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.

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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'.

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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.

 
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Mattsworknamemeet ips. stupid phone.05/27/2015 - 11:34pm
MattsworknameI feel ups should have a hard line expiration date. if a company doesn't use them for ten years they have to put it on the market or make it open source05/27/2015 - 11:34pm
MechaCrashPride does play a factor. If you sell an IP to someone, and they make a ton of money off it, it makes you look like a tool: why didn't YOU make that money? Better to sit on it than be embarassed that way.05/27/2015 - 10:58pm
ZippyDSMleeAS far as I understand it the suits think sitting on a an IP till the time is right is more profitable than tradeing it around.....hevean forbit soemone use soemthing to make money with....05/27/2015 - 9:58pm
Andrew EisenOh, there's also the Facebook page.05/27/2015 - 4:29pm
hidannikOkay :( Guess I'll just have to YouTube it when I've caught up on all the other podcasts.05/27/2015 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenI honestly don't know. The show is on my YouTube channel and we promote it here on the site every week.05/27/2015 - 4:11pm
hidannikIs there nothing a podcast app can key on?\05/27/2015 - 4:09pm
Andrew EisenYeah, we lost Libsyn quite some time ago. As such, no RSS or iTunes. We're working on finding a new (and cost effective) home but it's been really slow going.05/27/2015 - 4:07pm
hidannikThe last one on that feed was Feb 905/27/2015 - 4:05pm
hidannikThe feed is at superpac.libsyn.com05/27/2015 - 4:05pm
hidannikI ask because it hasn't shown up in my PocketCasts feed in a while. (I'm currently a month behind)05/27/2015 - 4:02pm
E. Zachary KnightAE, Loved your mom as the guest on your 30 Days of Netflix series. She is one interesting lady.05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
E. Zachary Knighthidannik, If you mean on iTunes, we are working to get it back up there soon. Otherwise, the show must go on. We record live every Saturday at 8pm Central05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew Eisenhidannik - The podcast will continue this weekend and every weekend after for the foreseeable future. What makes you ask?05/27/2015 - 3:29pm
Matthew WilsonI say no it isnt, but it depends on the reason for not selling it. were the pressured to not sell it. aka target au, or did they chose not to on their own aka gog with hatred.05/27/2015 - 3:28pm
hidannikIs there no more podcast?05/27/2015 - 3:26pm
E. Zachary KnightHere is another thought exercise. How would you feel if game developers traded in IP? http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JorgeMunoz/20150520/243471/Why_dont_developers_buysell_intellectual_property_much_like_other_assets.php05/27/2015 - 3:24pm
Andrew EisenSlightly Mad Studio comments on Wii U version of Project Cars: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/05/exclusive_slightly_mad_studio_head_ian_bell_sets_the_record_straight_on_project_cars_wii_u05/27/2015 - 11:54am
E. Zachary KnightGamasutra has a really interesting interview with the Hatred developers. http://gamasutra.com/blogs/AlbertPalka/20150526/244229/Real_talk_with_Destructive_Creations_Hatred_interview.php05/27/2015 - 10:11am
 

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