Homelessness in 'The Sims 3' creates a stunning story

Alice-Kev-Sims_l Now that The Sims 3 has been out for a little while, nontraditional play has emerged — as it always does — in some cool and interesting ways. For example: The Tale of Alice and Kev, "an experiment in playing a homeless family in The Sims 3."

Game design student Robin Burkinsaw "created two Sims, moved them in to a place made to look like an abandoned park, removed all of their remaining money, and then attempted to help them survive without taking any job promotions or easy cash routes." Burkinsaw designed Kev, the dad, to be "hot-headed, mean-spirited, and inappropriate," and daughter Alice to be "a kind-hearted clumsy loser." What happened next illustrates some of the potential entrenched in the fascinating emotional intelligence woven into the game.

Alice tries to sleep at neighbors' houses, where she's met with a variety of responses, from pity to disgust. Kev's outlandish sexual behavior makes him the scourge of the neighborhood. As Alice matures, her frustration and desperation increase, and she and her father disagree even more than usual. Honestly, start at the beginning and read all the way through: Alice and Kev is as emotional and compelling as anything I've seen in a long time. The Sims 3 suddenly seems a lot more interesting.

Whaddya think, PopWatchers? Did you always know The Sims 3 had this kind of potential, or are you as gobsmacked as I am? What stories have come out of your Simulations so far?

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  • Colden Atkins-Penileworth

    The Homeless are special people. One fellow who lives near the corner actually fought in Vietnam! Spare change for them you cold-hearted nugglers!!!!

    • Bex

      As much as we’d all like to help the homeless on the streets with those cute little pups, nothing can be done. We have rescue centres and other things in the real world. We still have homeless people because they decide to spend all their money on drugs and achohol so therefore I reccomend you don’t spare change.

  • Brian

    That was surprisingly compelling and funny. Makes me want to buy the game, even though I know how incredibly addictive it can be.

  • Julie E.

    I’m a fan of Sims 2 (haven’t bought 3 . . . yet), and this was really interesting. Thanks for posting it.
    Is EW going to review Sims 3 in the magazine? It’s hard to find reliable reviews . . . some people love it and won’t say a bad word about it, and others hate everything. I’m hoping for a (relatively) lengthy EW review.

  • Chris

    This is the most riveting endorsement for a game I’ve seen in a long while, and I’m not even a big fan of the Sims franchise. Gamespot.com and IGN.com both offer great reviews for Sims 3, among other games. I suggest you check those out while you wait for EW to write one.

  • Meredith44

    I’ve been resistant to Sims 3 (despite (or perhaps because) I loved 1 and 2 so much). This is especially true because of some negative things I’ve heard from friends who have tried it. This made me want to check it out, though. I loved reading the story and seeing how well the characters interacted.

  • Mary

    I will admit that I am a Sims Addict! I have the Sims 3, and I love it! For those on the fence, try it out. A word of advice though – get the Sims 2 out of your mind. It is quite different gameplay.
    The homeless story is really good. I haven’t attempted to do a story yet, simply because it’s very different than it was in 2.

  • Ramo

    This is great, compelling stuff! I’m facebooking it.

  • Whitney

    Although I haven’t tried anything like this, or even ‘The Sims 3′, I know how easy it is to get attached to the sims. They can be unexpected, kind, sad, and everything in between- it keeps you on your toes just like a real person.
    I’ve felt exactly the same about Alice- a totally real person in a technological world. The world needs more Alice’s. :)

  • Cassie

    I’ve always played the sims and even have the sims 3 now. I’ve always loved how creative many people have gotten with their stories with every stage of the game that came out. This didn’t suprise me, what this person did with their story, because Sims 3 has been advertising for a long time how much interaction you will be able to have with other sims in the game. Being no longer confined to one house or one lot at a time opens up so much. I’m glad this person wrote this story and I have fully enjoyed it and am anxiously waiting for what happens next.

  • Delenn

    I have been following the Alice and Kev -story, and it’s brilliant! It really raises the awareness of real life problems, and Burkinsaw is a great storyteller!

  • Dave Lasher

    There is another great Sims 3 Story Blog called, Martian Martian Martian.
    http://martianmartianmartian.blogspot.com/

  • Betty Newbie

    There is another funny blog based on the sims 3 http://kiplanandjeremy.blogspot.com/ It’s about two brothers. One is a total geek but thinks hes awesome. And the other is totally awesome, but doesnt seem to notice.

  • Mariia

    Love this story!! I had followed it from beginning to end, and made me want to start my own story. Eventually I did, if you want the link I will paste it at the end of my comment. I know my story is and never will be as good or popular as Alice and Kev, but it’s a very original topic, just like A&K. Story link:

    http://painsasimslife.wordpress.com/

  • dana

    im sad! kev died even though he was mean to alice i know he cared about her deep inside

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