Household Decorating.

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Household Decorating

            Designers have been creating fictional worlds since video games started about thirty-five years ago.  Fictional worlds lure consumers in with promises of new places and imaginative creativity. Different games target different consumers and their taste. The Sims is a game that all consumers can equally play. The difficulty of the game is not hard and the controls are simplistic. Studies have been done to show that both genders play the game equally showing that The Sims is for both genders (Paulk). What is surprising about the studies though is that a decent amount of people play because they get to build and decorate houses for their Sims. Paulk declares that The Sims popularity is due to the fact the game allows the user to construct and beautify houses for their Sim family. He writes:

In short, people relate to the game in a fascinating variety of ways. Particularly intriguing is that the better part of The Sims' fan base may have less interest in the Sims themselves than the spaces they inhabit. According to Psychology Today, "most long-term players say designing Sim households is the chief delight of the game" (Thompson, 2003), and indeed, The Sims' construction and interior design aspects are as impressively realized as its "human" element.

Paulk has found that throughout the years popular culture has led to rise of house hold decorating. He did not have to research or take surveys to see this. Decorating shows, such as Trading Spaces, Extreme Makeover: House Edition, and Trick My Trailer, makes up most of the television playing in our living rooms. The fact that these shows are popular shows even more interest in interior design.  Not only do woman host the shows but men do as well. A man hosting pa popular interior design show shows that it is not a one-gender interest anymore. The Sims has shown it as well. Players who play the game spend most of their time decorating. As mentioned before in the essay, half of these players are male. If a male is now doing what a ‘woman’ is supposed to do, does show that it is more widely accepted by all classes and races? In our society if one border is crossed then the rest of the borders jump on the same bandwagon. For example, African-Americans gain rights then woman take their stand with their new found feminism, but that’s another story. It could be argued that men do not like to play Sims for the reason that the decorating makes them feel feminine. However in our culture today men can be more open to their feminine side and other options.  Not only is it decorating that lures players into playing The Sims, but it is human resemblance to the game. The Sim world is fictional but it is more closely related to the human race then any other video game available. Not only do people enjoy building for their Sims, but they enjoy controlling their lives, dressing them, and caring for them.

            Paulk’s article differed from a traditional game review. His article had nothing to do with how you played the game or if you should buy it. It dealt more with a certain aspect of the game in this case, build mode. A New Games Journalism review would have probably focused more on how The Sims affected their life or how it affects a population. NGJ gives readers a deeper read then this academic article. Academic Articles are a little bit of both worlds. They do define some points of game play and really look into the game. Paulk’s article was about how a consumer decorated and why a consumer decorated.


Ex 4: Article Analysis 


Is "consumers" a term that Paulk used, or is your specific approach to look at gamers as "consumers"? Just curious.

You found a good article, and you did a good job demonstrating how you find value in the article, while at the same time using it to make some good points of your own.

I do think that the history of civil rights and the women's movement worked together, moving in parallel -- first the emancipation of slaves, then women's suffrage, then the civil rights era, then a feminist movement (but that's nitpicking). Good work, Ashley... I look forward to seeing you you will use this, and other sources, to frame your own argument for your term paper.

Ashley F said:

I used consumerist because I thought players was too general. All players or game players must purchase a video game at some time. They are the marketing panelists' audience and that is who the designers create games for. I was sick of using players and I thought I should switch it up to something more specific.

Okay... bear in mind that we've played several games in this class without buying them, because they are free. But since The Sims includes a complex model of economics that affects the happiness of the characters, it is perfectly appropriate to emphasize how the real-world player participates in the activities depicted in the game.

Darrell Kuntz said:

I found it very interesting that designing homes was the main reason people play the Sims because gives the player the opportunity to do just about anything. Given my lense as a white male athlete....I dont think that my main reason of playing the game would be to decorate houses. Although, at one point or another I'm sure I would explore that option of gameplay but I find it interesting that this is the most "fun" aspect of the game. Do you feel that the Sims should just make a seperate game that allows you as the gamer to just build houses? Call it "The Sims Architecture" or something along those lines and then they could get even more in depth with the decorating and design of houses.

Ashley F said:

Even though we have played some games that we did not pay for, the designers did make them for the public. They made their games for an audience, not just to sit around. Game designers intend for their games to be played by others and to achieve this, games must be advertised in some way. They must draw us in enough for us to click download, which equals to choosing to buy a game.

Ashley F said:

No I do not think that EA Games should make a game that just builds houses. There are already many programs out there like that. When I took a drafting class in 7th grade, we made blueprints of a rancher and we had to use the exact dimensions creating our house in some program. However without the aspect of ‘something’ living in it was not as fun. I think the fact that in The Sims you are creating and decorating for a Sim family. If you take away the Sims you have a architecture program, if you take away the build mode you have families running around with no place to live. The Sims would not be able to survive with out both aspects of the game.

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