October 4, 2023

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We don’t…play with virtual reality

We don’t…play with virtual reality

How would you feel if you had complete control over another person’s life: from their physical appearance to the design of their home, their social life, and their career path?

This feature seems attractive to many players, as they have already tried it in similar life simulation games. Over the years, many games belonging to this genre have been released: speed racing, war adventures, as well as board games in their digital version. However, the video games they recommend to the player have a special charm A parallel world through scenarios that remind us of our real daily lives.

The “king” in this category is undoubtedly “The Sims”, an American game that debuted in 2000 and gained great popularity for its details and aesthetics, as well as cutting-edge graphics – for that time – with a mixture of 2D and 3D. technology, but mainly because there is no clear end goal.

Success came quickly as The Sims sold 1 million copies within just 10 days of its release. At that time, it also reached Greece, and although it never achieved the same triumph as abroad, the game had a large number of players in our country as well. “The developers have done a good job with the overall style of the game. When I was 14, I was supposed to play for six hours. Eli says to K.

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“I was young, watching my friend’s teenage brother play and explaining everything he did. When I got it later too, I was enchanted.” chrysula, Who has been playing since she was 14 years old, until now she is an adult. “Now, I realize I’m ‘stuck’. It’s like a small window that you can open whenever you want, step in and leave behind your worries in the real world».

“Materially more complete, intellectually poorer”

The appeal of the game has led to the development of the world of Sims, as the little people who star in this digital project are called, with expansion packs that include more features and services (The Sims 2, The Sims 3, The Sims 4) and on the other hand through Creating similar concepts causes a trend Which has now turned into the Metaverse as well. For example, this is “Animal Crossing,” “Second Life,” “Stardew Valley” And Sims’s expected competitors, “Life is with you” And «Disabled people». And in the near future”Sims 5». In all of this, players “live” a second life, the life of the people they created. In “Life By You,” available to some players starting this month, the simulation genre evolves as characters speak in a real language and there is more freedom of expression overall.

However, many find it difficult to understand why players would want to be “immersed” in an alternate version of reality. Only players can understand the magic of these games in which they act without much thought and without consequences.

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But endless hours in front of the screen and life simulation games do not allow the development of imagination in the outside world. “Here we have a movement of imaginative play – which is what children did at best with a dollhouse anyway – through a computer game that is more complete in matter, but poorer in thought,” Psychologist/psychoanalyst and Ph.D. Akis Diamantis. He adds: “In the electronic game, everything is a given. What you have to do is “unlock” them. There is no internal process of generating pleasure of the creative kind that carries mutations in the psyche of a child or adolescent.

As for the universe in life simulation games, Mr. Diamantis specifically states that “man, unable to communicate with his fellow human beings on all possible levels, mechanically builds a system of persons connected in one way or another mechanically.”

Virtual life versus real life

But to what extent does virtual reality affect real life or vice versa? “When I create a player, or a building, it’s like I’m ‘filling’ that role. It’s like I’m there. I think that’s what puts you in the ‘hole’ to play again. You feel like the hero doesn’t live, and depends on you to move forward,” says Chrysola. “, admitting that “The Sims”, for example, somewhat influences her life. “Those who play tell me that things that you cannot do in real life, at least in the game, are much easier.”

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the ElizabethShe, who first played The Sims 20 years ago in an Internet café, stresses that she has always separated fantasy from reality. “It didn’t have a huge impact on me, but it gave me the satisfaction of imagining a completely different world,” he adds. Something similar applies to Elli, who confirms that her daily life may eventually inspire the game.

Compared to other life simulation games, “The Sims” and its ilk are harmless to the player’s psyche. “There are other role-playing games — often nefarious ones — that are more deeply addictive because they require you to be online all the time, and they’re the ones that lead to teenage meltdowns,” Mr. Diamantis says. “There is already a sedimentation of the ego in a fictional hero that is structured by a virtual world.”