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EA Considering Sims TV Show 210

Posted by Zonk
from the who-wants-to-see-this-sim-wet-himself? dept.
Reuters is carrying the news that Electronic Arts is considering creating a television show based on 'The Sims'. The show would allow viewers to vote on what the avatars in the show would do. From the article: "One idea could be that you're controlling a family, telling them when to go to the kitchen and when to go to the bedroom, and with this mechanism you have gamers all over the world 'playing the show."
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EA Considering Sims TV Show

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  • From EA? (Score:5, Funny)

    by codesurfer (786910) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:39PM (#11379318)
    Viewers could tell the Sims when to work 80 hr weeks with no overtime pay!
    • Re:From EA? (Score:4, Funny)

      by waveclaw (43274) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:18PM (#11379869) Homepage Journal
      If I watched TV anymore, I would be looking forward to watching the *fun* of this community programming of a virtual community by the mass community.

      Okay, I know it's karma whoring/destroying but I cannot resist the obvious:


      The Sims is the only game where you can kill someone by trapping them between strategically placed toilets.

      -- <Arcturus|BuF>, www.bash.org [bash.org]
      • Re:From EA? (Score:3, Funny)

        by Norgus (770127)
        It is the only game with that feature.... no more. You see ever since half life 2 death match you could indeed kill people with toilets (strategically placed firmly to the side of the head is my favourite)
    • What is sad... (Score:2, Informative)

      ... is that the EA employees working on this lame TV project are probably putting in 80 hour weeks.
  • Die Already (Score:5, Funny)

    by CypherXero (798440) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:40PM (#11379325) Homepage
    Why can't Reality TV just die already? Plus, it's not reality, waking up at 3am to get first post on Slashdot is what the TRUTH is.
    • Re:Die Already (Score:4, Insightful)

      by earlytime (15364) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:49PM (#11379382) Homepage
      I wouldn't call this reality tv as much as i would call it a round peg shoehorned in to a square box. This is not at all suited to tv, the internet is a much better stage for this kind of "performance". Who wants to watch a sim make coffee, then a commercial, then watch a sim sleep, then a commercial? If you want to see a large scale version of "the sims" play a mmorpg version of the sims". TV execs just don't get it.
      • Re:Die Already (Score:2, Interesting)

        by wastaz (634441)
        You dont get this do you?
        What we are going to see is not sims watching TV, showering and making coffee. It's seeing sims "WooHoo", and sims can "WooHoo" time after time after time after time as long as you make them do it in the jacuzzi.

        So basically, EA is going to make a tv show where people are going to have mad sex in a jacuzzi nonstop. Who wouldnt want to see that?
    • Re:Die Already (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jtnix (173853)
      Or better yet, how about we ban all EA news posts? I am sick of seeing daily, hourly and soon to be news ticker updates on this disheartening, soul-sucking company. What, do you all have stock in this poor excuse for a 'software development' conglomerate?
      • by Taladar (717494) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:55PM (#11379731)
        Perhaps we could stop them if every /. user bought one share of EA and then we all decide together to shut them down.
        • Perhaps we could stop them if every /. user bought one share of EA and then we all decide together to shut them down.

          Hahaha, if we can't slashdot them with bandwidth, let's slashdot them with a hostile takeover! You evil bastard, I need to add you to my friends list. :P

          -matt
    • by BaseLineNL (822690) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:20PM (#11379535)
      Don't you see the beauty? With this show you have the power to do it! Just vote for a pool party. Then, when the entire cast is in the pool, vote to remove the ladder.

      *Insert drowning scene*
      The End.
    • That exactly what I thought when I saw the article.

      Tell us, Sims publishers, will one of the objects on the Sims show be a dead horse? Will the audience be able to direct mobs of Sims over to beat it for several hours?

      I'd have to chemically alter my own reality in new and extreme ways to be able to watch this reality show.

    • Re:Die Already (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dashing Leech (688077) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @03:58PM (#11380070)
      "Why can't Reality TV just die already?"

      This would be a very bizarre cross-breed indeed. Most "reality" shows aren't reality, they're game shows (Survivor, Big Brother, Bachelorette, etc.). Perhaps the "follow people around" shows count as reality (The Osbornes, Nic & Jessica, etc.). The Sims TV show would fall in the latter category so would be more of a reality show than the game shows, but is virtual so is less reality. It's quite the irony.

      But of course it would fail. People watch the Osbornes, Nic & Jessica, Ashlee, Carmen & Dave, Anna Nicole, etc., because they're celebrities (though I don't understand why that would be enticing). I doubt the Sims qualify.

