Simulate the World | Game Text Analysis Beta

The concept of simulation is important when we consider the Sims franchise. Besides the obvious example of virtual reality, it is not prominent to see a videogame simulate reality. Obvious examples include Cities Skylines and Truck Simulator; however, the Sims attempts to simulate life itself. The Sims franchise follows an important principle explored throughout virtual reality – planning a process to monitor the factors that eventually lead to results – manufacturing a system that gives a visual environment to all the players involved (Mujber & Szecsi 2004, p1836).

Simulation in video games is especially interesting because it is simply an algorithm (Wak, 2006, p. 128). There is a tremendous discourse around the Sims and the concept of simulation. Videogames always follow the principles of ludology, therefore as stated in Digital Allegories (on The Sims) “as the player proceeds through the game… the rules that operate in the universe constructed by this game” are gradually discovered (Wark, 2006, p. 128).

The idea of learning how the game operates – by extent the simulation of life – eventually leads to players learning to code the game (Wark, 2006, p. 128). As spoken about in my previous blogs, Simulate the World Pitch on oryemajok.com. Players become developers due to modification. As I mentioned before, the accessibility to create and apply modifications in the Sims 4 is encouraged. Games cannot truly decentralise without modification (Smith 2009, p.25). Therefore, the decentralised network encourages the players to become the main source of innovation.

As stated in my beta video, the concept paratext became essential to my analytical framework. providing a productive framework for game scholars has been successfully utilised in several subsequent studies (Fiadotau 2015, p.85). The access players have to custom content and mods (modification) indefinitely improves the gaming experience. Entire online communities are built on this fact, I have noticed comments on Reddit where players prefer to download a mod for free, rather than pay for an expansion pack from the Sims 4. As stated, “There is nothing new about paratexts attempting to frame or shape the players’ experience of a game” (Fiadotau 2015, p.87), furthermore, thus providing a “more direct insight into their authors’ and communities’ tastes, beliefs, and values” (Fiadotau 2015, p.88).

Schedule to finish Simulate the World:

ResearchCurrent Digital ArtifactFinal Digital Artifact
Week 1Primary Concepts: Simulation, Modification & Paratext.
Draft my Game Text Analysis for my final Video for YouTube.
Begin to Edit all the Short-Form Clips from YouTube Shots and TikTok for my Primary Research.
Week 2Secondary Sources: The World of the Sims 4 (Final Analysis of My Community Experience).Release the Final Video on YouTube.Begin to Edit all the Short-Form Clips from YouTube Shots and TikTok for my Secondary Research.
Week 3Finish Research Findings.Create Digital Artifact Video.Complete Final Assessment for BCM215.

Why not read more? Comment your thoughts below!​​

References:

Fiadotau, M 2015, ‘Paratext and meaning making in indie games’, Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 85-97.

Mujber, ST Szecsi, T & Hashmi, MSJ 2004, ‘Virtual reality applications in manufacturing process simulation’, Journal of Materials Processing Technology, vol. 155-156, pp. 1834–1838.

Smith, AV 2009, ‘The Impact of Decentralisation on Networked Computer Games’, Computer Games Programming B.Sc. (Hons) & School of Computing University of Derby, pp. 1-54.

Wark, M 2006, ‘Digital Allegories (on The Sims)’, Grey Room Inc. & Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pp.126-138.

8 thoughts on “Simulate the World | Game Text Analysis Beta

  1. Hey Oryem, this is a super cool project!

    Some of the main things I think you’ve done really well is being able to adapt your content across multiple platforms and adapt your content based on viewer feedback as well as how you adapted your analytical framework to better suit the media.

    I am also looking at modifications in the Sims 4, however I have an observational approach rather than a participatory one. It’s interesting to see how our analytical frameworks and findings differ.

    One thing I am curious about, is the overlap between modifications and paratext in your analytical framework as mods are a form of paratext and how you will be sharing your findings relating to each of these in your final post.
    If you aren’t already I would recommend following and engaging with some of the custom content and mod creators on twitter as they often share really valuable insights and opinions. Some of the ones I follow are GrimCookies_ and HeyHarrie.

    Overall I really don’t have that much advice to give you as this is a super solid project!

    Like

  2. Hi, Ajok. Your BETA is great, I love it! Your timetable is very worthy of my reference, and the quick and clear plan is suitable for my procrastination patient haha.
    The key point is that you analyzed the number of views on different platforms and finally chose Tiktok. Like you, I think this is very important for the presentation and development of our project. The number of viewers and followers is important to our project. One of the best feedback and you have a good consideration of the audience’s feelings, adjust the video you publish according to their feedback, and better adapt to the media platform. Secondly, I think the celebrity effect is used well, and the celebrity can attract a large part of fans.

    Like

  3. Hey Ajok,
    I love the direction you’ve taken to develop your DA. I feel that your reason of choosing tik tok was very similar to me and this gave me a sense of assurance towards my decision. Finally, I would like to say that the thought behind creating celebrity look likes in sims 4 is really unique and creative. Looking forward towards the success of your DA.
    Regards,
    Siddharth Singh

    Like

  4. Wow, just wow! This is one of the greatest DAs I’ve seen over the semester! and the response to it by the public is a testament to that fact! I don’t know if this was your first time doing DA in Sims or if you already had an established following but the reception nonetheless has been pretty overwhelming. (I wouldn’t have suspected a DA about Sims taking off as much as yours did.

    Now, onto the feedback (and not just boosting your ego), Overall, your DA video and accompanying blog are very well thought out and cover all the required questions requested by the course. You go into great detail about what your plan is going forward in the semester and provide a wide range of academic and public sources to reinforce your ideas and epiphanies. You do a great work of applying your analytical framework as you complete a synthesis of the information & feedback to inform how to explore this game media text. You have done an extremely great job here and you should be proud!

    One takeaway I did notice was in regards to your use of sources to help critically analyse your situation, You pulled from a wide range of additional readings, However, you could have potentially pulled some sources from the subject materials as a mean’s to solidified your DAs application in the course content.

    Sims and Sims 4 both have very active communities on Discord and Reddit, which might be worth checking out as a means to continue to share your work outside the bounds of your previously discussed platforms. Overall, you’ve done extremely well, and you should be proud of your efforts, You have some awesome peer feedback from some of the other students which you should apply but other than that keep up the great work! and I bet you’re set for a great final mark at the end of the semester!

    Like

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