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 :

Poll

Will Code Avarice's Paranautical Activity make its way back onto Steam?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Craig R.And I'll be perfectly happy in never seeing the phrase 'false flag' ever again, as it is one of the worst notions to ever come out of the camp of the tinfoil brigade that is already completely overused.10/25/2014 - 3:50pm
Craig R.Gone for a week and come back to find GG didn't go away at all. Dammit.10/25/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonif they were serious, they would go to youtube. most youtube game reviewers tend to revew games as product, and tend leave social issues out of it.10/25/2014 - 1:42pm
quiknkoldif the gamergaters were serious, they'd realize that Kotaku and Polygon arent the only games in town, and that with the freedom of the internet, they could create their own websites and achieve the goals they are trying to achieve without arguement.10/25/2014 - 1:35pm
james_fudgehe should have called the police.10/25/2014 - 1:20pm
TechnogeekAt least my statement still holds if it does turn out to be a false flag.10/25/2014 - 1:03pm
NeenekoThough I admit, since doxxing and false flag where heavily used tactics of the GG supporters, while they are not historical tactics used by detractors, I am skeptical how much it is really 'both sides' doing it in any real volume.10/25/2014 - 1:01pm
NeenekoOne thing that makes all of this messy is 'false flag' is a serious concern here. It does not help that the original GG instigators were also known for doing elaborate false flags to discredit feminism themselves.10/25/2014 - 12:59pm
MechaCrashThe guy who got the knife is the one who advocated doxxing, by the way, and was getting court documents about Zoe Quinn so he could publicly post them. It doesn't make what happened to him right, but he deserves no sympathy.10/25/2014 - 12:42pm
TechnogeekNo, that's a pretty shitty thing to do and I fully support the responsible parties getting a visit from the relevant legal authorities.10/25/2014 - 12:17pm
Neo_DrKefkaSomeone anyone tell me how two wrongs somehow make a right? This is becoming exhausting and both sides are out of there minds!10/25/2014 - 11:40am
Neo_DrKefkaSo two GamerGate supporters received a knife and syringe in the mail today. The same GamerGate supporters who said how awful it was were seen in other tweets gathering lists and sending our similar threats or harassment to shut down the other side....10/25/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoJust look at how interviews are handled. Media tends to pit someone who is at best a journalist, but usually entertainer, against an expert, and it is presented and percieved as if they are equals.10/25/2014 - 7:38am
Neeneko@MC - Focusing on perpetrator does nothing for prevention, the media and public lack the domain knowledge and event details to draw any useful conclusions. All we get are armchair risk experts.10/25/2014 - 7:36am
Neeneko@AE - no name or picture, I like it.10/25/2014 - 7:34am
PHX Corp@MW and AE The news media needs to stop promoting the Shooters. period10/25/2014 - 7:16am
Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician