A competitive e-sport series promoting playability, inclusivity, and individuality reiterates The Sims as being a safe online environment to explore your uniqueness.
Coined as a gamers virtual social sandbox, The SimsTM is a shining example of a virtual experience that allows each player to create their own reality and express themselves through the choices they make within the game. Musician Rayvon Owen credits his SimsTM experience as being the catalyst for exploring the “joys, terrors and mysteries of adult life for the first time” as a proud gay man living in a conservative, religious home. Turns out, his gaming experience was the perfect prerequisite for his most recent role as host of The SimsTM – Spark’d, a series pitting the Top 12 SimsTM players against each other to earn the title of “World’s Most Creative Storyteller” (and a bonus $100,000).
Play as you are – a fitting theme of a game show encouraging contestants to reflect on their own lives and delve into issues of gender, sexuality, race and class that affect both gamers and viewers alike. What allows this competitive e-sport to stand out amongst others on the market is its commitment to showcasing diversity through the show’s contestants and their avatar’s stories. Acting as a visual reflection of the world we live in today, The SimsTM Game continues to update itself and increase the number of independent decisions a player can make to curate the most authentic version of themselves.
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Kelsey Impicciche, Buzzfeed Video Producer turned Spark’d judge expresses her adoration for the game and why she continues to play saying, “Over the years, the core of the game has stayed the same, but the big difference is that the community itself is more diverse and the Sims are more inclusive.”
Presenting diversity through an integration of gaming platforms and TV Channels as The SimsTM has done so, gamers and viewers alike agree this life simulation tool is a safe space for creative expression. Although there is a long way to go in an effort for all individuals to feel completely accepted, the Gaming and Animation Industry is consistently making headway and future efforts will give gamers the opportunity to convey their life experiences in a creative platform.
Here at JMC, we recognise that game development, design and functionality cannot be taught in isolation and instead go hand in hand. Our students become equipped with integral gamification skills through our Game Design Course that allows the creation of new worlds and realities the industry is constantly in search of and players are itching to be a part of.