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The Sims 3 Plus University Life

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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Cocktails, sand, and life-threatening situations are all a part of Sims 3: Island Paradise">Sims 3 Island Paradise







There's no escaping Death's clammy hand in the Sims 3, not even in these new screenshots of forthcoming expansion Island Paradise. Hopefully you'll get a few by-the-pool margaritas in before your untimely demise.



The poor lady above seems to have confused "island paradise" with "gangster's paradise," but no matter. In this latest batch of screenshots from EA's people simulator, things appear to be going just swimmingly—that is, until death makes a bizarre, underwater appearance, probably following a fatal kraken attack. Personally, I'm looking forward to luring unsuspecting Sims into my houseboat-cum-modern-art-museum before dumping them in shark-infested waters.



The Sims 3: Island Paradise is out June 25. It's pre-orderable on Origin, where you'll also find other Sims 3 expansions discounted in the lead-up to holiday funtimes.















PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Cocktails, sand, and life-threatening situations are all a part of Sims 3: Island Paradise">Sims 3 Island Paradise







There's no escaping Death's clammy hand in the Sims 3, not even in these new screenshots of forthcoming expansion Island Paradise. Hopefully you'll get a few by-the-pool margaritas in before your untimely demise.



The poor lady above seems to have confused "island paradise" with "gangster's paradise," but no matter. In this latest batch of screenshots from EA's people simulator, things appear to be going just swimmingly—that is, until death makes a bizarre, underwater appearance, probably following a fatal kraken attack. Personally, I'm looking forward to luring unsuspecting Sims into my houseboat-cum-modern-art-museum before dumping them in shark-infested waters.



The Sims 3: Island Paradise is out June 25. It's pre-orderable on Origin, where you'll also find other Sims 3 expansions discounted in the lead-up to holiday funtimes.















PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The Sims 3 indulges in flights of fancy with a new dragon town">The Sims 3: Dragon Valley







Looks like we'll be able to re-enact parts of Game of Thrones in The Sims 3 now, with the introduction of a new dragon-themed map—I wonder how to say "oh god help me it's eating my face" in Simlish?



Judging by the trailer, the new town's taking some inspiration from the much-loved book series and show, with long flowing gowns, steely-eyed good-looking guys, and some supernaturally inclined tattooed people making an appearance. And then, of course, there's the cute baby dragon, delightfully roasting some poor dude in a quiet countryside valley.



Dragon Valley, its elven residents, and an adorable red dragon become available on May 31 at the Sim store. It's $25 for the standard bundle, but an upgraded bundle for $35 will also net you a theme-appropriate "Celtic Lands" furniture and decoration set, as well as a slew of SimPoints to spend in the store. It seems like a steep price to pay, though, when you could just sell your slave army.



Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Updated with new details from Maxis.

After nearly two hundred expansion packs* for The Sims 3, Maxis is finally moving on to the next generation of The Sims. The predictably named The Sims 4 will be coming to PC and Mac in 2014, the company has announced.

(*Not true. Exaggeration.)

Here's the original announcement:

The Sims franchise is fueled by the passion and creativity of its millions of fans around the world. Their continued devotion to the franchise ignites the fire of creativity of the team at The Sims Studio, driving them to continually improve and innovate on one of the world's most successful simulation game that has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.

There's no mention of "connected" or "always-on" or "social" in the announcement. We're certain that Maxis wants to avoid a repeat of SimCity's launch fiasco--but who knows what kind of design they'll take next for the next trap-people-in-bathrooms-and-watch-them-die simulator.

Update: The Sims 4 is an offline game. In an updated post, Maxis points out that The Sims 4 "celebrates the heart and soul of the Sims themselves, giving players a deeper connection with the most expressive, surprising and charming Sims ever in this single-player offline experience."

Product Release - Valve
The Sims 3: University Life, all new content for The Sims™ 3 is Now Available on Steam

Create and control Sims by customizing everything from their appearances and personalities to their homes. Then send them off to university where they will enjoy new opportunities, like social connections and career growth. From class activities to major-specific objects, your Sim will find new ways to learn! And university isn’t just about hitting the books. Join a protest, flirt at a bonfire party—there’s a lot to explore outside of lectures at the student union. With new locations like the bowling alley and SimBurger to visit, and new activities like juice pong and spray painting murals to enjoy, your Sims are sure to have the time of their lives!

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Taboo unchained: player creates colonial-era plantation in The Sims 3">The Sims 3 Gaudet Plantation







Since the day the first Sims game was launched, virtual architects have been using its built-in construction tools to create exotic and bizarre monuments ranging from heart-shaped islands to a mansion made entirely out of stacked trailer homes. With the same tenacious ambition but with a stated purpose to do "terrible things," Reddit user BourgeoisBanana presented a project earlier this week of a more sensitive nature: the Gaudet Plantation, a lush colonial farmstead complete with slave workers and affluent white owners. But is it actually a terrible thing to explore the darker periods of history?



On a whim, BourgeoisBanana set out to see how closely he could recreate the living conditions of both slave and owner on a plantation. "I'm a large history and architecture buff, and The Sims is a great outlet for both of those, despite getting a lot of flak for being a 'casual' game," he told PC Gamer. "Being British, the colonial era is of particular interest of mine, and after seeing Django Unchained, the idea sort of came to me. I had the day off, so I thought, 'Why not?'"



