Making Friends With the Grim Reaper: Processing My Grief in The Sims

Making Friends With the Grim Reaper: Processing My Grief in The Sims

I’ve been playing The Sims for almost as long as I can remember. My first copy was burned onto a disc with a paper cover, given to me by the uncle that used to sell pirated DVDs at car-boot sales. My memories from that part of my life are hazy and jumbled, mixed up by the loss of my grandma when I was seven. (more…)

May Roundtable: Pop Music in Video Games

May Roundtable: Pop Music in Video Games

Video games and pop music. Who’d have thunk it? Marketing departments, probably. But marketing or no marketing, we have some thoughts on the ways video games are using pop music, and, most importantly, why any game that hasn’t asked Carly Rae Jepsen to do the soundtrack has made a grave misstep. (more…)

December Roundtable: Coziness in Games

December Roundtable: Coziness in Games

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re beginning to wind down from the holiday seasons by curling up beneath warm blankets with a mug of hot chocolate, while the Southern Hemisphere is no doubt basking in the sun on a beach. Naturally, this got us thinking about coziness and the recent conversations the gaming industry has been having about how to capture it and what it can add to a game. Our own Maddi Butler wrote a piece on coziness in the Nancy Drew series, which served as a perfect jumping-off point for this discussion.

What does it mean to be cozy? Should games strive to make us feel that way? Let’s find out! (more…)

The Sims 4: Parenthood, or, how Millennials are Killing Family, Too

The Sims 4 has been out for almost three years now, and I’ve been playing it almost since launch. I’ve bought DLC after DLC but, until now, none addressed my one major qualm about the base game: its lack of family-oriented gameplay features. But with the addition of the Toddler life-stage earlier this year, and the new Parenthood game pack last month, TS4 now invites players to have as much family as they think they can handle. 

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Makin’ WooHoo: The Sims and My Sexual Awakening

Makin’ WooHoo: The Sims and My Sexual Awakening

Back in the days before I played Dragon Age or Mass Effect, before I knew what a dating sim was or had any idea that games could represent relationships more complexly than Mario and Peach, I had The Sims. (more…)