      • This would be a very bizarre cross-breed indeed. Most "reality" shows aren't reality, they're game shows (Survivor, Big Brother, Bachelorette, etc.). Perhaps the "follow people around" shows count as reality (The Osbornes, Nic & Jessica, etc.).

        I hate "reality tv", but I have to say: Watching an elderly, incoherant rockstar take out the garbage is strangely fascinating.
      • But of course it would fail. People watch the Osbornes, Nic & Jessica, Ashlee, Carmen & Dave, Anna Nicole, etc., because they're celebrities (though I don't understand why that would be enticing). I doubt the Sims qualify.

        People actually watch these shows because they like to laugh and the absurdly stupid exploits of human cartoons. Why not just let the viewer set the traps for the characters to fall in.
    • Why can't Reality TV just die already?

      Because no-one has started broadcasting an EQ channel where you can watch other people playing EQ.

      And you thought home shopping network was dull...

      Xix.
  • by Faust7 (314817) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:40PM (#11379330) Homepage
    "One idea could be that you're controlling a family, telling them when to go to the kitchen and when to go to the bedroom,

    If they leave the bedroom option in there, I think I can see the future of this show already.
  • by Tribbin (565963) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:40PM (#11379333) Homepage
    ... but then fake.

    Who will watch that once the new of it is over?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:42PM (#11379344)
    Don't they already have one [strangerhood.com]?
    • this is the first thing i thought when i read this...perhaps they're going to syndicate & broadcast strangerhood on tv? that would almost make sense, because it's actually a story with characters n whatnot - and then we wouldn't have to be forced to endure live actors attempting to simulate the wooden horrid acting you see in most video games...

      very strange...
  • by hode (771261) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:42PM (#11379347)
    It won't get past the FCC, especially if they let them buy the vibrating bed...
  • Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pHatidic (163975) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:42PM (#11379348)
    So basically this is a daily 30 minute infomercial sponsored by the evil alliance?
  • by Faust7 (314817) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:42PM (#11379351) Homepage
    EA has signed an exclusive contract with humans stating that only EA is able to makes games involving such.
  • by DrKyle (818035) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:42PM (#11379352)
    If people get to "vote" on what the sims do, they might end up playing like me and just force feed them coffee and never let them sleep or go to the bathroom.
  • by bechthros (714240) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:44PM (#11379361) Homepage Journal
    and i say that as an ardent Sims fan (hell, I bought a new video card just so I could PLAY sims 2). The demands of today's TV entertainment are such that any TV show that's true to the game will BOMB MASSIVELY. TV is about 6-minute chucks of instant gratification and resolving every problem within a half hour. The Sims is about neither of these. If this gets off the ground it will become just another Hanna-Barbara-ish cookie cutter cartoon show, where the only similarity it has to the Sims is in the name (I Robot anyone?) and the characters go through the same tired, demographically neutered plot contrivances as on every other show.


    • The demands of today's TV entertainment are such that any TV show that's true to the game will BOMB MASSIVELY.


      Sounds like it's almost a guarentee that G4 will air it.
    • So you're saying that this is a bad idea not because a TV show based on The Sims would be unadulterated crap, but because people who watch TV have bad taste? Sorry, I don't agree with you.

      Rob
    • TV is about 6-minute chucks of instant gratification and resolving every problem within a half hour.

      You're right,The Sims can't manage anything that long and complex. When the votes have sent every character to have a crap, a shower and a shag, the series, let alone the episode, will be over.

      Mind you, I suppose Sex in the City and Star Trek Voyager got by for a while with plots little more complex than that.

    • "TV is about 6-minute chucks of instant gratification and resolving every problem within a half hour."

      The ratings for shows like Desperate Housewives and Lost would disagree with you. Both shows are hour-long dramas with extended storylines that aren't neatly wrapped up by the end of each episode, and they're both popular as hell.

    • This idea looks horrible only because you are an ardent Sims fan. I am not a huge Sims fan, although I sometimes play Sims 2, and I would be happy if this show was created (even though I would have no chances seeing it, as I don't intend to come to US). Even if it would have only a passing resemblance to the game. The merging of several forms of entertainment (TV, films, games) is ultimately a good thing, but it can only be gradual. I don't expect the borders disappearing for at least 5-15 years, but for it
  • Amazing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pcgamez (40751)
    That is by far the dumbest thing I have ever heard. There is something worse than reality tv!
  • by sinclair44 (728189) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:46PM (#11379366) Homepage
    Wow! With this new TV show, I can turn on the TV and watch the Sims watch TV!