A small pile of mods were used to design and model both the slave quarters and mansion. The mods set parameters for reflecting the quality of life (or lack thereof) for the slaves, locking them out from the main building and tweaking the AI to stuff in more Sims per house.



"The general layout of the plantation was of my own design, and several people pointed out that it wasn't entirely historically accurate, but given the tools I think I did the best I could," BourgeoisBanana explained. "The house was more or less of my own design too, loosely based off several colonial plantation houses of the era. My main inspiration for the exterior was the plantation house from a level in Hitman: Blood Money. Django Unchained certainly was a great reference too."



BourgeoisBanana recognizes how his creation's stark depiction of racism doesn't exactly mesh with the game's cheerful suburban innocence. He hopes for a future where more games and gamers explore all facets of history, even where doing so may make us uncomfortable. "I believe that to deny our history is to make it repeatable, and discouraging projects such as this one won't prevent racism in the least," he said. "Not only gamers, but all forms of media should definitely get over this politically correct phase we seem to be going through so we can expose the brutality of our past, rather than covering it up and pretending it never happened."



So, is it really a terrible thing? As the plantation's creator touched upon, ignoring our past mistakes with civil rights won't make them simply disappear. Thus, why shouldn't we reconstruct terrible events from history? If not for the goal of sending a message, then just as a way to satisfy curiosity? How would an in-game replication of a slave ship, for example, look like using Minecraft blocks? Let's hear your thoughts in the comments.















Gaudet Plantation mansion 1st floor



Gaudet Plantation mansion attic



Gaudet Plantation mansion ground floor



Gaudet Plantation slave quarters
Announcement - Valve
Save 50-75% on The Sims 3 Franchise during this week's Midweek Madness*!

The freedom of The Sims 3 will inspire you with endless creative possibilities and amuse you with unexpected moments of surprise and mischief! Create over a million unique Sims and control their lives. Customize everything from their appearances, to their personalities and even the home of their dreams.

*Offer ends Thursday at 4PM Pacific Time
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Missouri Representative proposes tax on “violent” video games">StarCraft 2







Warning: If you're currently near a wall, desk, table or any solid object, take care while reading this story. You may be struck with an overwhelming urge to bash your head against it.



A Representative of Missouri, Republican Diane Franklin of Camdenton, is calling for a sales tax on violent video games following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. "Violent," in this instance, really doesn't mean what you think it does. From the proposed bill: "the term 'violent video game' means a video or computer game that has received a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board of Teen, Mature, or Adult Only"



That means that , if successfully passed, Teen-rated games like The Sims 3, Starcraft 2, EVE Online and Tropico 4 would all be taxed in Missouri on account of how unrepentantly violent they are. Seriously, if my eyes rolled any harder it would cause permanent damage.



If passed, the bill would impose a 1% sales tax to violent games, to be used to finance mental health programs and law enforcement measures to prevent mass shootings. No other form of media is being targeted by the proposal.



KSDK report similar legislative attempts in Oklahoma and New Mexico, both of which failed to pass.



Once again, I'll point to our research on the connection between violent games and increased aggression, which provides ample examples of the faults that can be found in the methodology used to say the link is conclusive.



Thanks, Slashdot.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Torturing Sims in The Sims isn’t so uncommon, say psychologists">The Sims Medieval stocks







Over the years, The Sims games transformed from a meta-life experience into a stage for my inner Jigsaw to enact elaborate deathtraps. All the classics made an appearance: disappearing bathroom toilet, disappearing pool ladder, and a slowly shrinking doorless room, all spiraling my Sims into a miserable pile of urine-soaked madness. And as an explanatory article in The Sims Official Magazine reveals, my torturous tendencies aren't alone.



Interviewed psychologists such as Dr. Jamie Madigan stated players instigating an age of woe upon their Sims "may not be as much of a subset as we might think." No, it isn't a mass lapse of sanity—it's simply human curiosity taking its natural course.



"People may simply be curious about what happens when they create these situations, and the results can even be seen as funny," Madigan said. “There are many different ways of playing the game, and these endless choices are what bring about enjoyment.”



Madigan also explained the inclination to fashion Sims approximating "slightly idealized versions of ourselves" that influence player behavior both in-game and in-life, saying, "People who used particularly tall avatars tended to be more assertive in negotiations both inside of a virtual world and in the real world immediately after turning off the game." Hey, it worked for Keanu Reeves.



The Sims' addictive qualities also came under the psychological lens, with Madigan explaining the pervasive enjoyment of goal-setting and achievements keeps us glued to watching little green bars go up and down. "I think that if you took away those rewards and progress meters, people would be much more likely to abandon the game," she said.



Read the rest of the psychology of The Sims for more justification to inflict utter misery upon digital denizens.



Thanks, PCGamesN.
Announcement - Valve
Save up to 66% on The Sims 3 and The Sims 3 DLC* during this week's Midweek Madness!

The freedom of The Sims 3 will inspire you with endless creative possibilities and amuse you with unexpected moments of surprise and mischief! Create over a million unique Sims and control their lives. Customize everything from their appearances, to their personalities and even the home of their dreams.

*excludes The Sims 3 Showtime and The Sims 3 Showtime Katy Perry Collector’s Edition

...

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