Game Life Replicating Real Life

In GAM3R 7H3ORY, I was particularly interested in Wark’s theories about replicating real life in game life with Sims.  Personally, I’ve never really been interested in games like Sims or Second Life because I feel like its too much like real life to be a game.   Why create a person or persona who has to go to work and buy a house and go to school when you have to do all those things in the real world?  Wark’s conclusions are interesting, both the gamer-as-god idea as well as the game space as kind of idealized space: “The game can also work as an atopia, where play is free from work, from necessity, from seriousness, from morality. Kill your Sims, if you want to. Play here has no law but the algorithm. ”  I’d never really thought about these simulation games as a way to control or be in control of life, or should I say some kind of life.  A close to real life that can be manipulated perhaps give the player more a sense of control of real life than a pure fantasy game because they can see the connections?  Maybe, I’m not sure, I’m no psychologist.  But I do know, and it has come up in class, that real world contexts effect our interactions with technology.   If we live in a world where our lives are so stressful or so out of our own control that we replicate lives in games, which are very popular,  so that we can be in control, it must mean that some thing(s) in our modern condition is pushing this  need for this type of game.

Unfortunately, becoming too involved in game life as therapeutic release from real life can disastrous consequences.    I do think that these cases are isolated, that not everyone would be capable of doing this, but perhaps a few individuals are susceptible to these kinds of problems:

Couple Nurtured Virtual Child While Real Baby Starved

3 responses to “Game Life Replicating Real Life

  1. mattzitterman

    From my experience, these types of real life simulations, or abstractions on real life, allow me to explore how my life could be, or what I might do differently.

    I remember playing the Sims 2: University as a senior in high school. I loved making my Sims go to college and have the “quintessential” college experience. The game allowed me to enjoy their college successes and failures even though I couldn’t experience them directly. It built up my anticipation and excitement for the college experience, which actually ended up being very different from how I managed my Sims college experience.

    Maybe my case is unique, but I see these games as a kind of “make believe” for grown ups in a world where personal fantasy is generally seen as naive or unrealistic.

  2. nlyonssmith

    I totally agree that games are a “make believe” for grown ups but there are certainly people who take it too far and forget that they have real-world responsibilities.

    People can get so engrossed in just about anything that they neglect other important parts of their lives. Games have very low entry barriers and the potential to stimulate emotions and that becomes really addictive for some people.

  3. My concern about Sims and Second Life is cultural change in real world. In my opinion, the culture created in Sims and Second Life will affect the culture in real world since Sims and Second Life are replication of real life. If people live in Sims and Second Life get used to living in cyber world and get different set of values from us in real world, their behavior and thinking in real world might mirrored cyber life