    (Apologies to Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com])
    • by Esion Modnar (632431) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:24PM (#11379560)
      I got it! We need a reality TV show where we watch a family watching people on TV playing the Sims, and they're watching the Sims watch TV, on which there's a reality TV show featuring a family watching people on TV playing the Sims, and they're watching...

      Oh, and don't forget to frame the whole picture in a Gameboy DS top and bottom display for over 15 hours continuously.

      Next on G4...

      • We need a reality TV show where we watch a family watching people on TV playing the Sims, and they're watching the Sims watch TV, on which there's a reality TV show featuring a family watching people on TV playing the Sims, and they're watching...

        Goddamnit, I think you just broke my brain.
      • You might be interested in the movie eXistenZ [imdb.com] by David Cronenberg. It has basically the same plot, except there are no reality shows. :)
  • Reality? (Score:3, Funny)

    by TooTechForYou (816044) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:47PM (#11379369)
    A "virtual" reality TV show? How desperate for entertainment are we?
  • by Lupulack (3988) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:48PM (#11379377)

    Wouldn't this be like:

    a) playing a game with terrible latency and / or controls

    b) watching someone with multiple personality disorder play the game

    In either case I really don't think it'll fly. The Sims was popular ( well , I didn't like it ) because of the fact that you control it. If you don't have control , or are only one vote of thousands ... well I just don't understand why anyone would spend their time on it.

  • by goofyheadedpunk (807517) <goofyheadedpunkNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:49PM (#11379383)
    The Sims have sex.
    The Sims have sex.
    Out pops a baby.
    The Sims, ignoring their baby, have sex.

    Seriously, is a show controlled by the masses through voting a really good idea? In this instance I am suddenly reminded why the Founding Fathers(tm) of America didn't want the majority of people to vote.
    • Seriously, is a show controlled by the masses through voting a really good idea? In this instance I am suddenly reminded why the Founding Fathers(tm) of America didn't want the majority of people to vote.

      Has it really been that long since the last time you were reminded of this?

    • Well obviously the network will have an electoral collage system of writers set in place, to keep the stupid masses from truly having what they want. The writers will really run the whole show; from time to time they may base their decisions off the popular vote, just enough to keep the facade of democracy up..."The viewers really don't know what they want, or what's good for them. Their votes would never constitute a good show, so lets do it our way. Truly it's what's best for them." -> It will be total

    • Seriously, is a show controlled by the masses through voting a really good idea?
      No. It will just be one more painful reminder that the vast majority of us want cookie cutter, mind numbing dreck, all just mediocre and unoriginal at best.... In large quantities.

      We already have American Idol to do that for us.

    • you think they would allow that?

      the chioces would be along the lines "they go to movies" or "they go to theatre". things that don't really matter.

      remember that futurama ep where they go to the movies? and calcylon ends up doing some stupid calculus....

    • The Sims have sex.
      The Sims have sex.
      Out pops a baby.
      The Sims, ignoring their baby, have sex

      You sir, in my opinion, should receive the most insightful post of the year award. You summed up every family I have ever known in what should be song lyrics.

  • Silly gimmick (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The I Shing (700142) * on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:54PM (#11379403) Journal
    There are formats, there are formulas, and then there are gimmicks. This TV show idea is a gimmick, and gimmicks rarely last more than a few installments before the public sighs a big "ho hum" and the idea goes, as Douglas Adams might put it, "to the big golden spike in the sky, baby."
    • Some gimmicks *do* catch on, though.

      Reality TV: Gimmick and (unfortunately) popular.

      MTV: Gimmick and caught on almost immediately.

      Bad anime made to sell action figures (think Draginball Z): Gimmick with millions of American viewers.

      So don't discount it just because it sounds gimmicky. It may surprise you how many idiots addicted to bad TV there are out there who will actually watch this type of thing.

      • But at least the bad anime is amusing. Most of it is done tounge in cheek, so it's not so bad.

        MTV was cool when it still played music, but they haven't done that since I was a teenager.

        Reality TV has always rather sucked. The one exception to that so far was the 2nd season of The Surreal Life (and that was a show that made fun of reality tv. Traci Bingham trying to pants Ron Jeremy to get a look at his member was just amusing).
    • I wouldn't be surprised if the entire story was a hoax dreamed up by the EA marketing department. Either that or it's an elaborate way of using Reuters to set up the cheapest and biggest focus group they've ever had. Probably both.

