Added: Kesia Wimbley - Date: 04.02.2022 13:31 - Views: 30514 - Clicks: 2324
What's the last time you got knocked up in-game? Was it The Sims 2? Fable II? Or all the way back in with Dragon Quest V, featuring the first known playable pregnancy? The choice to make pregnancy a part of gameplay adds a whole layer of moral issues to development, as well as some awkward questions about how to represent all nine months of swinging hormones, morning sickness and stretch marks.
A lot of people don't know that," points out Clary Alward, managing editor at the self-explanatory Pregnancy Magazine, the premier publication for all stages of pregnancy. Pregnancy in video games has come a long way from the bit days where you couldn't even render a baby bump with the industry's best artists. These days we have Harvest Moon games with magic pregnancy potions, Fable II with fancy pregnancy cut scenes and the Sims franchise which has graduated from "shower of daisies" to an actual trimester system.
Pregnancy in The Sims 2 is the most realistic and gives players the greatest sense of accomplishment. Here's how it goes down: a would-be parent has to select the "Try for Baby" option when "Whoo-Hooing" with a member of the opposite sex. Pc games with pregnancy the pc games with pregnancy is successful, a soft chime indicates to the player that the female Sim is pregnant. For the next 72 sim hours, the mom-to-be will experience bouts of morning sickness, run out of energy more quickly, need to use the toilet more often and will usually be more hungry as a result of throwing up from the morning sickness.
At the end of each 24 sim-hour "trimester," the mom's stomach will expand — that's called "popping" in pregnancy language — and on the third day, she goes into labor by grasping her stomach, writhing and moaning. Then you get a nifty little cut scene where the mom's plumb-bob a. MJ Chun, Associate Producer on The Sims 3, says the decision to include pregnancy as part of gameplay in The Sims 2 was made partially because the game featured multi-generational families.
But the bigger goal was achieving a level of realism. What Clary had to say about The Sims 2 was was something between amusement and disgust: "I really am amused by the writhing and the grasping of belly and the wailing… In the movies when you see women freak out during birth — that is known as 'transition.
It's wicked, wicked painful. And so the fact that [the developer is] portraying the entire labor and delivery process as like being transition is… it's perpetuating all kinds of stupid things. Clary also worries that the game sends the wrong message by not covering some complicated parts of pregnancy and its aftermath. For example, I told her about one my Sims that had a Lifetime Aspiration to have 10.
The first five pregnancies were okay — but around baby six, my Sim started to have a Fear of having a baby this is what postpartum depression looks like in the Sims. Because she still had a Want for the baby, the Fear was canceled out when babies six, seven and eight were born. But then, baby nine caused catastrophe.
My Sim no longer had a Want for babies and the Fear of having babies was still there even when she wasn't pregnant. On the first day of her ninth pregnancy, her husband-Sim died. I couldn't get her mood back to normal before the baby came, so when the Fear of having the baby activated, she had a nervous breakdown. To make matters worse, one of her kids had just failed out of school, so the Social Worker showed up and took all nine kids from the household. What does this say about pregnancy? Is it realistic in that many mothers struggle with wanting a kid and not wanting one at the same time — or is it just a case of user error not to be read into too deeply?
Clary didn't think what happened to my Sim was all that realistic especially the Therapist hallucinationbut she did say that the game was sending the wrong message by limiting pregnancy to just morning sickness, labor and postpartum depression. There is such a thing as adoption in real life; courts will give unfit mothers a second chance; and it's not unusual to not want the things you thought you wanted before you got pregnant.
Clary said she thought game developers should be more responsible about the way they integrate pregnancy and to always make sure that there's a point to it. Games that have a "point" to pregnancy seem to be about establishing an emotional connection to characters. Dragons Quest V is like that — the twins you have with whichever wife you pick are a major part of the story. A more recent example would be Fable II.
Technically, your female character in Fable II doesn't get "pregnant" — you just get a cut scene that explains you gave birth and then the game s with a cradle in your house. It's the same for male characters as it is for female. But that wasn't the way that Lead Deer Peter Molyneux deed it. Lionhead Studios decided to opt for a cut scene instead, though, after considering all the moral quandaries that come of having a six-month pregnant mom-to-be wielding a broword and getting cut up by bandits.
What I got a kick out of is the part where you have to be married to have. I didn't know that when I was trying desperately to get my character, Missy, pregnant. I eventually figured it out — after Missy had slept with half of Albion — and got her hitched to the town crier. In short order, she was at last blessed with a little bundle of joy named Finally. All of the work I had to do to get Missy pregnant definitely did make subsequent plot choices in Fable II feel more important.
