February 2011

Celebrating Diversity in the Sims Games

President Obama has announced that he considers bans on same-sex marriage (in particular the Defense of Marriage Act) to be unconstitutional. This is a big step towards allowing same-sex marriages across the nation, and it put me in mind of how awesome the Sims games are.

You have always been able to enter two same-sex Sims into an official partnership. In the first Sims game it was called "Join Union." I believe that's what The Sims 2 called it, as well. In both cases everything was the same except the name. The proposal process, the wedding ceremony, the after-effects (merging households), these were all identical regardless of whether you were marrying a same-sex couple or an opposite-sex couple.

Finally in The Sims 3 we got full same-sex marriage, with "Get Married" being the name of the action you take. And look! The world has not collapsed! In fact, same-sex Sims couples are just like opposite-sex Sims couples, with all the foibles and joys that come along with that.

Five Tips For A Master Class Garden

I have talked about gardening before in more general terms. But having challenged myself to see how big (and profitable) a garden I can maintain, I want to revisit the topic.

1. Auto-water sprinklers are definitely the way to go.

You need a Sim with at least level 7 Handiness skill to upgrade your sprinklers. Luckily these sprinklers seem to last forever, so you can keep them for generations. (I have yet to see a sprinkler break in Sims 3.)

2. After a certain point, you will need more than one gardening Sim to take care of all the plants.

Luckily you don't need a lot of skill to do the basic plant-tending interactions. (And their gardening skill will improve as they tend the fields, anyway.)

Getting A Sims 3 Band Gig

Get comfortable - it's gonna take a while!

Judging by the confusion in various online Sims-related forums, getting your musician Sims' band to play a gig is one of the more mysterious and difficult features of the Late Night expansion pack. If not ever!

First of course you have to form a band. To do this, control the Sim you want to be the lead player, and then click on someone else who has musical talent. You will have "Band… Ask to join band" as interaction options.

If you spend time in the various clubs that have musical instruments available, you will inevitably run into a Sim who plays with at least a minimal competence. Often your Sim will have a wish to "Ask so-and-so to join the band."

Once you have formed your band, your next step is to wait until you get an Opportunity.