Friday, October 19, 2007

Yes, we're Simming again!


We do lots of other things here besides playing computer games, I promise you, but Lyddie is very much into The Sims again at the moment, so I thought I'd blog something about this.

If you didn't know, The Sims are little simulated people, living simulated lives. You build simulated houses for them, which you then have great fun decorating and furnishing before you move them in. After that they can have jobs, relationships, friendships, babies, hobbies, cars, swimming pools, staff, bankrupcies, repossessions, social workers, dogs, cats and now even snow. Snow!

And we have this fabulous add-on which enables them to be self-sufficient, which as you can imagine is my Sim paradise.

Lyddie loves to play, and....

Let your eyes glaze over here if you don't want to read the EduBlurb...

... it's improving her spelling (got to type Motherload to get a free 1000 $imoleans, and characters' names etc); and her reading: because you need to read the messages to know what's going on; and her skill with numbers because you need to know what things cost and whether you can afford them. Or whether you need to send your little Sim out to work, if you're not cheating.

EduBlurb ends

If Lyddie doesn't take good care of her Sims: by providing them with all of their living requirements, like food, hygiene, comfort and company, they become ill and eventually die, if the problem isn't remedied. It's easy to see if they're not happy because the little floaty diamond above their heads goes from green to yellow, then orange and finally red. Green means healthy and red is dead, basically. So - oh, a bit more EduBlurb I'm afraid. I can't help it, my mind just works that way ok? - she's learning what people need. As if she couldn't learn that from just living... but I suppose it's set out a bit more clearly in little computer-simulated simple people and you could argue that they're a bit safer to experiment on than real people.

In fact, you could argue about the subject of children playing on and learning (or not) from computer games for a long time. I'm up for the debate if anyone else is.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very much 'for' playing computer games, Zoo tycoon was really popular for a while, animal crossing... I could go on... lots of skills can be picked up, spelling, reading, money, maths... :0)

7:10 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Elaine said...

Grandad was sitting watching JR who was busy on teddy's dogster site that she has set up
she was actually writing to other dogs asking if they would like to be friends and very successfully looking at the number of friends he now has.
Grandad , got to love him' said ''and can you learn anything on your laptop?''

7:33 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Clare said...

Flopsy likes the sims but it's a bit too fast for her at the moment to really play properly. She loves it all the same though!

BTW, when I first saw your post on bloglines I read it as 'we're swimming again', then as 'we're slimming again' and only after thinking what a bizarre thing to be doing as a family did I look carefully enough to realise that you had written 'simming' :-]


7:38 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger ruth said...

My lot love computer games and The Sims is a favourite. I thought the title said slimming too. lol

7:47 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Mrs Darcy said...

I have yet to have a go at Sims, it looks confusing but the kids will teach me!
What add on do you have? We have pets.

8:23 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Minnie said...

Ahaaa. Ten million years behind. Junior has just discovered Sims!! She's so good on other stuff. It's amazing. Have to keep booting her off!!

8:24 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Amanda, I keep forgetting about Zoo Tycoon! I bet that'll be the next big craze here :-)

Elaine, I trust you enlightened him :-)

Clare, LOL! Nope, not slimming or swimming!

Ruth, yes it's a good investment isn't it? The only trouble is having to upgrade the PCs from time to time to keep up with the software.

What, no dissenting voices? I was expecting at least one 'anonymous commenter' popping in to tell me how negligent/abusive I was being by allowing the playing of computer games around here..

Oh well, maybe they're all busy elsewhere :-)

8:25 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Minnie said...

I meant she's good on the Sims stuff, too!!!:O))) Ignore me...I've just found out that I'm going to be a Granny!! Arghhhhhh Not enough grey hairs, yet!!

8:26 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Mrs Darcy ;-) We have Pets, and Seasons (which is my favourite one) and Nightlife. Seasons is just great. My little Sims do so much gardening they all turn into plantsims.

Minnie... more PCs! You need more PCs :-) Mind you, looking at our electric bill I keep thinking we need fewer PCs..!

8:28 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Oh wow, A granny?? Wow! Congratulations!! xx

8:29 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger emma said...

sorry, I'm not going to diss computer games either. I love all the free ones around the web - teletubbies for the tinies, and then on to Little Einsteins and Diego and Dora and... wonderful wonderful stuff.

Various adult members of my family got very competitive about their high scores on the Diego sea turtle game recently... whether or not any of the target audience were even in the building... :-)

8:29 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

More ideas for us there Emma, for if Lyddie ever gets bored of The Sims - thanks!

8:37 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Rebekah said...

self-sufficient simms! What you cannot have in reality, at least you can have in virtual reality! Cheers for the ((())) and empathy you left me in comments regarding housework and helping!!! I could do with a plug-in just like that right now!

10:45 pm, October 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could do with a self-sufficiency plug-in round here right now! Thanks for the ((())) you left on my comments!

10:49 pm, October 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just worked out why I couldn't see my comment ... accidentally commenting as my daughter Rebekah!!! So you've sort of got it twice!

BTW, I also read 'slimming' the first time!

10:50 pm, October 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wanted debate, Gill. I might have to admit to a secret little streak in me that would be tempted to play kamikaze simms ... and see what it took to bump each of them off. I'm a very compassionate person in real life, really!!!
I need an emoticon for a dubious and slightly ashamed look. Anyone know one!

