How to Play The Sims 2 PC Game With a Ten Year Old
For the uninitiated, The Sims 2 is the sequel to Sims, the popular PC people simulator game. You create the characters (called Sims) and families, and manage their interactions. The Sims DVD could play on the desktop but no this fantastic sequel could only run on my laptop. So I gave the Daddy’s boy unlimited access to my laptop earlier this year until it crashed when he and my son-in-law were connecting a fancy iPhone clone to the USB port. Now I’ve practically banned him, I know over-reaction, but hey how long could I hold out?
Today, as a reward for obedience, and to cool his summer boredom, (swine flu scare has curtailed many activities in this part of the world) I promised him we would play football or one hour of The Sims 2 together. No football was played of course, so we sat down to The Sims 2.
Customizing Sim Characteristics
Well we had fun creating the personal features of the family. I asked him to create black people. Had to tell him why. Mixed features but Black. Like us. This game could be used by a police artist to draw any kind of facial feature. I am impressed. Sliders can fine-tune characteristics like length of nose to colour ands size of eyes. I asked him to keep the family size small until he could manage the Sims. So far so good. The Personality and Aspiration parameters are demonstrated as you choose. I rather dislike the astrological charting. Why convert a youngster to the horoscope thingy? You choose the personality by setting astrological sign or by manually assigning personality points among the five personality variables.
According to the manual from Electronic Arts “a family’s funds are shared by all the Sims in the household. Available Simoleons can be spent on food, objects, services, and many other things in the game.” The last time we played he had used a cheat code to create millions of dollars. He spent it lavishly on luxurious housing and outlandish furniture. I gave him a stern lecture then about cheating and the filthy rich lifestyle drug lords of Colombia and Europe, and Jamaica too for that matter. This time I forewarned him that no cheat codes and he must stick to a realistic budget. But the young man quickly spent over $16,000 to buy house out of start-up budget of $20,000. You know I spent the rest of the game lecturing him that in real life he must be careful with money. You must save some for a rainy day, blah, blah, blah.
The needs are Hunger, Energy, Bladder, Hygiene, Comfort, Fun, Social, and Environment. Directional arrows next to each need indicate when satisfaction in this area is increasing or decreasing. Managing the Sims is largely about monitoring these toolbars and attending to these needs with objects or activities. You take care of their life needs. The clock ticks over very quickly and you could easily end up with a confused, dirty broke family if you don’t watch the timer and get them to eat, sleep bathe, and socialise. Not to mention manage the budget and get jobs for your Sims.
Career Information Panel
Like the real world Sims have to work to earn money. Forget the cheat code thing. I was so disappointed in the boy that night.
Sims can choose one of ten Career Tracks, each one of which has ten job levels. Job search is done via newspaper on online. I quickly dissuaded my son from having the dad in his family take a job in the Science Career as a Test Subject. I think he settled for Mailroom start in the Managerial Track. Two main objectives this evening which I fulfilled: I wanted to influence him to play without cheat codes money; secondly, I wanted to make sure that the father got to work on time by getting enough sleep and being ready for the carpool.
Next time we’ll get mom to have a baby and while the teenager prepares for college or something. We’ll see. But I believe with proper supervision The Sims 2 provides preparation for the game of life.