The Sims 3, having no official objectives but entertainment and fun, spurs a lot of player-created material– from objects, to stories, and even challenges. Challenges invented by players for other players sweeps the internet in blogs and such, where creative gamers get to share their ideas and “rules” of gameplay with others and see if they can match them, surpass them, or just keep up. It can be fun to look at a new way of playing The Sims 3– a lot of you may be familiar with other challenges on fansites, like the 100 Baby Challenge– where you must use one sim to create 100 babies (rules vary based on source), or something called the Legacy Challenge where each generation has specific objectives to follow. Of course, there are many more like these floating around. One interesting challenge on the scene now is The Generations Challenge.
This new challenge is a source of open-ended fun which is personalized in experience, never-ending, no winning or losing involved, and gives the player a sense of God-like (or at least matriarchal/patriarchal) personal pride in their game. With that kind of specific, even intimate tie to the player themselves invested into the game, the beauty of this challenge is that it makes the game hard to lose its luster. It continuously renews itself in your eyes, and you feel as though getting rid of it would be like getting rid of a child– literally. Usual gameplay in The Sims 3 can grow boring for some despite its massive appeal, leaving some to ditch families and homes created and start from scratch, or to split time between multiple games out of the need for something fresh. This may inevitably lead a Sims 3 enthusiast to seek out greener pastures, resulting in them possibly finding many of the fan internet challenges going around. Those too, however, lose their appeal after awhile. After all, who wants to stay stuck in some endless cycle of pumping out baby after baby, quickly raising them, throwing them out the door, and doing it all over again? That gets old rather fast. In this challenge, however, gameplay is always fresh and new, and you are far more hesitant to throw it all away or split your time because you are so personally involved in the families you create that you want to keep fostering their growth– and each new generation is a fresh story begun, yet all part of the same story you began. Everything ties together and you find yourself wanting to see what happens next. Tip: use elements of randomness to keep it interesting– too much control on your part tends to have the player repeating the same choices over and over again, which also gets old.
Why is it so personalized? Here’s how it works: you start with yourself. Creating a household that echoes your real life, the challenge is essentially to create descendants and play them for generations to come. There are some rules to keep the challenge and gameplay tight– if it were too loose, you might as well just say you are playing The Sims 3 with you in it, without calling it any kind of “challenge”. Check out the rules where the challenge originated here at The Sims 3 Generations Challenge to discover more about how to play, and you may find yourself enjoying the game in a way you haven’t yet. The challenge also encourages people to share their stories, family trees, pictures, tips, and more from the challenge to keep the spirit of community and creativity that has connected Sims 3 fans so well for the past few years. Try it for yourself and see if you like it, and spread the word. Can you get with the challenge?