Sunday, May 9, 2010
Cracking the Sims
I have to admit that this question threw me. I have been struggling my way through Gamer Theory since the book assignments began. I was hoping to find a theory dense book that would appeal to my inner nerd girl and interest me more than some of the other theory book I have read have been able to. However, after carefully reading the section on the Sims and the allegory/algorithm section I feel I can take a pretty fair shot at the question. The idea of the algorithm in gaming seems to be something far more complex than what I believe the author is going for; Wark states that, “an algorithm-- for present purposes—is a finite set of instructions for accomplishing some task, which transforms an initial starting condition into a recognizable end condition” (Gamer Theory 31). It is this definition that fits the statement “to interpret its algorithm” well when referring to the Sims; when you play your Sim, like Benjamin in the book, you are figuring out the pattern of the game when making his life choices. This is something that is not unusual in the gaming world; this statement could apply to most RPG type games but withthe Sims it seems to be especially relevant. You are making conscious decisions (according to the algorithm) that move the game along and affect the life of the Sim. Once you have figured out what you have to do to achieve your goal (when you interpret the algorithm), you have figured out the winning formula and can then best the game.