Does Anyone Here actually like Life Simulation in Games?

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Does Anyone Here actually like Life Simulation in Games?

Postby Abraham_1 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:08 am

We always hear Shenmue referred to as a life simulator of sorts and this is what I think divides people on it. The simulating life nature of Shenmue is really something you either love or hate. But in saying that, I’m surprised that so many Shenmue fans don’t like simulation games. Yes, I know Shenmue is not a simulation game, but an action adventure with simulation aspects; however, I’ve met fans who don’t like simulation in games generally, but love Shenmue’s immersion and lifelike aspects. It’s confusing haha.

Anyway, that’s a little off-topic but thought it was worth mentioning. Does anyone here like simulation games? I personally love games which simulated real life, including its mundane aspects, such as The Sims, Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley,, Persona, Deadly Premonition. It’s my favourite way to get immersed in a world.
Last edited by Abraham_1 on Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Simulation Games?

Postby Thief » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:06 pm

I like some Harvest Moon games, but I mostly like them for the aspects that are similar to shenmue—insofar as they treat NPCs as real people, rather than as gameplay roles (shops, etc). But some Harvest Moon games really don’t treat their NPCs with much care. In short, I prefer things like Harves Moon 64/A Wonderful Life, but really not much else. The later games have sort of a sterile feeling to them. The NPCs no longer deal with real problems or act like people and instead feel like light anime tropes.

I also like actraiser, but I feel its sim elements were its weakest aspect (despite the platform segments being rather plain). That game really sort of excelled as a complete package, but I feel its sequels, actraiser 2 and soul blazer, both did better in its parts (platforming for ar2 and world/sim for soul blazer).

Persona 3 was the worst game I’ve ever personally played because it took too long to do anything, story was shallow, gameplay/combat repetitive, and social sim elements seemed pointless and uninteresting. So all in all, I really don’t know what I think about sim stuff.
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Simulation Games?

Postby OL » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:20 pm

Based on this topic so far, I don't think I even understand what qualifies a game as being a "sim."
Previously I would have assumed a sim would primarily be a game that handles its subject matter realistically, in a realistic setting; most flight sims, for example, or something like the Gran Turismo series.
But now I'm seeing mentions of The Sims (which, despite the name, obviously isn't a realistic life simulator), Stardew Valley, Actraiser, Persona, Deadly Premonition, and Harvest Moon.
So uh... yeah. I'll just mention the Styx games as being my favorite murderous robbing goblin simulations. And Asura's Wrath is easily my favorite angry god on a quest for revenge sim.
I friggin love sims.
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Simulation Games?

Postby Thief » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:24 pm

Hmm yeah, I suppose I see your point OL. It's a bit hard to pinpoint exactly what it means to be "sim". I suppose flight simulation (and others like) is one end of the scale, but I believe sim can sort of be a gradient--or maybe one aspect, but not the dominating force. Flight Simulators might dominate as purely simulation, but games like Shenmue might have sim aspects to them.

Games like Harvest Moon are at their core an RPG, but with a farming/relationship simulation aspect to differentiate it from other RPGs. ActRaiser is a platforming game, but with a god/citybuilding simulator aspect. This is why I think they were proper responses. I mean, all games do simulate certain things, if we're being literal. But not all games simulate simulation games (to a lesser degree than the pure simulations).

So I suppose I'd call these games less than pure simulations--simulations alongside additional genres. Things like Asura's Wrath, I don't really think it's fair to call a sim, although it worked well to illustrate your point in this problem of definitions, specifically "sim".
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Simulation Games?

Postby Abraham_1 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:46 pm

Thief wrote: I like some Harvest Moon games, but I mostly like them for the aspects that are similar to shenmue—insofar as they treat NPCs as real people, rather than as gameplay roles (shops, etc). But some Harvest Moon games really don’t treat their NPCs with much care. In short, I prefer things like Harves Moon 64/A Wonderful Life, but really not much else. The later games have sort of a sterile feeling to them. The NPCs no longer deal with real problems or act like people and instead feel like light anime tropes.

I also like actraiser, but I feel its sim elements were its weakest aspect (despite the platform segments being rather plain). That game really sort of excelled as a complete package, but I feel its sequels, actraiser 2 and soul blazer, both did better in its parts (platforming for ar2 and world/sim for soul blazer).

Persona 3 was the worst game I’ve ever personally played because it took too long to do anything, story was shallow, gameplay/combat repetitive, and social sim elements seemed pointless and uninteresting. So all in all, I really don’t know what I think about sim stuff.

Persona 3 was my favourite persona game hahaha. I actually found the story incredibly gripping and emotional, especially that ending. Gameplay wise, yeah the ‘sim’ aspects weren’t anywhere near as great as Persona 5. In fact, gameplay wise it certainly pales in comparison, especially the dungeons
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Simulation Games?

Postby Abraham_1 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:54 pm

OL wrote: Based on this topic so far, I don't think I even understand what qualifies a game as being a "sim."
Previously I would have assumed a sim would primarily be a game that handles its subject matter realistically, in a realistic setting; most flight sims, for example, or something like the Gran Turismo series.
But now I'm seeing mentions of The Sims (which, despite the name, obviously isn't a realistic life simulator), Stardew Valley, Actraiser, Persona, Deadly Premonition, and Harvest Moon.
So uh... yeah. I'll just mention the Styx games as being my favorite murderous robbing goblin simulations. And Asura's Wrath is easily my favorite angry god on a quest for revenge sim.
I friggin love sims.

