THE EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE SIMS 4 DURING A PANDEMIC. A LIFE SIMULATION AS A VIRTUAL MIRROR OF SOCIETY?
Danube University Krems (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Many games take us into a fantasy world. “The Sims“ take us into a kind of everyday life. The game “The Sims“ has coined the term life simulation as a new genre of digital games. A life simulation is a digital game that enables the simulation and presentation of a life cycle of an object or person according to previously defined rules. Thus, it represents a specialized subcategory of the genre of simulation games and often includes real-time elements. In the game “The Sims“ the player takes the position of a creator, mastermind and observer. Regardless the role of the player, the game itself has been created by developers who are themselves embedded in a cultural context. In this paper we will investigate how the abstracted everyday life in “The Sims 4“ reacts to a state of emergency like the global COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to explore how experiences from playing “The Sims“ can be used to learn valuable lessons for dealing with the pandemic, especially with regard to social distancing, which is often referred to as the “new normal”. Special attention is given to the particularly drastic effects of the hard lockdowns and how a game, a simulation, can help us to generate a basis for discussion and the possibility to generate didactic concepts around and within the game experience.
Keywords: The Sims, Simulation, Covid-19, Didactic Concepts, Game-based Learning.