Third time’s the charm for “The Sims”

Liz Lemon’s favorite computerized people are back.

Oh, look, Sims appreciate diversity. Yogis and jocks coexist peacefully. PHOTO COURTESY EA GAMES

Ashley Goetz

Oh, look, Sims appreciate diversity. Yogis and jocks coexist peacefully. PHOTO COURTESY EA GAMES

âÄúThe Sims 3âÄù DISTRIBUTED BY: EA Games DISTRIBUTED FOR: PC/Mac Remember when âÄúThe SimsâÄù first came out? The Sims went on dates, had parties, bought vibrating beds, etc. and then they got updated with âÄúThe Sims 2,âÄù a much more visually pleasing, intricate game where those little creations could grow up, get married, and have babies. They could even get abducted and impregnated by aliens, just like in actual life. Well, welcome âÄúSims 3âÄù to the family, a sweeping neighborhood game with more efficient load time, increased Sim autonomy and lots of tiny new details for users to tweak. Pop culture essayists like Chuck Klosterman like to get quasi-psychoanalyst on the inner workings of the Sims, and for good reason âÄî with clicks of a mouse, users can control little mini-humans with âÄúfeelings,âÄù preferences, occupations and lives. ItâÄôs a power trip so addicting that itâÄôs become a pop culture phenomenon. Just ask âÄú30 RockâÄôsâÄù Liz Lemon : âÄúIf I have learned anything from my Sims family … when a child doesn’t see his father enough, he starts to jump up and down, and then his mood level will drop until he pees himself.âÄù âÄúThe Sims 3âÄù takes Sims where theyâÄôve never gone before: into their neighborsâÄô backyards and houses. Freedom at last! When out and about, the mini-meâÄôs can show off their even more life-like attributes and finely detailed personalities. Now Sims can become workaholics, slackers, âÄúbitter widowsâÄù (a preset option âĦ how stimulating), or fire-starters. Though much of âÄúSims 3âÄù retains elements of its predecessor, there are a couple noteworthy differences. This go-round, the Sims are smarter; you donâÄôt have to direct them to eat, so they wonâÄôt starve to death. In previous incarnations of the game, it would have taken a computer ages to load these graphics, but âÄúSims 3âÄù manages to make the wild and crazy journey into the neighborhood seamless. They can bike around, take a taxi, or go running, all without the hassle of pesky frozen screens. The anticipation for âÄúSims 3âÄù was such that when the game leaked after a few pushbacks, it was pirated 180,000 times in four days. Of course, what those downloaders got wasnâÄôt the final version, but one rife with bugs and glitches. ThereâÄôs just one small problem: once Sim play has gotten so complex that you realize Sims have a âÄúminty breathâÄù function to boost their attractive points, isnâÄôt it perhaps time to get off the computer and brush your own teeth?