Some gaming under my belt

I’ve fallen behind with my gaming lately. I know that makes it sound all laborious and job-like, but with writing gaming columns and on the side of my full-time job, it kinda is. You can’t allow yourself to fall behind. Plus, I’m one of those people who feels guilty about buying or loading a game and then neglecting it.

So, after the Amazing Race last night (God, I love that show), I devoted a couple of hours to Jade Empire: Special Edition. I’m still struggling with the combat, particularly when I try to mix up my fighting styles – physical, harmonious support, weapon, chi-stealing – but the story is excellent. Even if, as a typical Action-Adventure gamer, I do sometimes get impatient with having to spend 5 minutes taking to every person I meet.

Anyway, speaking of games, in what has to pass for the weirdest ever announced video-game-to-film adaptation, management title The Sims – one of the highest selling game series of all time – could soon be heading to the big screen.

From: Variety

Fox brings 'SIMS' to bigscreen
Film will be a live-action version

20th Century Fox has acquired feature rights to the life simulation computer game "The SIMS" from Electronic Arts, and has set project up with Fox-based John Davis.

The five-year-old franchise is the best selling PC game in history, with worldwide sales topping 85 million, bringing in over $1.6 billion. Pic will be a live-action version.

Steve Asbell is overseeing the project for Fox with SIMS Studio head Rod Humble managing the creative property for Electronic Arts. Brian Lynch will script; story is under wraps with talent yet to be named.

"'The SIMS has done an interactive version of an old story, which is what it's like to have infinite power and how do you deal with it," said Humble. "Given that that's an old story, you can imagine how easily that would translate to traditional story telling."

Davis' most recent projects include "Norbit," "When A Stranger Calls," and "Eragon."

Lynch scripted and helmed upcoming "Big Helium Dog," and penned "Scary Movie 3," and is managed by Benderspink.

Ignoring the rather dubious credentials of the people involved, I do think a Sims film has potential. The games are open-ended and free of the usual restraints a definite story imposes, so the film makers actually do have a large amount of free reign when scripting their adaptation.

The way I see it, is that the film could head in one of two directions.

1) A kind of Click meets Bruce Almighty, where a character discovers he can control the lives of other people around him. The Variety article suggests this more conventional route will be chosen.

2) More like the Truman Show, or the philosophical novel Sophie’s World, in which characters, bored with the repetitive routine of their lives, discover they are actually the playthings of some greater being. Unreal, computer-generated ‘sims’, they have no control over their world or existence. Personally, I think this concept has greater dramatic potential.


Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, for any Durbanites interested, we’re going to see Pieter-Dirk Uys' new one-man show “Evita for President” at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, on 9 June, at 5pm. Tickets are R100 and you can book through the Computicket website.


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