      Sigh.

  • by pentagono (850381) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @01:56PM (#11379411)
    I think what people really need is interactive Discovery Channel
    Now THAT would be news...
    • "COP's, Interactive".

      And many, many more.
    • Crickey! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Scrameustache (459504) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:48PM (#11379678) Homepage Journal
      I think what people really need is interactive Discovery Channel

      Interactive Steve Irwin! I like it!
      We could tell him which dangerous animals to poke (and then declare "grumpy"), and which poisonous snakes to put on his head!

      I'd even watch THAT on pay-per-view!
      • I'm waiting for Celebrity Survivor: International Space Station, myself.

        Madonna: We've run out of dehydrated ice cream again. One of you bastards has been stealing it. The next supply shuttle doesn't arrive for another month. I don't think normal rations will last but another two weeks for the 5 of us at the rate that stuff is disappearing!
        Clint Eastwood: You don't think, you say?
        Sean Patrick Flanery: Eye. It looks like we'll have ta be poppin' people out o' the hatch sooner'n later.
        Kevin Bacon: What? You
  • So in addition to "Reality TV" we're going to have "Non-Reality TV" as well?
  • If there making a Sims TV show, it's not going to last too long. The Entire cast will be dead by the first episode either by Fire or drowning or some other Darwin Award like way.

    I've always said that everybody who plays The Sims has an uncanny facination with death. Dont believe me? Ask anyone who plays The Sims their most favorite moment. I can almost guarantee it has death involved in one form or another.
  • by thhamm (764787)

    well, if its succesful, it will be the definite proof that shit can indeed be turned into gold.
    • Or proof that EA can turn gold (the sims, which is actually quite a good game) can be turned into shit. Although juding by the number of "chavs" I see walking down the streets ever day, Argos appear to have already achieved turning gold into shit :)
  • by Walkiry (698192) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:00PM (#11379438) Homepage
    Will the audience be able to decide if the Sim takes a toilet break or soils himself? If the option is there we all know what will be chosen...
  • This could be really quite interesting.

    Especially if they really let the players vote on what the Sims would do. But I guess they wouldn't really let, as people would cause all sorts of "wierd plagues" to hit the characters.
  • Strangerhood (Score:5, Interesting)

    by someguy456 (607900) <someguy456@phreaker.net> on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:06PM (#11379466) Homepage Journal
    I'm surprised nobody (at my threshold?) has mentioned Rooster Teeth Productions' The Strangerhood [strangerhood.com], an online series done using The Sims 2.

    Personally, however, I prefer their Red vs. Blue [redvsblue.com], a series done using Halo, and more recently Halo 2.
    • The Strangerhood is much weaker than Red vs. Blue, mainly because the voice actors have to adapt their lines to the mouth movements and actions of the avatars. It just doesn't flow smoothly, kind of like a badly-dubbed martial arts movie. (The storyline also hasn't gotten anywhere yet, but that's probably not a problem with the engine they're using.)

      Even with The Strangerhood being as weak as it is, though, this idea that EA's come up with is far, far worse.

      Rob
    • I'm surprised nobody (at my threshold?) has mentioned Rooster Teeth Productions' The Strangerhood, an online series done using The Sims 2.

      We were attempting the "if you ignore it it'll go away" strategy. However, now that you broke the spell: You're right, it's eerily similar.

      That thing reeks of "big corporation buys out lil' guys that had one good idea and pays them to make uninspired, derivative drivel to hype their product", in my humble opinion.
  • This is EXACTLY what Montag's ditzy wife Mildred in Farenheit 451 was addicted to, for those of you that have read that particular book. The full-screen televisions mounted on the parlor walls beamed in images of people referred to as "relatives", and the viewers could vote on what these virtual people would do in each episode.
  • And how. [penny-arcade.com]

    "What are you doing?"

    "I'm watching him watch his Sims watch TV."

    Now it's going to be:

    "I'm watching him watch TV to watch the Sims so he can vote for what the Sims watch on TV."

  • ..wow.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Berserker76 (555385) on Sunday January 16, 2005 @02:25PM (#11379569)
    ...I joked long before Sims came out that one day they would make a game on the PC that required people to do laundry or dishes, tasks that no one likes doing in real life and people would love it. Then it became a reality.

    Most reality television shows have been awful, this one appears to be the next step in the de-evolution of the human species. This show just perpetuates my theory: Most humans do not want to think, they just want to be told what to do. This removes their need for personal responsibility and accountability.

