The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.
Video Game of the Week – The Sims 3: Generations
By Michael Connolly
Parents of kids who are devoted Sims fans – and there are tens of millions of them – have become used to turning a blind eye to scenes that would surely be considered inappropriate in any other game. What started out 10 years ago as a charming romp through suburban American has slowly morphed into a sometimes too detailed look at the highs – and lows – of regular family life.
Don’t get me wrong – The Sims is still one of the most brilliant video game franchises to ever have been created (and the kids love it more than ever) – but the game has matured in a way that not every parent will be pleased about.
Take the latest expansion pack for The Sims 3, which is titled The Sims 3: Generations. Here, each life phase is given an additional theme: for children, it’s imagination and make believe; for young adults, it’s relationships, getting married and having kids of their own; and for older coupes, it’s about enjoying the golden years and watching their grandchildren grow up.
And then there are the teens. For them, it’s all about having fun. Whether it’s going a little crazy at the prom, throwing eggs at an old lady’s front door, or setting a bag of poop on fire on the neighbor’s front porch (seriously!), life is one big prank-filled party.
Of course, this is hugely entertaining for the tweens and young teens that are the staple of The Sims fan base, but you can’t help feeling that, like reality TV, the developers have become more interested in the shock value of the content rather than the traditional family-based storytelling.
Other new features that come with Generations: dress-up trunks, playground equipment, tree houses, video cameras…and, oh yes, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and lots of body hair. Get the idea?
But just as you think The Sims has lost its innocence forever, along comes a feature that restores your faith. All babies now come with a toy doll in their inventory. If the child plays with the toy enough, it will turn into an imaginary friend that only the child can see. If the child develops his chemistry ability (also new in Generations) to the highest level, then he will have the power to bring his imaginary friend to life.
It’s that kind of innovation and execution that has made The Sims series what it is today: one of the most popular video game franchises in the world. As a lot of parents have come to accept, if it takes a few pranks and a little chest hair to keep these brilliant ideas flowing, then so be it!
The Sims 3: Generations is rated T for Teen (crude humor, sexual themes, violence) by the ESRB. Check out the ESRB video game ratings and content descriptors at ESRB.org
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Windows, Mac
Release Date: May 31, 2011
ESRB Rating: “T” for Teen
Thank you for submitting your comment. Your comment will appear on the site after it has been reviewed by site moderators!
As you may have guessed, it is made of titanium and some stainless steel¡ªthe case is titanium and the rolex replica sale is stainless steel. The dial is brown, the watch hands are silver-toned, and there is a date window at the four o¡¯clock position. The sapphire case protects the breitling replica sale from water damage up to 30 meters. Synergy means cooperative action. This replica watches uk combines the best of the old and the new to deliver something uniquely modern. All of the classic elements are there. It has the sleek and stylish dial of the replica watches uk, the concave dot at the 12 o¡¯clock hour, and the Swiss quartz movement. But the Sapphire Synergy has something few breitling replica sale offer, a rubber wristband. Why rubber? Well, it¡¯s not a sport rolex replica sale, so using it outdoors is out of the question. But the informal band gives it a more casual look and feel, which can be quite appealing to the modern male.