Chris Uggen's Blog: sims therapy

Sunday, January 22, 2006

sims therapy

my daughter started playing a new version of the sims recently. i'm definitely late to the party on this one -- the game has been around since 2000 -- but i'm really intrigued. it has been called a "god game" because players create and control the lives of virtual people. the characters eat, drink, play, sleep, buy stuff, get depressed and sometimes die.

i'm most interested because my daughter replicated our family. more precisely, she created us as characters but then made strategic changes to remake the family as she would prefer it. for example, her sim-self is actually taller than her sim-brother, the whole family seems quite affectionate with one another, and there is much more time for play in her simlife than real life.

do other kids use the sims to recreate themselves and their families? it was really instructive for me to see how my daughter tweaked our sim-family. i could imagine some variant of this as a powerful tool for family therapists. instead of just asking your daughter how she'd like her parents and siblings to act, you could have her recreate them and see how it worked for herself. her mother is much less impressed by the game, though she may be biased -- her sim-version keeps perishing in mysterious fires ...

4 Comments:

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Sparkle said...

I'd like to say that I'm a big Sims fan, I just love the game, I spend hours on end playing it!

It's also good that your daughter has created your family and plays it the way she thinks your family shoul be. It gives you an idea of what she's thinking of the family situation!

Great post!

 
At 10:02 PM, Anonymous chris said...

thanks, sparkle. the sims amazes me on many levels. today i learned that placing an expresso machine by a tired sim wakes them up, but makes them tremble with energy when it is time to go to sleep. just like me!

 
At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the description of how your daughter uses the Sims. We've just been looking at the Sims in our Media Technology and Society class, and your blog really helped me understand how the Sims can be used as therapy!

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger christopher uggen said...

thanks, anon. that's a cool use of the product...

 

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