Presubmission Report.

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  • Thesis Statement: The Sims is a simulation of reality that attracts consumers because it not only simulates life its self but consumers can relate to the characters they create and control.
    • Humans feel more emotional about what they can relate to. For example humans feel strong emotions and can relate to monkeys, who resemble and act like humans, more then they like a grasshopper.
    • The Sims is the highest selling video game for a reason. People do not normally all agree that one game is good. If the majority of people in a room all agree that The Sims is a good game, then it must be something most people would enjoy for a similar reason.
    • Not only do most people agree that The Sims is a great game but The Sims broke gender barriers. The male to female ratio of people who play the game is 50/50. The game satisfies all genders, so the game must have a certain aspect that appeals to men and women.
    • Creating your own character and stories allows you to play god, and people enjoy being in control of life. Many people wish they were in control of their own life and if not they can get satisfaction from this game.
  • Quotations from Literary Sources that support my theory
    • “I remember a couple that was really concerned about the lack of handicapped virtual babyz. Others were a bit concerned about the amount of time that people "wasted" playing with virtual babies while real orphans where starving for affect. I really do not care if the discussion was driven by real concern or political-correctness. The fact was that a game about humans engaged the audience to take a critical look at both the simulation and reality.” (Frasca)
    • “Unlike other failed attempts to realistically simulate human life and language, Wright came up with an elegant solution that not only works but also encourages the players to project their thoughts on the cute little computer people.” (Frasca)
    • Videogames have long been cast as an almost purely masculine domain. And not merely masculine, but regressively, tree house macho, trading in lurid, invariably violent adolescent fantasies. (Paulk)
    • Almost eerily devoid of such bias, The Sims has pulled the neat trick of building a player base evenly split along gender lines, drawing in women without alienating male gamers. (Paulk)
  • Some Quotations that Refute My Theory
    • “Unlike other failed attempts to realistically simulate human life and language, Wright came up with an elegant solution that not only works but also encourages the players to project their thoughts on the cute little computer people.” (Frasca)
    • “Particularly intriguing is that the better part of The Sims' fanbase 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)
  • Quotes from Outside Sources that Support My Thesis
    • [“The Sims changed the way people play videogames and also changed the kinds of people who play videogames," said Bing Gordon, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Electronic Arts ](TMCnet)
    • “Since it launched in 2001, the series has gone on to sell a staggering 58 MILLION copies, and with a new version for mobile phones just released, that number is sure to soar into 2006.” (TheSun)
    •  “Will Wright: When we launched there were few women gamers and the casual gaming market was not established the way it is now. That has been our secret weapon as half the players have been female. They play it for a lot longer too; it is more of a hobby.” (TheSun)
  • Quotes from Outside Sources that Refute My Thesis
    • The Sims 2 players have created over 125,000 Sims & Houses for their Sims, and uploaded these to www.thesims2.com to share with other players. The player-made Sims & Houses have been downloaded by over 5 million unique visitors from around the globe. (TMCnet)
  • Preliminary Conclusion
    • Humans show interests and emotion for things they can relate to in life. The Sims allows players to relate to life it’s self. The Sims proposes problems that real life proposes every day. It attracts people to problems they wish they could solve in real life and but are able to solve in a game. This game helps people who are not able to control their own lives, yet they can play god to a whole city or town. (There is going to be more but until I start writing I do not know how to really make it flow.)
  • Parenthetical Citation

Many consumers play The Sims because of control over the lives of the Sims that they create, however, TMCnet states the build aspect of the game attracts users as well:

The Sims 2 players have created over 125,000 Sims & Houses for their Sims, and uploaded these to www.thesims2.com to share with other players. The player-made Sims & Houses have been downloaded by over 5 million unique visitors from around the globe.

1 Comments

I think you're on the right track for a good paper on The Sims.

I agree that if lots of people buy it, it must be attractive for some reason. But popularity is only one way to evaluate human behavior. Popular presidents have made horrible decisions, popular actors have bombed in movies, etc.

So, I'm not sure we'll get anywhere with "The game was a top seller because it is good. It must be good because so many people bought it." For a similar reason, let's take a look at "The game satisfies all genders, so the game must have a certain aspect that appeals to men and women." This is like saying "I like both chocolate and vanilla, so there must be something in both chocolate and vanilla that I like." That's not really the basis for an academic argument, since nobody can disagree with those claims.

If I said "Both Bill and Sally are my friends, so there must be something about them that I like," that's not really something anyone can disagree with. If the definition of "friend" is "someone you like" then what looks like a logically structured sentence really isn't saying much.

So... I think the thesis statement needs work... proving your claim that people bought The Sims because they can relate to the characters doesn't really require any scholarly research -- it just requires polling the owners of The Sims and writing down what they say.

Good start... I'll post more comments in Turnitin.com

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