The SIMpS Pod – Game Media Industries

The SIMpS Pod is a visual podcast posted via youtube. We utilise Tiktok and Twitter to help reach our audience and share things about our podcast. The podcast is based on determining if these life simulation games negatively impact the players, in specific relation to health and fitness. We planned to play and discuss The Sims 4 while talking about real-life issues, uni life, fitness and of course explore the negative connotations that can arise from life simulation games. The analytical framework we based our podcast on is the main base for all discussions and content creations. 

The first analytical framework we based our project off came from the negative connotations that life simulation games can have on their players. The main ideas we want to focus on, as discussed, come from health and fitness. The Sims 4 is advanced from the 3 before it, allowing you to completely shape your characters figure and muscle definition. The game has a range of expansion, game and stuff packs, as well as the newly added kits. One of the packs is based on fitness. The base game has its gym and fitness parts but for more in-depth discussion we utilised this pack. 

This video of The Sims 4 Fitness Stuff Pack demonstrates some of the main features that it comes with. We utilised this gameplay to find what is used in real life and what is critically adjusted. The Sims allow you to build your characters skill level, this includes swimming, fitness, muscle and so much more. With this skill level build, it also adjusts the sims characters body, meaning that muscle can be built, overeating and cause weight game etc. 

We planned to utilise this information and play the game. Our focus was to discuss these changes and skills in relation to real fitness life and ourselves. In our second episode, we focused on creating ourselves. From here the first negative connotations arose, as we created our sims to look like ourselves we started to change some key features, how small our waist was or how big our noses were. This could be a really complicated path for body image for players, especially teens and young adults which seem to be the biggest population of game players as The Sims is recommended for people 13 and over. 

The fitness stereotypes we see in real life is also represented in-game and we also wanted to discuss our own experiences in this community and relate it to how they demonstrate these in gameplay. We tried where we could to utilise and develop our project based on the feedback we received from both our peers and tutor. From this reflection we were able to make a few changes, I feel as though with more time we could properly grow and develop this project further and reach our target audience. We faced a few issues throughout the past 10 weeks in regards to technical difficulties and trying to manage a collaborative project during the lockdown. 

The technical difficulties came from recording our first and second podcast and trying to determine how we would record and be able to share the visuals of the game while zooming each other. This set up a major delay for our first project schedule, from there it became a do what we can when we can because it was becoming too hard to navigate. Leading up to the beta we had changed computers to stream the game and the process started to come together. If we could have utilised this from the start I feel as though the project would have really excelled. The feedback loop was quite small due to our small audience. 

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