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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 5:05 AM
Default Religion in The Sims
Here is an excellent interview with MJ Chun, one of the Sims producer.

http://fidgit.com/archives/2009/06/..._a_producer.php

Chun dodges the question why there is no religion in TS3.

Here is a further comment.

http://flashofsteel.com/index.php/2...swer-that-isnt/

The most obvious reason why religion is not in The Sims Series, is because of its aim to be culturally neutral. If the Sunset Valley had a church, it would also need a synagogue, a mosque, a stupa and so on. Balancing skin colors and name origins to avoid a white Anglo-Saxon majority is difficult enough.

Also, any gameplay difference between two religions could be interpreted as if one was "better" or "worse" than another.

Another more speculative reason is that the game already has a nearly almighty God, invisible to the Sims - the player. I don't think we players would enjoy competition from SimAllah, SimBrahma or any other fictional deity. The Grim Reaper is fierce enough.

SimCity 4 offers generic "houses of worship", as important service buildings, together with graveyards. When we scale down to The Sims level, we indeed see the need of a place for celebration of great events of life, and consolation. In our real world, these needs are universal.

The graveyard with the mausoleum was a move forward. As I wrote in the expansion thread, the graveyard should be completed by a "House of Life" where Sims could celebrate childrens' birthday parties (equivalent of christening/circumcision, confirmation/bar mitzvah and so on), weddings and funerals.

The House of Life would be the workplace of an Officiant, who offers advice and consolation to troubled Sims. Sims would also sing hymns resembling the Sims theme songs. The "religious symbol" in lieu of crosses or stars of David would of course be the Plumb-bob. The religion could be called "Simism".

Does this sound perverted? To me, it is not more strange than real-world religions. With the difference that Simism is obviously true.
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Lab Assistant
#2 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 5:30 AM
Why do we need a religion at all? Many people in the real world get along just fine without one.
Scholar
#3 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 5:35 AM
The nice thing about the Sims 3 is that it feels less Anglo-Saxon and more culturally open for lack of a better term and while I prefer real places of worship in the game I guess I can settle for a generic one in which they worship me. >83

As for HelloClarice: Many people go about there lives just fine without democracy. Do we need that? (Or insert what ever is important to you.)
Lab Assistant
#4 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 5:41 AM
No, it's not that. It's just what would a non-denominational place of worship look like? You couldn't make it look like anything or someone would get offended. It's just much easier for the producers this way.

I mean I'd like the ability to hold wakes and anniversaries etc but I don't think the Sims really needs a church.
Scholar
#5 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 5:49 AM
It's also much easier for the EA to make the game bland and whitewashed. That way no one will get offended. Then again who wants to play a game like that?

Personally I liked the Sims and Simcity series because they gave me the ability to control people and whole cities, sometimes nations if I added a little RP. Was I controlling real people? No, but the games were as realistic as they could get and that made me happy. Now we have a greater ability to make these games more culturally realistic, and what does EA do? Nothing. Why? Because they're afried they'll offend somebody.
Test Subject
#6 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 5:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloClarice
Why do we need a religion at all? Many people in the real world get along just fine without one.


This. I don't really understand why we would need religion in the sims :'D
Lab Assistant
#7 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 6:07 AM Last edited by Anthoric : 12th Jul 2009 at 10:23 AM.
I think the primary reason is this:

People fight like cats rats and dogs over it if it were in there, no matter how they put it in there. Why? Because the game is so down in detail. Then again I could make a counter argument against myself...

To many believers and non-believers are way too snobbish about all of this to simply let it slide.

But I ask this:

Do we fight over what car is good to drive, I mean fight over it like there is nothing more important? Do we fight over what clothes to wear at what occasion? No, fighting like that over it would be stupid, to each his own and go on, we'd get further if we collaborated.

The problem is many wouldn't just let it go and go on.

Besides, the thing most call religion to me is not religion at all.
Scholar
#8 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 6:25 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloClarice
Why do we need a religion at all? Many people in the real world get along just fine without one.

We don't need it in the game in any way at all. Some people lose all rational thought when dealing with religion and it just causes trouble. Why cause a problems when you don't have to?



Personally, I think it would be cute if Sims had some Llama god and Llama religion, but it just isn't worth it.
Banned
#9 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 7:17 AM
Religion? Are you serious? Sorry, but what a horribly dumb suggestion. :\ You'd have to include every single religion possible to appeal to everybody... Christians... Buddhists... Satanists... Shintoists... Judaism... And where would that leave the Atheists? The agnostics? You couldn't just put in a select few, and leave the others out, because not only would you offend those religious people, and alienate them, but you'd probably have one hell of a lawsuit on your hands.