I'd spent a ridiculous amount of gold to get the town crier a ring then oh-so-much time pleasing my baby son by dancing in front of his cradle — of course I was more invested in the characters than if I'd just been given these attachments at the start of the game. Clary's reaction to Missy's story was something between amusement and unease. The most bizarre pregnancies I've ever experienced have been in the Harvest Moon games. The most recent installment — Tree of Tranquility on the Wii — lets you play as a boy or a girl.
Each character can get pc games with pregnancy to one of the townsfolk and have a baby that they raise over the course of the game. The way it works is that a year to the day after your character gets married in the game, the wife will faint during a cut scene. The husband rushes her to the hospital where the doctor informs the couple that they're expecting.
And then the game goes back to business as usual — no "popping," no morning sickness, nothing — for three more months until the baby comes again, in another cut scene.
It's bizarre that when playing as the girl character you're pretty much farming, fishing and horseback riding all the way up until the point of labor. Then one morning, your husband finds you lying in bed looking ill and then rushes you to the hospital to have the kid — which is essentially his only contribution to the entire process aside from the obvious fertilization part. Jerkface doesn't even help you out on the farm or watch the kid when it wanders off down toward the river. The implications are staggering: you have to be married, the baby will take care of itself and your body doesn't change at all physically during pregnancy and of course you can go out and till those fields!
Clearly because this is a kids' game, realism isn't high on the list of priorities for the developers when it comes to implementing pregnancy. But it does strike me as a weird way to go about it, if not just plain wrong.
Clary's concern about over-simplified pregnancy in kids' games is that children will see this and it will be their only exposure to pregnancy 'til the real thing happens. I would definitely argue that Guitar Hero and the like should become more like real guitar playing.
So I can see a point in having children in games but I think that the gameplay should then arc toward being more realistic as it goes on in development. The bottom line from Clary's perspective is that many of these games are deed by guys for guys. They're not going to care about realism — they only want it to be fun. That's not to say that pregnancy in a video game couldn't be fun; Clary said she could see women who play World of Warcraft wanting to get their characters pregnant just because of all the time and energy they invest into the character.
What can we look forward to in games that will feature pregnancy? Well, MJ Chun says to expect more of the same from Sims 3, plus some interesting new ideas.
According to Chun, players can now take their sim to the hospital when she goes into labor, or they can just make Mom stay home and have the baby the ol' fashioned way. Expecting mothers are not house-bound however, the way they were in The Sims 2. Expansions in The Sims 2 introduced ways to influence pc games with pregnancy, like a cheesecake that gave the mom twins. Sims 3 will have other weird ways to influence the and gender of babies than just food — like watching certain TV channels or trading in lifetime happiness points for a Fertility Treatment reward which could lead to triplets.
Oh, and Chun added, "There are now playable ghosts who can have babies. Update: Clary ed me the following clarification in response to the wrath of the Internet - "Pregnancy does last 40 weeks, which can either translated as more than 9 months or almost 10 months.
I'm not sure I see this as a huge concern. While I can't say I've played very many of the games where you can haveit seems that most of them are games complicated enough that there wouldn't be a lot of young children clamouring to play them in the first place. Fable II is rated M, and while not Oblivion complicated, it isn't exactly for the average 6 year-old.
And while young children can play The Sims, I'd wager that the majority of kids would just set people on fire and fool around, as opposed to actually try to develop their Sim's life; perhaps I'm underestimating the average little girl's ability to play the game. Pc games with pregnancy Moon seems like it might be one of the exceptions, since younger kids seem like they might be able to get a grasp on it and progress far enough to have children.
Still, I'm not sure what the solution would be here for developers. As the series is now and most series where your player character can be either genderthe gameplay experience is pretty much identical, aside from the gender of your suitor. If they wanted to actually have a female character be incapable of hard labor in their final trimester or whenever is appropriate - I'm a 20 year-old male and it's not something I've looked intothe game would have to provide some way for your spouse to fill in, and then have you help out in whatever way while still in whatever way possible.
It seems like it would be challenging to implement this while still creating fun gameplay, seeing as the the manual labour is pretty much the "cool" part of farming that the game promotes. That seems like it would be a challenge for the series, at the very least, since a good majority of the gameplay is manual labour. All that being said, I'd love to see them take on that challenge!
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