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On why GTA V is really a sim, and other shocking revelations - Tactical Ninja

Sep. 20th, 2013

09:14 am - On why GTA V is really a sim, and other shocking revelations

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Today is one of those days where, if it wasn't such a ridiculous idea, I'd wear my Grey Warden suit to work. It's ridiculous because I can't actually sit down in it, but today, I feel like a Grey Warden on the inside.

How does that feel? Hardcore, mostly. Strutty, like "Don't mess with me." Part of a secret society, maybe? Definitely like leather and chainmail. Yep.

Last night grist brought me some eyeballs and we tested them and then put them in the sockets to see what they look like. What they look like is creepy as fuck. A skull with eyeballs, people. Creepy. But effective. So now, all I have to do is finish the modelling, set up the circuit and install it, and wait for my tiny magnet to arrive from Australia so I can make the ring. Meanwhile, grist is transferring the controlling code from the Arduino Uno we used for testing onto an ATTiny that will actually fit inside the brainbox of the skull. ;-) pombagira, the magnet shipping is likely to hold the completed article up beyond your birthday (I expect arrival by next weekend but possibly after). I hope this is ok.


Using super lightweight modelling clay to smooth the holes and create the ridges on his horns...



This is what happens when you grab the packet from the pile without looking to see whether it comes in colours. Modelling clay is modelling clay, right? It's clay coloured, right?

Apparently, wrong. So Yorick currently has bright red stripey horns. Eventually it'll all get covered in gesso and it won't matter, but meanwhile, he's rocking the Where's Waldo look.

On another note, the YoT bought GTA V. Along with, apparently, nearly twice the population of New Zealand. It's a big selling game. The biggest ever on its first day. I was watching him play it last night and listening to him talk about what you can do in it and I realised something.

It's a sim. Sure, you have no real choice about character customisation, and I can almost hear the roar of outrage from the self-labelled Hardcore Gamer crowd, but from what I can tell, it's a crime sim.

I mean seriously, you can go see a therapist in it. And do yoga. And, well, shoot cops and steal their cars, pick up prostitutes and do drugs. But what it does is simulate life as a petty criminal, and not just the shoot 'em up part.

When I suggested this to the YoT his eyes widened and he looked at me for a bit, and then went "Yup."

So, um, all those folks out there who say that the statistic that shows 45% of gamers are female is false because a lot of the games women play "aren't real games" - ie, the Sims - ? Should probably be eating their words right now.

And no, I'm not suggesting that everyone who plays GTA V is a sexist dudebro. I'm suggesting that a lot of sexist dudebros who dismiss sim games as 'not real games' would be somewhat taken aback to discover just how many parallels there are between the things they think are cool about GTA V and your typical sim*.

* I probably shouldn't include Farm Simulator 2013 in this. There is quite a lot of difference between stealing cars or seeing a therapist, and driving a tractor up and down imaginary rows planting spuds. Just saying.


Last night on the bus I was innocently reading my book and then suddenly, surprise!Porn. I found myself sincerely hoping that the old lady next to me wasn't reading over my shoulder, especially when it got to the bit where one of the partners' legs were described as 'robust looking.' I mean come on, robust looking legs? How is this sexy?

Also, I might have put a couple of my very short vignette style fics on AO3. I R BRAVE. And a little bit trepidatious. But someone said something nice about one of them, so I feel a bit better about it now. *ahem* No, I'm not a writer. But I am one of those people who sees something cool and wants to try it, instead of being happy just watching it. Story of my life...

Comments:

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From:pombagira
Date:September 19th, 2013 11:45 pm (UTC)
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*phew* i am glad that it was molding clay i would at to think that Yorick had gone postal..

tehehe



also yay fiction, it is good!
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From:tatjna
Date:September 19th, 2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
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Maybe he has decided to support the local sports team?

I could make him a scarf...

(i'm glad you like it)
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From:pombagira
Date:September 19th, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
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yeah i wanna read more now.. but is at work.. *sulky face*
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From:tatjna
Date:September 20th, 2013 01:56 am (UTC)
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I'm curious where you're up to?
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From:bewarethefish
Date:September 20th, 2013 05:46 am (UTC)
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I think one of the reasons Skyrim was so popular was because it pushed those same sim buttons - particularly when you added the hearthfire extension.
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From:tatjna
Date:September 20th, 2013 08:27 am (UTC)
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Yeah, it's true. I found Skyrim to be a bit aimless, but my preference is for story-driven games so I like it to have at least a little sense of purpose. But I did kind of enjoy that I could go help someone dig their vegie garden if I didn't feel like slaying dragons.

I find myself wondering how much the increasing levels of immersion (ie, resemblance to living inside the game) will cause all games to end up being sims eventually.

[edit because clearly I have a one track mind. duh]

Edited at 2013-09-20 08:27 am (UTC)
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From:meathiel
Date:September 20th, 2013 12:05 pm (UTC)
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I did see ads for GTA V allover Ireland ... I've not seen one here in Germany. Strange!
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From:tatjna
Date:September 20th, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC)
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That's interesting. I wonder if it was just the timing, with the release already having happened when you got back to Germany or something.
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From:didotwite
Date:September 20th, 2013 08:12 pm (UTC)
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aka "sandbox game".

i liked red dead redemption (also by rockstar) because you got to muck about as a cowboy. there's a story line (like with the GTAs) but you can futz to your little heart's content. i am not so into driving so GTA leaves me cold. the new tomb raider and, before that, the assassin's creed series are similar, there's almost sim-like activity you can waste forever on in between the dudebro wham bam crash action (actually, hit the x button a lot for a while) story elements and cutscenes.

i had surprise porn on a plane the other month. i enjoyed it quickly then re-read it when i got home :P
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From:tatjna
Date:September 20th, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC)
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Mmm, surprise plane porn! ;-)

I really enjoyed Red Dead Redemption but I'm primarily (who am I kidding, only) a PC gamer so I never got good enough with the controller to get the most out of it. I remember it having the best horse animation I've ever seen. Likewise Assassin's Creed didn't translate well to PC so I haven't bothered with that either.

I think it's part of a general trend towards blending of genres as developers seek more and more immersion - after all, the world will be more compelling the more the player can relate to all aspects of it, and there's more appeal in having a variety of options for gameplay than there is in just one.

Although every now and then I like a good dose of Road Rash. ;-)
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From:pundigrion
Date:September 21st, 2013 12:08 am (UTC)
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The game being played a lot on the computer behind me is Saint's Row which has some pretty similar mechanics. It's like gangsta Sims?
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From:tatjna
Date:September 21st, 2013 12:11 am (UTC)
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Pretty much, and according to my offspring it's a huge joke that nobody should take seriously.
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From:pundigrion
Date:September 21st, 2013 12:13 am (UTC)
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Haha, ye he doesn't take it seriously but has been having a blast playing it anyhow. I guess you could draw similar parallels for Fallout as well.
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