Sorry, but this is just stupid. I believe in God, I love God, I believe in and love his son Jesus, but I don't affiliate myself with religion for way too many personal reasons. Living in the Bible belt of the country, I've had religion shoved down my throat for too many years, and have seen quite a few people alienated by their families over it... I've seen years of intolerance, hypocrisy... And when word hit my private school, through the word of a supposed 'friend' who'd found out, that I was bisexual, I had kids try to hold me down so they could give me an exorcism. No joke. :/

People can study whatever religion they want on their own time, but I for one would NOT continue to support a game that forced my perfectly happy and religionless Sims to support something that *I* don't support. Once the religious ones can accept gay marriage, abortion and stem cell research, then maybe, but until then, kindly back off. I play TS3 to make my own reality, not to copy the really sh*tty one I've had to live with for almost 20 years. :/
Lab Assistant
#10 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 9:39 AM
All my sims are Pastafarian anyways. They don't need churches/synagogues/mosques/temples/etc. to be touched by his noodly appendage, just a stove and a decent collander...

I agree that keeping religion out of the retail Sims is a pretty good idea. Let the modders serve those that feel the need to have their Sims worship.

.02
Test Subject
#11 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 9:49 AM
If it is going to be implemented at all in any way, shape, or form, it would be done in ways that most people wouldn't like. Notice any difference when your sims have a favorite color? No? Guess what religion would end up as? Yes, it would be a bland, uninteresting surface treatment that adds no depth or difference in game play. No animations, no objects. Just a word, a small graphic, and the chance for a little talking bubble to pop up once in a great while. If religion is going to be implemented, it's going to be done in a way that would make most people think it would be better if a new couch was added over such a worthless feature in a $30 expansion.
Fat Obstreperous Jerk
#12 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 9:57 AM
It wouldn't be too difficult to add religion in the form of a superficial rabbithole in which sims go in to worship. The hard part is getting your picture on it, so that your sims can worship you.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those I had to kill because they pissed me off.
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 9:57 AM
If they really need to pray they can pray to me cause I'm the closest thing to a god in their world. And since I'm omnipresent, they won't need a church to do it . I won't tolerate other gods in my game unless I'm given some violent options to smite their followers >.<
Scholar
#14 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 10:48 AM
This is one of the most ridiculous threads I've ever seen on here. Religion has no place in many arenas, particularly publicly traded companies' games that cater to a worldwide, multi-theistic audience. I guarantee if they even thought about putting any form of religion in The Sims, the backlash (not to mention boycotts) would be tremendous. I don't care what you call it (House of Life?), it amounts to an inclusion of a particular sect of society and the exclusion of the other. We (and EA) live in the world, not just our own little god-fearing bubbles. We have to mindful potentially alienating other people (our customers). The best way to do this is leave religion out of it altogether.

Quote:
The graveyard with the mausoleum was a move forward.

Mausoleums have nothing to do with religions. I personally know 2 families, both atheist, who have family mausoleums. They would definitely be offended at your likening mausoleums to pseudo-houses of worship.


Quote:
Many people go about there lives just fine without democracy. Do we need that? (Or insert what ever is important to you.)


Did you really just equate not being religious to not having democracy? I don't believe in god, so I must be, what, a communist? That's absurd.

Finally, there have always been modders/builders in the Sims community that create a semblance of religion. For TS2, we had hundreds of beautifully done cathedrals and churches. I'm sure the same will go for TS3. If you want your game to be more religious, do it yourself. Create a rabbithole, build a church, mod a prayer interaction, go nuts!

Creator of the Sparkly Things
In Soviet Russia, the Sims mod you!

ZOMG Patterns! ZOMG! Patterns! the Group!
Awesomeness: When I get sad, I stop being sad and am simply awesome again. True story.
Lab Assistant
DELETED POST
11th Jul 2009 at 10:56 AM
This message has been deleted by mangaroo. Reason: inflammatory
Scholar
#15 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 10:59 AM
As funny as that is, I think you should probably delete that comment. If you don't, a moderator will.

Creator of the Sparkly Things
In Soviet Russia, the Sims mod you!

ZOMG Patterns! ZOMG! Patterns! the Group!
Awesomeness: When I get sad, I stop being sad and am simply awesome again. True story.
Mad Poster
#16 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 11:10 AM
The Sims is pretty much neutral when it comes to heavy subjects:

- Sexuality
- Religion
- Whatever else is left

I personally, would like to see a sim religion. It would be rather fun and amusing to have a "Llama God" but maybe they should make it optional, so Atheists won't throw hissy fits.

