I had to have a bit of a smile when I saw Tateru Nino’s story on The Sims’ creator Will Wright joining the Linden Lab board.
Over the past week I’ve been playing The Sims Social, the Facebook-based version of the game. I’d argue it’s actually one of the least social versions of the game in that there is no live interaction with your Facebook friends and it’s a flurry of more traditional Facebook Wall posts and messages between your friends to achieve key parts of the game.
Not surprisingly with a Facebook-based social game, there’s a heavy push towards virtual currency (SimCash), and it’s not cheap:
Sure, you can play most aspects of the game without buying SimCash (there’s also Social Points and Simoleons that you accumulate and spend), but it takes an active effort to play that way. I can’t blame Electronic Arts for wanting to make money, but I think the slant is too heavy. There’s plenty of depth in the game although there’s a heavy feeling of the MMO grind or familiar endless Farmville grind you’ll be very used to. That classic Sims humour is still present and overall I’m enjoying playing although I think that interest may wane fairly quickly.
Anyway, back to Will Wright. He obviously has no active role with The Sims anymore and I wasn’t able to find any direct comments he’s made on The Sims Social, so I hope he’ll not be part of a drive to implement such a constraining social model on Second Life. I’m more assuming he’ll bring some new ideas that don’t rely on tried and true models – Second Life needs to remain unique whilst improving / evolving. The more brain-power on the Board to help that along the better.
That said, if Simlish becomes the new primary language of Second Life, I’m leaving.