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Lo-fi movie making within video games

Players of The Sims are creating narratives and movies using Sims characters as actors and the software’s album feature as a recording media:

Players “go to a lot of trouble to get the Sims to do things they don’t want to do,” Wright says, explaining that players must keep their would-be actors fed, clean, rested and happy before they will even consider playing their parts. “So in that sense, it’s almost like they’re a director…. It’s almost like a real movie shoot.”

Asked about that, Service laughed and agreed. “I suspect real people would be easier to direct,” she said. “There is nothing like trying to get two Sims to kiss when they are both not in the mood. Actors would at least pretend.”

If you look at the highest-rated and most-viewed albums on The Sims Exchange, they’ll all of the movie/narrative variety. This account of a lawn gnome’s revenge is a favorite.

This reminds me of Jim Monroe’s My Trip to Liberty City, a home movie-esque account of a Canadian man’s visit to Liberty City in the game Grand Theft Auto.

Reader comments

Xavier BorderieJul 02, 2003 at 9:58AM

And I thought The Sims Survivor was going to far...

greg.orgJul 02, 2003 at 10:32AM

There's also Machinima, where people build sets and characters in FPS games and then 'play out' a script. has a bunch of examples.

Also, Red vs. Blue, a hi-larious serial made using Halo (some video game I have little idea about), which tells the story of bored kill'em soldiers stuck in a remote valley outpost

Brent GustafsonJul 02, 2003 at 3:03PM

Too bad you aren't still in Mpls. There was a show at the Walker called "Quake! Doom! Sims!" that was all about this stuff.

J. KnowlesJul 02, 2003 at 5:28PM

Before the Sims became huge, there was Jaliqua's World, quite possibly the funniest and most honest account of a user trying to control her Sims characters. I'm not a Sims fan, but I still enjoyed this narrative thoroughly.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.