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Gaming

Simulated Socialization

Before Facebook became the Social Network of choice and it was just a way for people in college to stay in touch, gaming was not a part of the Facebook experience.  Fast forward to today and you can easily be inundated with requests from friends to join the latest game craze that’s sweeping across the world. For a time, Farmville and Mafia Wars were the ‘games du jour’ for requests and time wasters, now that’s been replaced by the Sims Social.  At least among some of my friends it has.

The Sims is a game where you go through your electronic life doing tasks and simulating daily activities. While this may all sound simple, it is an addictive game that I’ve seen people spend days playing straight. It’s the last game I’ve seen my non-gaming wife devote hours of her time playing.  Most games are like that, simple is better.  Especially when you can capture imagination and a sense of wonder in your game play.  Something Will Wright mastered through his time developing his Sim series.

The Sims Social attempts to recapture that magic in the setting of Facebook.  This time you are not befriending computer AI, called Sims, in the form of a neighbor (the one exception being Bella the friend that guides you in the beginning), you are befriending your actual friends in your network.  If you’ve played the Sims before the interactions are old hat.  But for the new player, you start with a basic interaction decision tree (Hi, shoot the breeze, talk about work, etc) and progress through different stages of relationships ranging from enemy to lover.  Depending on the mood of the Sim these interactions will develop the relationship in the form of (+) for positive interactions and (-) for negative interactions.  These symbols will determine if you and the Sim will become friends or enemies.

One thing to take note of with the Sims Social is that it is a Flash based game and as a result it is a bit of a resource hog.  So you do not want to run YouTube in another tab or use another memory intensive application at the same time.  As a game, it is a fun distraction at times.  But like many Facebook applications it requires you to post requests onto your friend’s wall or recruit other friends into the game.  That is when it goes from being a fun distraction to being an intrusive annoyance.  It’s a slight pet peeve of mine that the game does not maintain these requests within the confines of the actual game and posts directly into Facebook.  See, if I thought my friends would like to be apart of this application, I would have already invited them.  There is no need to keep bombarding me with request attempts. There are workarounds for this, but quite frankly I shouldn’t need to do them.  Overall, it is a decent game and fun at times, but the way it consistently breaks you out of the world with request attempts drains the fun out of the game too quickly.

Overall 6 out of 10 Simoleons .

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About tonybroomes

Just a geeky dad talking about the things that interest him: Games, parenthood, sports, friendship, comics and marriage.

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