I get where you’re coming from; there’s obviously no concrete definition of a ‘sim’. But I agree with Thief that there are certain games which are widely accepted as simulation games for one reason or another.

The context in which I was using ‘sim’ was in the context of a life simulator or something which attempts to simulate aspects of real life, especially the mundane aspects we don’t see in most games. You can see this in Shenmue, The Sims, Persona, Deadly Premonition, Harvest Moon etc. With that being said, maybe SimCity was a bad example; my brain is just hardwired to associate that series with The Sims haha.

I should have been clearer in my post because, as you mentioned, Games like Gran Turismo are technically driving sims, but would not fall into the context I was talking about. I have edited my post accordingly.
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Life Simulation in Games?

Postby KiBa » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:26 pm

Anything that tries successfully in various ways to simulate a world, I like. This is, imho, the only reason to game. Games that only exist to test reflexes or solve puzzles out of any sim context are boring to me. Games that simulate a world worse than this one are also boring to me. Gotta transport me to aesthetically better worlds. That is my temporary escape from samsara: as much fake samsara as can fit into the lifetime of this imagination. And the ultimate result after ~15 years of non-stop hermit simulation is that I finally truly appreciate the beauty and love of the real world, despite suffering, such that I would never trade my life for any other. I now appreciate the pricelessness and simultaneous transience of life. I guess that's enlightenment gained through game-itation.
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Life Simulation in Games?

Postby south carmain » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:44 pm

Games that try to simulate mundane aspects of real life always make me feel like i'm wasting my time too much for me to be able to have fun with. Of course by that i don't mean people are actually wasting their time with them, at least no more than any other video game, but i can never shake that feeling when i play them.
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Life Simulation in Games?

Postby sand4fish » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:23 pm

Having real life like activities into our games help with world building. It makes the games more believable and relatable, less abstract I guess. But just up to a point to me. Like what south carmain said, it can often feel tedious and time wasting specially when nothing else happens with the game beside the simulation aspect. So, no love for me when it comes to virtual tutorials like flight simulator, open ended non consequential games like Sim City and specially walking simulators.

That being said, some of my favorites of all time are Sid Meier's Pirates, with its resource management and naval battle sim and Factorio, which had me feeling what would be like running a manufacturing plant in real life. The difference is that these two games had actual stakes and urgency tied to their gameplay, exciting stuff going on beyond the mundane.
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Life Simulation in Games?

Postby Abraham_1 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:36 pm

sand4fish wrote: That being said, some of my favorites of all time are Sid Meier's Pirates, with its resource management and naval battle sim and Factorio, which had me feeling what would be like running a manufacturing plant in real life. The difference is that these two games had actual stakes and urgency tied to their gameplay, exciting stuff going on beyond the mundane.

But wouldn't you say SimCity or Cities Skylines has those things? I guess it depends on what one finds 'exciting'
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Life Simulation in Games?

Postby Henry Spencer » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:55 pm

Do immersive sims count? Some of my favourite games, definitely my favourite games from Western devs.
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Life Simulation in Games?

Postby Abraham_1 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:28 am

Henry Spencer wrote: Do immersive sims count? Some of my favourite games, definitely my favourite games from Western devs.

Give examples. Again, ‘immersive sim’ is also a vague term that no one really knows how to define exactly.
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Life Simulation in Games?

Postby yeo » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:52 am

It's interesting to read your answers. I always thought (as Abraham_1) that Shenmue lovers tend to like "real life simulation" cause that' what you do in Shenmue. You can't freely fight or hang out with your friends or anything. You just spent the time in game's world. So it's so strange to hear that people wasting their time doing mundane things in games.
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Life Simulation in Games?

Postby Abraham_1 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:18 am

yeo wrote: It's interesting to read your answers. I always thought (as Abraham_1) that Shenmue lovers tend to like "real life simulation" cause that' what you do in Shenmue. You can't freely fight or hang out with your friends or anything. You just spent the time in game's world. So it's so strange to hear that people wasting their time doing mundane things in games.

It’s weird, but I think it’s because Shenmue touches upon so many genres, whereas immersive sims are always based around the mundane.

With that being said, the mundane is one of the things which divides people who play Shenmue, so it can’t be deemed a very insignificant part of the game either.
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Re: Does Anyone Here actually like Life Simulation in Games?

Postby Riku Rose » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:44 pm

When the first Sims game came out I loved it and me and my brother would play it all the time, that was about 15 years ago now though and I've never been interested in the newer ones.

I think Sim games have always been more popular on PC's and outside of a short period in the late 90's to early 00's I've pretty much ignored the PC space.

I liked Harvest Moon on the Gamecube but got bored of it being quite repetitive after about 15-20 hours.

I tried Animal Crossing on the DS when it came out but I just couldn't find anything I wanted to do. I can't be bothered to collect butterfly's for the sake of it. I need a game to give me something to aim for, not ask me to make up my own fun and create my own goals.
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