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30 Genres of Christmas
Life Simulators
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 07, 2009   |   Episode 12 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!



Just one of the million reasons I'm not currently logged into Second Life!
How Do You Know You're Playing a Life Simulator? You're bored! A Life Simulator is a game that, well, simulates the essential parts of life. Want a dog, but can't deal with cleaning up all of the shedding? There's a game for that. Want to go out to clubs, but don't want to actually go out to a real club? There's a game for that, too. Want to put in an honest day's work without actually going to a real job? Well, if that's the kind of person you are, then you're already playing a Life Simulator.

Patron Saint: Everyday life, including taking care of a pet, going to a job, having a family and meeting people in clubs.

Typical Story: It's kind of like your life, only everything is a little better. Today you went to the store and bought enough food to feed a family. Then you went to the gym and worked out. After that you made a secret rendezvous with a mysterious lover. If that wasn't enough, you made it home in time to clean the house, wash the dog, do some yard

Unfortunately Sony won't be selling the drugs they were taking when they came up with this wacky hamsters vs. humans dance-off!
work, watch TV and fix dinner for everybody. Except, that's not actually what you did. In the real world you sat at a computer and watched somebody else do these mundane things. Trust me, this is a thread you don't want to pull too hard on.

What Your Significant Other Says: "This is the last straw, I'm leaving you! All day long you sit at your computer playing The Sims, but you have a real family that needs you. Instead of going to a real job you sit on your fat ass and go to a virtual job. And that Second Life, that's just the laziest part of you. You could be taking me out to clubs or going on vacations, but you do that with somebody else in that stupid game. You're a loser. A lazy, selfish loser. You even have our daughter playing that Nintendogs thing, she's just a child! SHE'S JUST A CHILD!!! Am I getting through to you?? You suck, I regret ever meeting you. Go back to you little games and get a real life!"

Not a Life Simulator: As I sit here writing about games like Second Life, The Sims and Nintendogs, I can't help but notice how similar my life is. I mean, I go to the grocery store, I

If Nintendo could track the attention given to their Nintendogs, I would be in serious trouble of going to jail for animal abandonment!
go out and see people, I fix dinner and I work from time to time. Best of all, I'm controlling all of it, since I'm in (almost) complete control over my body. But as compelling as that evidence is, my life is not a Life Simulator. And neither is yours. Because I guarantee that my life is much more interesting than your lame Second Life account.

Then vs. Now? Is there a "then" for Life Simulators? I remember picking up The Sims right when it came out, and while the interface was a little tricky and the control was limited, I had a reasonable amount of fun playing it. The problem is, no matter if it's now or then, you're still basically doing everyday things that you could be doing in the real world. If I wanted a dog I could go out and steal one from a neighbor, there's no reason I need Nintendogs for that. So I don't think we're asking the right question here. I think the real question is: Life Simulator - boring ... or the most boring thing since watching paint dry?
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