Essay On Simulation and Hyper-Reality In The Sims


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Simulation and Hyper-Reality In The Sims


The immediate environment that we live in is surrounded by images; video games, films, computer graphics and TV. Most of the images that exist around us tend to hide the reality. In other words, Jean Baudrillard said, “there is no reality anymore.” Jean Baudrillard during 1960s, came up with an argument concerning post modernity whereby he summarized the whole phenomena using the media theory of “simulation and hyper-reality.” (Baudrillard, 1981)Baudrillard explained simulation as one of the powers of media to displace what is real with virtual images. In this case, the virtual world includes objects and people that appear real, real enough to appear as if you can touch them but in mind you know that they are virtual, mediated and constructed by technology.

On the other hand, hyper-reality entails a phantasm creation; the mass communication has created a world that is more exact, authentic and real to one’s perceptive in the real world or life surrounding us. As such, Baudrillard became more skeptical and negative about the post modernity whereby he stipulated that the simulation and hyper-reality is a threat to the difference between imaginary and real, between false and true. Although Baudrillard was negative about the post modernity, his theory of simulation and hyper-reality is a useful platform of comprehending and understanding contemporary issues in the mass media. Utterly, Baudrillard talks of the theories as provocation that gives a deep insight to mass communication as far as the new media generation is concerned. As such, based on the postmodern theory of Jean Baudrillard, this thesis identifies and discusses the phenomena of simulation and hyper-reality through examination of the video game known as the Sims.

The Sims

The Sims is a life-simulation game for computers developed and designed by Maxisand Will Wright respectively. Published by Electronic Arts, (The Sims, 2014)the game is known and famous for developing the SimCity whereby the user simulates daily activities of the virtual person(s) known as the “Sims.”

Simulation and hyper-reality in the Sims

The Sims, especially online game, you can choose a character of your desire “avatar”; a personal representation of yourself or create someone different from your real representation for the purpose of interacting with other “Sims” or avatar on a simulated society. In this case, one is convinced and absorbed into the virtual world that the community you interact with is real just like in real life. For example, one can join in sports or classes but in the real sense you are in a virtual reality. This is definitely a hyper-reality, according to Baudrillard, the simulation of social interaction in the Sims is neither a reality nor a copy of real, but becomes a truth or reality in its own right.

On the same note, the Sims has the value of playground whereby one is able build and create new world and models of the existing surrounding, be it a person, under-water environment or cities. The user acquire, although virtually, ability and power to play God by creating perfect objects that are real and exact. Theoretically, the playground or platform is a virtual or simulated construction of children kit. Such phenomenon is meant to feign what is impossible in the reality or a simulation that is composed of phantasms and illusion.

Baudrillard has stipulated that postmodern is an era of hyper-reality whereby all the things that an individual can do in life can be manipulated or done electronically (a new definition of the term reality). An individual is set psychologically to live a virtual world with virtual community, pets and wealth just like in the Sims series. The information that is conveyed from the mass media is becoming meaningless and virtual (unreal). Hence, the Sims has been built based on the simulation approach whereby a copy of real world has been built with blocks of virtual elements and characteristics.

Conclusion

The Sims is a perfect image or reflection of the real word based on the simulation and hyper-reality approach. (Baudrillard, 1981)Inclining with the statement of Baudrillard’s theory that the two practices of mass media are potential threat or danger to the information society; individual threatens the difference between real and imaginary, between false and true. On the contrary, his theory of simulation and hyper-reality is a useful platform of comprehending and understanding contemporary issues in the mass media. Utterly, Baudrillard talks of the theories as provocation that gives a deep insight to mass communication as far as the new media generation is concerned. Therefore, the Sims has been designed through simulation whereby its foundation is based on the virtual elements and blocks of real world.

References


Baudrillard, J., 1981. Simulacra and simulation.
The Sims, 2014. The SIMS.