    Fellow slashdotters excluded, of course....
    • Remember Harvest Moon? The plot of the game was that you take over a farm for two years. The majority of the gameplay involved running around and individually harvesting every single little carrot, tomato, etc. and putting it in your "delivery" crate, although there was also some interaction with the young ladies in the adjacent town (you could get married, at which point the only difference in the game was that your wife would feed you breakfast in the morning and you would randomly have children.

      And ac
    • This was noted a long time ago. I remember reading something by Mark Twain (don't remember the book now, I was a REALLY young kid then) where he spoke about rich people paying money so that they could basically drive a stage-coach, that is doing something, which other people consider "work". The difference is, of course, in whether you HAVE to do it or CHOSE to do it.

      As for reality shows, you are completely right (but you misspelled "all"). When I catch a glimpse of them (sadly, the women in my family are
  • I think Will Wright had batted an idea similar to this after The Sims came out, and before EA's name became nearly synonomous with Microsoft.

    Of course, I always liked his other TV show idea which was to record people's interacttions with robots... such as a tennis ball pitching one (going about 60 mph on the delivery). That would make better tv IMHO.
  • Playing The Sims is already boring as hell. Watching The Sims being run by the kind of people who vote for things on reality TV...
  • Last year we had a show like this (can't remember if it was broadcast or just Webcast)... a family lived in a 'glass house' with a bunch of cameras, and people could give them commands on what to do via the Internet. It only ran for a week; I think it was not really intended as a serious soap, but more an art experiment. It generated quite a bit of publicity when it was announced, but I've not heard anyone talk about the show when it was actually on.

    And yes, the orders where screened before they were p
  • Hrm...

    A reality TV show based on a game that's based on real life that's based on a TV show, based on a game, based on real life, TV show.... *head explodes*
  • Play the Sims, or watch the Sims?

    Play the Sims, or watch the Sims?

    On the one hand, the Sims is designed as interactive entertainment from the get go, and (while I don't care for it) it is quite successful at that for a lot of people.

    On the other hand... uhhh... on the other hand... uhhh... isn't there always an "other hand"?

    (Sometimes the issue really is black and white. Next up on Reality Television, a Quake 3 Tournament where you, the viewer, get to vote on what key Thresh will push next!)
  • Something tells me that the whole Sims family is going to end up pissing themselves in a room with no exits if the viewers get total control.

  • Even if they do ,being the commercial suckers they are the last thing EA would want is get gamers hooked on to the 'idiot box'.har har.
  • Forget Penny Arcade.
    A certain VGCats comic [vgcats.com] has an even deeper insight here...
    Do you think Sims feel pain...?
  • and with this mechanism you have gamers all over the world 'playing the show.

    On Belgian tv you have these "tv games" in dead idle time. You sms to a 4digit number, 1 Euro will be reducted and some action will happen on screen. (like a rocketguy will be fired to blow up a planet, or whatever game there's playing). It's fun, if you feel like paying 1 Euro for a 'keypress' or like to remotely play a game like that cause you're bored in the night. (there are SMS-chatrooms like that as well on the tv, or tele

  • Already done (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Magickcat (768797) *
    I've already played this type of thing before however only one person get a vote. It's called my life.
  • Massively Schizophrenic TV Games ... just imagine hundreds of people trying to control one character...
  • According to the rumor I heard, Diebold [dumbold.com] will make the interactive TV voting software that allows viewers to elect what The Sims will do next on TV!

    -Don

  • That's basically a live-action version of The Sims, to a large degree.

    In fact, initially that was one of the main reasons why I used to play The Sims...I liked the concept of Big Brother, but I didn't like the confrontational idiots they normally got on there, or the foul subject matter that was typically used to lure viewers.

    With The Sims 2 I get to mess around with architectural design, putting Sims together, and all the social networking stuff/intrigue that can go along with it...but I don't get the un
  • While the details weren't given, Will Write did mention this pseudo-interactive show as one of the things on his project list last March at the Game Developer Conference. I may be a fan of his work, but I'm already guessing it a flop.
  • ... and I'll never get modded up, but this could be pure genius. They could have bars on the screen showing the amount of votes for any given action and people could get addicted to watching these bars and voting on things. Just look at the popularity of:

    1. TRL
    2. The Presidential Elections
    3. Home Shopping
    4. Reality TV

    People love these little competitions about nothing consequential.
  • "It's Funny, Laugh" category?

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