Abitur 2012 Topic 1: „Can people actually learn for real life by playing simulation games? Choose an example or a genre that you are familiar with and explain its merits and limitations.“ Von Carina Urban

The Bright Side Of Sims

If you belong to the people who play simulation games because you think you can actually learn something for real life by doing this, it’s time to brace yourself now: I have been playing the famous game “Sims” for several years now and still find it great, but it presents a completely unrealistic and ideal world. This game is like a digital dollhouse in which it’s your job to direct humans called “Sims” (like “sim-ulation”) through their life from toddler age to death.

One great merit of this game is that you can almost do whatever you want. From changing the haircolor of your Sims to designing the pattern of your seats in the living room, you can add, edit and change almost everything. So within certain limits the game helps to ignite and expand your creativity.

But it doesn’t help you at all to learn something useful. Earning money in your job, for example, is far too easy. You get promoted pretty fast; one day, you work as a secretary and the next day, you become the leader of your business, which is completely unrealistic.

The best way to become best friends with a stranger, is to talk several times to him or her. Then you proceed with things like admiring your victim until you start hugging him for three times – then your job here is done and the two Sims who at first didn’t even know each other’s names are best friends for life and probably on their way to get married.

All in all this genre of simulation games is more about fun than actually teaching you about real life. Although it may arouse your imagination and creativity, the unrealistic aspects are predominant. (288 words)

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