage these types of sims online sexual abuse. maybe something like the warning system aim uses.

TentacleGuy

I personally play the Sims-Online. I must say it is fun...but in a very different way than one would expect. Basically, you know the annoyances of a chat room? Well, you are dealing with the nuts, the loners, the screwballs, and then you add the fact that you are trying your butt off to build a house with virtually(no pun intended) no money. I like it just cause I have no REAL life to fall back on, but for the average person, it isn't worth it.


Chris

SnappleModel

I have a beta test for the sims online and it does in fact seem like a online dating service. You can't go into a house without the typical ASL? and random sims trying to kiss you. People are constantly running around trying to find someone to play out there "fantasy" with other sims. It's rather disturbing. I played for 3 days and then got so frustrated with the fact that its hard to make enough money to build a decent house I gave up. At least in The Sims you can use cheat codes to get some cash.

*shrugs*

Mattdawg

Ha, Fun in Work ? Ever heard love your job and you'll always be happy. Im an EQ junky and have been playing The Sims Online for 2 days now, and have already seen the fun, its not the game its the people, as in all Multigames. This game however, UNLIKE any other Multi-player Games is one of the ONLY I have ever seen that has pretty much NO NPCs (other than Ice Cream Man) and is the ONLY game where grouping together gets you more skill and money, VS EQ where you try to HOARD a camp with as few peps are required. Yes, we laugh for hours at the irony of playing a computer game with people playing computers (hmm) Anywayz, the game is AUTO CAD on CRACK in Realtime, with a little bit of AIM in it:) Even if you want to berate it, it is the worlds BEST VR SIM in a sense, that you can meet other real people and get a feel for their tastes, and if you are even SLIGHTLY interested in Society and Human Trates, this game is neat. Blaaah .. give it a shot you get a month to try it, its fun. Havent played EQ in days, but Im sure Star Wars Galaxies will be released to soon, so we will see. Later

mini me

u suck

kimbadee

I have been playing TSO for several days now, and am loving it. I never found it the least bit of work to earn money, because unlike a number of online games I have played TSO encourages togetherness in the quest for money. Actually, it can also be really fun to watch some of the oddballs (I'm probably one of them) in group setting! So far, I am addicted; and yes, I do have a real life, a great life! TSO just makes the online gaming aspect of my life a lil' more interesting! :)

Leanna

Being a Sims fan since Day One, I bought this game on the first day
it was released to the public just like how I did when all the expansions of the offline version came out.
I was aware of some of negativity surrounding The Sims Online but I dimissed it because I have always been satisfied with the Maxis/Electronic Arts products I have purchased.

After playing this game for about 30 hours I have to say I am not only disappointed in the product but I feel like I have been ripped off.

This is *not* an actual game where Sims can stroll through neighborhoods and downtown areas and play with other players in an actual Sim World.

The game has a similar design to several online 3D Virtual World-Skin/avatar chat places I frequent.
And in some of those places for a nominal fee, you can actually buld your own world that people can explore.

This doesn't seem like an actual, **legitimate** MMORPG. Because in a true MMORPG, interacting with others is one aspect of the game
which you can particpate in at your discretion.

The foundation of a good gameplay comes first, then socializing and interactivity follows.


What the developers of the game did is create a chat room, and
then try and add psuedo, half- hearted content in order to promote
chatting.

And yes, its fun chatting with other players but that alone is NOT ENOUGH for me to fork over $10.00 a month.
And I'm certainly NOT ready to invest in several expansions that the developers likely have planned.

This game is for people who don't like games but love chatting and have the disposable income to afford to pay monthly to participate in it.

If you're seeking a game that has a rich vast world to explore, with real challenges, thats not only fun but creatively stimulating then this game is NOT for you.

SGT

Leanna...you are absolutely correct!

I've been 'playing' for 3 months now with stubborn determination to 'find' a game. It's NOT THERE! There isn't any!...& I refuse to give it one more second of my time!

TSO is the most frustrating thing I've ever experienced. I wouldn't recommend it to my worst ememy.

Tweek

2 much two read

Tweek

WUZ TO ALL MY FELLOW JUGGALOS

james kirkup

sims you could design
family reunion
thats live
french
thank you

butterflyiceangel

Ok so I am admittidly an avid sims fan. I own the game and first three expansion packs. However I must say that I do believe maxis has gone too far with the game. there is no way that I could ever afford TSO and despite all the hype surrounding it I have to suggest that this is just another way that maxis will try to weazle money out of us in the future. Is it just to have unsuspecting consumers forking out $10 a month for a game that they can not preview or try just to have them not be able to pay and thus having the game become totally useless?

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