"Going to the chapel of Love"

the girls club . statistics . yearbook .
Lab Assistant
#17 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 11:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamydre15
I personally, would like to see a sim religion. It would be rather fun and amusing to have a "Llama God" but maybe they should make it optional, so Atheists won't throw hissy fits.


I imagine more hissy fits would come from the more dogmatic elements of those that believe god(s) exist(s) than those who don't. A tongue in cheek, llama worshiping religion would be more heretical than none at all to the fundamentalists of many faiths.
Lab Assistant
#18 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 11:39 AM
Besides, they already worship the almighty sprinkler god
Test Subject
#19 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 11:48 AM
Come to think of it, they also worship the porcelain god. I can't tell you how many times my sims have eaten something with green steam coming from it and then they need to rush to the bathroom to thank their almighty for the wonderful food they partook in experiencing.

Great, now I'm tempted to make a church dedicated to the worship of toilets now. Thanks Thanatozz. :P
Instructor
#20 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 11:51 AM
I thought part of the appeal of the Sims series was that you get to be God. Or is that just me? Come on, don't tell me I'm the only one here with delusions of grandeur.
Scholar
#21 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 12:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid Nitzerglobin
I imagine more hissy fits would come from the more dogmatic elements of those that believe god(s) exist(s) than those who don't. A tongue in cheek, llama worshiping religion would be more heretical than none at all to the fundamentalists of many faiths.


Not too mention, llama would eventually lead people to liken it with a goat, which would then lead people to screaming about how Satanists are running The Sims franchise.

Quote:
I thought part of the appeal of the Sims series was that you get to be God. Or is that just me? Come on, don't tell me I'm the only one here with delusions of grandeur.


That's the whole reason I play

Creator of the Sparkly Things
In Soviet Russia, the Sims mod you!

ZOMG Patterns! ZOMG! Patterns! the Group!
Awesomeness: When I get sad, I stop being sad and am simply awesome again. True story.
Inventor
#22 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 12:15 PM
Nothing good has ever come of religion, so no thank you keep that filth out of the Sims...


Also, there's only Spode!

The Grumpy Old Gamer's Blog

~Life is like a box of chocolates, just when you're enjoying it, you choke on it.
Mad Poster
#23 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 2:36 PM
I see no reason why there shouldn't be a House of Worship in the sims. There are many religions in the world, but the producers don't have to portray each and every religion, nor make it specific to a certain religion. There are certain events that everyone celebrates like marriage, death, the birth of a child, and they could add that as an option to celebrate it in a religious or non religious manner. And maybe they could make spirituality into a skill, that the sims could gain from reading the holy sim books, or from takling about spirituality to other people with high spirituality skill points. And they should be able to hold meetings and fundraisers for charities. Actually, it wouldn't be much different from the political career in that regard.
Lab Assistant
#24 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 2:51 PM
I don't think a year has gone by in human history without someone, somewhere, getting killed over religion. It's not like a "oh hey this would be cool for my pixel dolls" thing; when you start doing things involving religion, something many people in the world base their lives around, they take it personally. It doesn't matter if they should or shouldn't, if it makes perfect sense or if it's madness, they're still going to do it and it will still cause major financial shifts for EA.

Including religion in any way, shape, or form is the perfect recipe for someone somewhere to get offended. One person gets offended, they tell their friends, they tell their friends, and soon enough you have a crowd of 2000 people standing outside of EA's headquarters waving around signs that say "EA HAS SEX WITH SATAN." It's bad PR and just a stupid business decision all around.

They can put it in the game and attempt to accommodate every single denomination and prepare for the inevitable backlash that comes with it, or they can play the safe route and keep it out entirely. Which do you bet will happen?

If wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak.
Forum Resident
#25 Old 11th Jul 2009 at 2:56 PM
Seriously, how could anyone POSSIBLY THINK that you could mass-market a game dealing with religion? It's impossible. As Gangreless said, a hellova lot of people would stop playing. I couldn't honestly say if I would despite being atheist, although I'd be very cheesed off with EA for it.
So, you're religious. So what? Newsflash - IT'S JUST A GAME. Sure, it mimics real life. But in real life, do people catch taxis to drive two houses away? Do they eat three watermelons and guarantee themselves a daughter? Do they take their dead father's ashes to a local science facility and get their ghost to join the family? Do they even HAVE a local science facility? NO! Because it's just a game! If you want to be religious then go for it, but it does NOT need to be part of a simulation game such as this one. The fact this is even up for debate is just ridiculous. The game is fine without it. If you are really that desperate for religion in your game, mod it yourself. Nobody is stopping you. But don't expect EA to ever mass-market it as part of the game. You'll be sourly disappointed.
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