Tagged With sim games

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I imagine that parents get struck with a revelation in the process of rearing a child that helps them appreciate the enormity of the task before them. I say "imagine" because I've never had a child. At least, a real one. But I was struck by that revelation recently thanks to a small, weird Nintendo game of all things.

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One thing people have always loved about The Sims is its quirky made-up language. It's become so popular since the series debuted that fans now affectionately refer to it as "Simlish." It doesn't make much sense, but half the fun comes from deciphering what sims are trying to tell you by the tone of their voice and the little emoticon-style icons that hover above their heads.

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How do I describe Tomodachi Life? I'll start with the name. "Tomodachi" (友達) is the Japanese word for "Friend", so the title of Nintendo's new 3DS sim game translates literally to "friend life". That's a bumbling phrase. But it helps illustrate why I've had such a hard time explaining the game's appeal to friends and colleagues, even the ones who are more seasoned gamers than myself.

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"Maybe you don't know what the nights are like for people who can't sleep," the poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in his Book of Hours. I've fought with insomnia as long as I can remember. Rilke's line here has always struck me as the best description I've read of the experience.