The Sims & Black and White, economic determinism at its best

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I learned a lot from Dr. Jerz's presentation, Mirror, Window, Lens. For me, it was really easy for me to understand what he was talking about because he used the Sims as an example for his theories. Prior to this class, I'd been aware of some of the issues Dr. Jerz touches on in this lecture. My mom made fun of me a few weeks ago for saying "It's just like real life," when referring to the Sims. Although that was probably a stretch, I still see some merit in that statement, especially after Dr. Jerz identified environmentalism, economic determinism, gender and psychological issues concerning the Sims. Like Civilizations 3, I'm confident that the Sims could be used as a teaching tool for kids as well. It teaches you the necessity to being ambitious in the real world. While I'm sure it's a heck of a lot easier to be promoted in the Sims World, their objectives are very similar to our own.

If I were to theorize for a game, I think I'd stick with another simulation game. Like the Sims, in Black and White, you play God. You control tiny villages full of people who need food, shelter and expansion as their village grows. As in SimCity, Black and White forces players to acknowledge their lust for power and expansion, while also reminding its players of moral values and the difference between good and evil. Will you be a benevolent god, or a malevolent one?

Check out the opening to the original Black and White.

EL 250

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