Homelessness In The Sims 3

Clever creative type roBurky has just put up the significant first chunk of an in-game diary/experiment/story he’s been working on: Alice and Kev. He’s made a father and daughter in the Sims 3 mismatched, homeless and destitute, then tried to manage their sad lives as best he can.

He’s updating it pretty rapidly, so subscribe to mainline it through your RSS vein.

Naturally it’s funny. But the grim honesty with which the Sims 3 ends up modelling the self-perpetuating consequences of being dispossessed in a dysfunctional family is actually quite affecting. That’s not something you often get in a game diary, and Robin’s quiet observational tone brings it out well.

Also pants.

29 Replies to “Homelessness In The Sims 3”

  1. The constant green smoke rising from their armpits only adds to the sense of pathos.

  2. So did he just give them an empty lot or did he lovingly craft something destitute.

  3. Thanks for the link, Tom! I’m glad someone else likes that distant pants shot.

    I’d been doing this as forum posts at Quarter to Three over the weekend, but people had been emailing me asking that I put it somewhere easier to link to.

    Rabdsquirlz: I gave their home lot a couple of park benches, and then filled it with brambles and bushes like an overground abandoned park.

  4. Excellent experiment, and the telling of it is well done. I’m inspired to try my own, though I think I’ll only play the child and leave the adult to roam free.

  5. Aww, I thought for a minute the Sims 3 modelled homelessness. The closest thing I’ve tried is modelling a set of little detached houses on the same lot in Sims 2 and trying to get them to stay apart. It wasn’t fun.

    This is an inspired idea, and it’s written really well! I love the bite-sized post length and excellent screens. Proper excellent web writing, sir, and I shall say so closer to the source in a minute.

  6. Really enjoying this blog, not surprising since after reading RoBurky’s Space Rangers article I immediately bought the game.

    I did a similar thing to this when I started playing, I wanted to see if I could create a truly homeless character by never living in my own place. The NPC’s really seem to take pity on you, I’ve been found rummaging in peoples bins or fishing in their ponds only to be invited inside, where upon I would knock up anyone I could and steal anything available to my grubby mitts. Yeah, I created a truly self-centered character, so much so I started to hate him myself.

  7. In an odd moment where gaming subculture popped its head into the mainstream press for a moment, there was a small article about Alice and Kev in the Metro this morning.

  8. It was in the physical newspaper in the entertainment section, in the top left corner of a right side page if I remember. I’m afraid the paper’s in a bin in the middle of Birmingham somewhere so I can’t scan & send it, but I’ll keep an eye out for other copies.

  9. You know, the Metro carried a story on Omegle almost immediatly after Tom talked about it. I’m beginning to think someone from there reads this blog.

  10. You know, you have copyright over those screenshots Rob. TAKE ‘EM TO THE FACKING CLEANAHS!

  11. Dante: Actually, that article was posted by Tom Phillips. Doesn’t someone of that name comment here occasionally?

  12. I mailed Kieron with it on Tuesday. I suspect he’s saving it for the Sunday Papers, though.

    This blog is turning into a full time job now. I spent all afternoon answering interview questions for a canadian journalist, and two hours ago it got tweeted by Felicia Day and consequently exploded in popularity.

    I’m trying to set up a page of links to homeless charities while the site is still popular. Anybody have any suggestions for inclusion? Particularly in need of something on the US side.

  13. I did a search but I couldn’t find the paper I’m afraid. The text in the paper was identical to the Metro website it just lacked the screenshot.

    A couple of things on my blog got into the Sunday papers w/o newspaper coverage so this’ll surely get a mention in the Sunday Papers this weekend. The Felicia Day link is a big win also. it’s a great idea presented really well, and it deserves the attention, as it is excellent.

    ‘Fraid as a UK fella I don’t have any US homeless charities to suggest but kudos for reaching out to those charitable organisations. The best thing about the blog is that slightly melancholic angle, as Tom meniotned, it is funny, but there’s something genuinely touching about their plight.

    Keep up the great work :)

  14. It’s probably my duty or something to mention the YMCA as they’re my employer and everything. Not 100% a homeless charity*, but they’re pretty awesome.


    But anyway yeah, they’re fine people to have in a crisis.

    *actually dependent on which local YMCA you’re at, since each one is a seperately registered charity and has a slightly different remit – some being super big on homelessness, others shithot on gyms, and so on.

  15. I have the article here in my hand, I’ll scan it as soon as possible if you want… just have to find the right plug.

  16. It’s showing up on there for me.

    My launcher seems to get a different news feed to that, but others say it shows up in theirs. I think it’s maybe only the US players that are being presented with the link when they load up the game.

    That link is where most of my traffic is coming from, but it goes to the first post of the story, skipping the intro, which has led to a few confused comments from people who don’t quite understand what they’re reading.

    My favourite coverage, however, has been from the lovely Tom Chick, who was one of the people who encouraged me to put it onto a blog in the first place: http://fidgit.com/archives/2009/06/humanism_pathos_and_sims_wetti.php

  17. Yeah – it was there in my news feed before I went to work tonight (also a UK person) – unfortunately can’t check now I’m actually at work, so no idea if it’s dissappeared.

    Also Tom: I’m suprised there hasn’t been some kind of PCG Sim-cast after the success of the Spore one – surely PCG readers would love to share their creations with each other? (Although again, can’t physically check how that would be possible, if it is.)

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