Simulating the Homeless with The Sims 3

July 13, 2009 -

In a remarkable game-based social experiment, Robin Burkinshaw is using The Sims 3 to model a two-person homeless family.

The U.K.-based game design student tracks the virtual lives of the father-daughter pair via his Alice and Kev blog:

I created two Sims, moved them in to a place made to look like an abandoned park, removed all of their remaining money, and then attempted to help them survive without taking any job promotions or easy cash routes. It’s based on the old ‘poverty challenge’ idea from The Sims 2, but it turned out to be a lot more interesting with The Sims 3’s living neighborhood features.

New American Media has more:

Kev is an insane, middle-aged man with a bad temper, who hates children. He often behaves inappropriately around others... His daughter, Alice, is a teenager who is constantly exhausted from school, the part-time job she holds, and the cold hard bench she sleeps on at night. And because she gets most of her meals at school, she becomes worried every time the weekend rolls around. You will usually find Alice desperately trying to find a bed to sleep in...

GP: It's fantastic to see someone addressing a real issue in a meaningful way via off-the-shelf game tech...


Comments

Re: Simulating the Homeless with The Sims 3

I concur with DarkSaber--there is nothing meaningful about this. And let's be real--the Sims has no capacity to compute or offer representations of the social and economic conditions that cause homelessness--many of these individuals don't have the opportunity to reject the upward mobility of "promotions" and "easy money". Postmodern laziness to assume the simulations can even touch on lived realities.

Re: Simulating the Homeless with The Sims 3

I read the story, it's very touching and heart felt. I hope this girl can turn her life around.

Re: Simulating the Homeless with The Sims 3

I simulate the grief of the families of burn victims every day by spawning Sims in closed rooms with a lot of wooden furniture and a fireplace to play with

Re: Simulating the Homeless with The Sims 3

I found that strangely fascinating, but then, I always enjoyed the 'Sims 2 - House of Evil' experiment they did on the SA Forums as well. It's more, I think, a testament to the excellent writing of the blogger than anything else.

Re: Simulating the Homeless with The Sims 3

While I did not have a serious pupose, I did something similar in the first Sims Game. When they released the update that gave you a completley empty neighborhood, I went through and started creating an oddball group of people living in the neighborhood.

One of my characters was a man named Ugly Bum. He was fat, bald and wore a stained wife beater, boxer shorts and penny loafers. He lived in a barren lot with nothing but a shack in it. This shack was big enough to have a pay phone, a bail of hay to sit and sleep on and an outhouse in side.

I put all his personality points on his out going and friendly stats. Completely if ignoring his cleanliness traits.

He was a blast. Visiting other people in the neighborhood making messes in their houses and trying to be their friends.

Other people in the neighborhood consisted of a family of crooks who lived in a prison style home, an incredibly rich family, a man who lived in a jungle style home with all the tiki stuff and one normal guy that I played.

I think I might have had a house full of girls so that my guy would have some prospects for a wife, but it has been so long since I have played it.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Simulating the Homeless with The Sims 3

Now to just wait until claims that his is trivializing the plight of homeless people.

Re: Simulating the Homeless with The Sims 3

I thought I'd already done that.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Simulating the Homeless with The Sims 3

I'd hardly call this 'meaningful'.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Simulating the Homeless with The Sims 3

for any sims 3 fan, this is very old news. After the game went live, this was one of the first ever stories linked to from the sims 3 game launcher.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Mattsworknamehttp://www.giantbomb.com/female-protagonists/3015-2287/games/07/28/2015 - 5:01pm
MattsworknameFor the record, here is a list of games with female protagnists from they year 2014, as per giant bomb.07/28/2015 - 5:01pm
Mattsworknameandrew, I think natir may have ment a differnet point. I don't think he was aruging the workplace side, I think he was aruging the diversity in the games themselves, maybe.07/28/2015 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenAnd I'll repeat this as many times as it needs repeating: no one (except maybe some random, anonymous numb nuts on Twitter) is calling anyone a misogynist simply for disagreeing with Sarkeesian and her ilk.07/28/2015 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenNatir - What lie? What movement? What does that snide quote have to do with anything?07/28/2015 - 5:00pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Completely disagree. Any thinking person can see that just like with gamers, the most toxic elements, while the most attention getting, are not the majority or representative of the whole.07/28/2015 - 4:59pm
Andrew EisenNatir - Harassment and sexism in the workplace is true. It's been extensively observed and documented. That doesn't mean everything is bad. But that all doesn't mean shining a light on it to try and make it even better is an undesirable move either.07/28/2015 - 4:57pm
NatirThe movement they started is based on a complete lie and that is the real problem. Most people don't realize or those that do, ignore it because of the reprisal they get for disagreeing. You disagree with them and call them out? You are misogynistic now.07/28/2015 - 4:57pm
NatirHere is a good quote from the wordpress site: "Zoe Quinn with her little twine game commands the attention to be in documentaries, to be quoted on Kotaku, as Anita Sarkeesian is claimed to be one of the 100 most influential people in the world."07/28/2015 - 4:55pm
MattsworknameAndrew: its very true what you say, but with Feminism, the toxic fringe has become the main stream face of the movment, to the point where the US rep to the un on womens issues has called feminism a toxic word.07/28/2015 - 4:55pm
Natirdirectly related to games and politics.07/28/2015 - 4:53pm
NatirThe point is that these women do very little for the gaming industry but paint it to be a very bad place. From just constant harassment from (male) gamers to just sexism in the workplace. Stuff that just isn't true. Take a look for yourself since this is07/28/2015 - 4:53pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Every group has its jerk faces. Especially groups like feminists that are so large they encompass the vast majority of the population.07/28/2015 - 4:47pm
Andrew EisenAnd I don't get the sense many if any take anyone's thoughts at face value. They seem to be listening to what they have to say, evaluating what they heard, agreeing or disagreeing and acting accordingly. Or just outright ignoring them in the first place07/28/2015 - 4:44pm
Mattsworknametoxic to it's economy07/28/2015 - 4:42pm
MattsworknameWow, im out for a day and some cool discussion happens. On the subject brought up by Natir, I think modern feminism has be come toxic, at least in it's radicalized form ,much te same as I feel about how unions went from improtant things in the us to being07/28/2015 - 4:42pm
Andrew EisenI don't know about anyone else but I'm not comfortable forming an opinion let alone drawing a conclusion without having seen even one of the allegedly harassing tweets.07/28/2015 - 4:41pm
NatirI just find it baffling that the gaming industry as a general whole take what those women say at face value... On the Canadian man story, I don't think he will be charged but I think the women will be charged with something.07/28/2015 - 4:30pm
Goth_SkunkFor reference, this is the matter to which Natir is referring: http://ow.ly/QcAch And -- small world after all -- Anita Sarkeesian is indirectly tied to it.07/28/2015 - 4:22pm
NatirIt kind of reminds me of the 3 women who took that one man (in Canada) to court because he disagreed with them on Twitter.07/28/2015 - 4:12pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician