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Thursday, May 1, 2008

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Rod Humble Ponders The Sims Franchise
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new interview with EA's Rod Humble is now available from Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The Q&A covers a range of topics related to The Sims franchise including discussion of the upcoming third installment in the series, the sometimes hostile reception from the gaming press to the many Sims expansions, and the reasons why players enjoy torturing their digital creations.

RPS: Something that’s always struck me about The Sims is how the world has this slightly Stepford Wivesy feel, this strange sanitisation. It’s a world without misery, without horror. Why is that?
RH: We’ve talked about this internally, this tone. So for instance the ideal homeless person in The Sims would be the wise, crusty old soul with fingerless gloves, huddled around one of those barrel fires. Quite the gentleman-of-the-road philosopher, rather than anything edgy. We do have this semi-idealised version of the world. It’s very deliberate, it has this tone of a certain kind of whimsy and a certain kind of safety. It also helps you look at the world a little bit differently, and that leans into our perspective of The Sims. Well, they’ve been called internally, “hamsters with jobs.” In one way you’re meant to role-play them, but in another way you’re meant to be looking at them, and have a certain amount of distance.

RPS: So do people draw this distinction?
RH: When you talk to Sims players, as we do quite a lot, quite often you’ll see they change perspective, from first-person to third-person. So if they’re describing a play session, they’ll say for example: “I went out on a date, but my Sim messed it up.” They’ll change that perspective mid-sentence without noticing. That again is deliberate – as a game it’s trying to sail close to the edge, between are you role-playing, or do you have these little creatures at arm’s length, as a separate entity putting things into this world.
Read the full interview at the link provided below.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Dinner With Rod Humble
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Archives  News  Rod Humble Ponders The Sims Franchise