The Sims 3
The Sims 3 is the third installment in a series of life-simulation games.
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Story & Themes
The Sims comes with a neighborhood already populated with people. You can choose to play one of these households or create your own. There can be up to eight Sims in a household, and they don’t have to be related—though if you make children, they have to have adult supervision!
Sims come in all ages: toddlers, children, teens, young adults, adults, and elders. Their lifespan can be set by the player, and can last anywhere from 25 Sim days (a very short life), to 960 Sim days (every day lasts about 30 minutes). Some actions will influence how long Sims live; if a Sim is a vegetarian, for example, they’ll live longer! Finally, aging can be turned all the way off, and all Sims in the game will stop aging.
The player can customize their Sims down to the smallest details, like the angle of their nostrils (not kidding). They choose hair, skin, clothes, personality traits, ambitions, and more. As you can guess, kids have a lot of fun with this. Often players will create virtual versions of themselves and live out their fantasies through the game.
Adult Sims can get jobs, have relationships, and start families—and the player controls it all. One of the appeals of The Sims is making the Sims interact with each other. Actions like telling jokes, dancing together, or playing games can have interesting results depending on what personality each Sim has.
Not only do players control the lives of their Sims—they can control the environment too. With Buy Mode and Build Mode, players construct their Sims’ house and fill it with furniture and objects. Players can move their Sims into a pre-made home, or make their own house—choosing everything from the color of the wallpaper to what light fixtures go best with that carpet. Getting a job for your Sims will allow them to afford nicer furniture or to expand the square footage of their house.
Expansion packs for the Sims are constantly being released. Expansion packs offer new furniture and clothes, as well as fun, ridiculous themed content. The Sims World Adventures adds new vacation destinations, while The Sims Pets adds animal companions. As of October 2013 there are 11 expansions for The Sims 3, and that’s not counting the Stuff packs that just provide new items like clothing and furniture. There are a lot of choices here!
There is some crude humor: Sims need to eat, sleep, and use the bathroom just like real people. If you don't let them use the bathroom… well, you can guess what happens.
Younger players will probably enjoy telling stories about their Sims. Ask about their Sims' personalities, their friendships, and their jobs.
Resource and time management is an important part of The Sims. If your Sims don't shower or eat before work, they might get smelly, hungry, and unhappy. But that means the player has to make sure the Sims wake up on time to fulfill all their needs. Talk about why it's fun to perform mundane tasks like showering or cooking in a game, while it might not be so fun in real life.
If your kids like building, ask them for a tour of the houses they've built.
Money management is a big issue in The Sims. More expensive items often make Sims happier. Talk about whether that's also true in real life, and what it takes to achieve wealth.
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Art (Painting, Drawing, etc.),
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