The Ever-Addicting World of The Sims
When the clock hit midnight, I remembered why I never play The Sims during the school year. My intention was to click and fiddle around until I could scratch down a bit of information on the interface of the game. But how can you just hit the 'quit' button when Jan and Linda are fighting over the same guy, who just happens to be their roommate? It's so tense, so exciting! Almost as exciting as it is to make imaginary people take a shower and pee! After three hours of completely wasting time that probably should have been spent doing things in real life, I reached my conclusion of the interface of The Sims:
The designer of this game designed it for those who completely lack any sort of video game skills; basically with a sense of complete simplicity. Initially, the player is presented with a small town the several houses/plots of land within it. Each house represents a saved game, or, more correctly, a different family. After choosing the household you care to control for the next few hours, the player is presented with a close up view action.
A vast majority of the screen is taken up by the household and the action of the sims themselves, but a small navigation bar is found on the bottom quarter of the screen. Within this control panel is where the player can check out the info on each of their sims. When a sim is selected, you are shown a glimpse into their level of life satisfaction, quality of relationships with other sims, and job performance. When you go into each of these sub-categories, you can see what can be done to improve that sim's life in each of the categories. No wonder he's so angry, he's starving!
Also found in the control panel is the option to build your own house and shop for furnishings to complete your surreal sim life. Simple icons are used within these buttons for navigation. For example, if you clicked on the image of a faucet you would find yourself shopping for sinks, showers, bathtubs and the like. If you find an item you enjoy, you have the option to click on it and read further about the product (which a good shopper ALWAYS does). Other items within the navigation bar are the time display and the option to change the perspective of the household where all the action is taking place.
When you want to control the characters and tell them what to do, you just have to select them and click on the object, or sim, you want them to interact with. Small bubbles will then pop up asking what you would like to do specifically with that object. If I want John to interact with Sally, I just click on her character and select from the many options, including 'Hug', 'Talk', 'Entertain', or the ever-so-scandalous 'Give Back Rub'. Of course I pick the last one because for some reason I can never shake the 13 year old out of me. Sigh. The better you get to know other characters, the more options are presented to you. You can always tell what sim you have selected by the green diamond that floats above their pixelated little head.
Last but not least, a small pop-up window appears in the lower right-hand corner to let the player know that the sims' car has arrived to take them to work, or if an unwanted visitor is approaching. (Damn burglars ruin everything) So that was my adventure with The Sims, and I'm not going to lie, it was really great to get reacquainted with them. I am a little upset that I wasn't as productive as intended for the night, but hey, in the world of college, there's always tomorrow.