10:57 pm, October 19, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

I knew that first comment must be yours Sally, but wondered if you'd got another name or something! Thanks for clearing up the mystery ;-)

And ROFL @ your secret little streak: everyone here has done that at least once... except me! LOL! It upsets me to hurt them. What can I say...?!! Just give my halo a polish there, would you... thanks.. ;-)

But yes, Sims here have been walled up to starve to death (they go mad first in Sims2, which even I concede is quite amusing), walled up in swimming pools, erm... walled up in other places... You can't actually jump them off places, though if you could, no doubt they would have done. Got to play Lemmings for that (which kind of defeats the object) - or World of Warcraft! That's a great game for throwing little people off big heights. Not that I've done much of it myself, honest.. ^^

8:34 am, October 20, 2007  
Blogger these boots said...

Hello. Ooh yes computer games. We recently upgraded M's laptop to fit with A's ... and they have done practically nothing else but play on them since. Mind you we splashed out on a cool game that teaches them chess ... DH then installed the 'proper' chess game on A's computer and she beat it first time ... I was stunned as I didn't realise she'd "got" it. Now she's making up other game rules in Real Life, discussing tactics and forward planning and stuff. They are playing loads of Prof Fizziwizzle which basically is a platform game that you have to open/shut doors, gaps, etc using magnetic forces, blah blah blah. I'll have to see if there's a mac compatible version of Sims - sounds fab. Actually it's great at the mo - seeing A and M through my parents' eyes as they get to know each other. My parents are regularly stunned by stuff the girls come out with/do, even though my parents are very academic and the 'learning gains' the girls are exhibiting are certainly not three Rs type of stuff. It's a real testimony to autonomous ed (and, admittedly, a huge relief!)

I've got Mudcraft and Virtual Villagers lined up for when they are a tad older. Mudcraft is probably fine for little ones, anyway ... I'm just trying to resist overloading them with fun software, as I'd quite like to entice them outside one day!

(oh, and as for your lack of anon comments ... I haven't signed in yet and I've got a message that this blog does not allow anon comments!)

2:28 pm, October 20, 2007  
Blogger Allie said...

Our kids don't really do computer games much. I suppose that could be because we haven't bought them (!) but they see and play them at friends houses and yet don't ask for their own. We have Zoombinis and an 'educational' one where you follow clues round the London underground. Leo plays the odd free thing online. Pearlie loves Club Penguin, which is very cute. But they spend way more time with books than on the computer.

2:39 pm, October 20, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Hi Lucy, oh those sound like great games! I think I'll be referring to the comments here when we need to get some more.

"and I've got a message that this blog does not allow anon comments!"

- ah, of course! I forgot I'd changed that setting. That'll be why they're all so quiet ;-)

Hi Allie, I've never heard of Zoombinies or Club Penguin either - will remember those too! Lyddie is still doing a lot of book-reading too. These days her activity-routine tends to be Sims-artwork-reading-Sims, etc. But of course this could all change next week, or even tomorrow.

6:44 am, October 21, 2007  
Blogger Merry said...

Fran is very into Caesar 3 at the moment, it is excellent, like all their other games. Personally i was of the opinion from when she was 3 that the minute she could play Civ, my work here was done :)

5:24 pm, October 21, 2007  
Blogger Mary said...

I first heard of the sims a few years ago when two of my friends were addicted (adults!).. and my son (7 yr) knows about it and when he read your post over my shoulder he said, oh yeah!

But my question is where do you start? I'm a bit of a luddite at times and when I looked on ebay, there was way too much stuff!!

11:52 am, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Hi Mary :-)

I'd just start with the basic first game (graphic to the right there) which you can probably find on ebay very cheaply now and start playing! There's a good tutorial on that game which takes you through it all very slowly, if that's what you want.

Oh yes, here's one.

7:31 pm, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Mieke said...

Okay, I admit... it must be my Steiner background but I'm not too keen on computergames. I've had to come round quite a bit, not in the least after reading "Don't bother me Mum, I'm learning", (sorry, don't know how to do these link-things, just goes to show, doesn't it) kindly donated to me by my computer loving husband to back his argument that computers can be very educational, apart from entertaining... Fantastic book!
Our PC's do have Watchdog on them, although everybody apart from me knows how to disable that. I do however encourage a healthy balance between PC time and physical exercise and all that, and I am forever leaving articles lying around about possible damage to eyes and RSI and things like that. I know, not autonomous at all, but very me, I'm afraid. The good thing is, the kids take notice but still go their own sweet way... Oh, and the Sims! My youngest was furious when her baby died because she picked it up too often and because she couldn't let it sleep in her bed! Didn't stop her from playing the game, though. I believe that she's now got her whole family in uni...

9:24 pm, October 22, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Mieke, your youngest is right: the game would be far better if it allowed for different parenting styles. Also, Sims1 allows for home ed and Sims2 doesn't! If Simchildren in Sims2 don't go to school, they're eventually taken into care. Lyddie enticed the 'taking into care lady' into a swimming pool then deleted the ladder and the children still disappeared!

It's not very good for the public image of social workers ;-)

7:23 am, October 23, 2007  

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