Sims of sims: 10 ways to escape from escapism

What it simulates: Popular franchises, LEGOized
What its simulation is a simulation of: Playing with LEGOs

We’re not complaining about the quality of the LEGO games, they’re good games, but we all probably have dusty boxes full of LEGO blocks in our closets which we could actually play with. Why is it against general social norms for grown men and women to take out their blocks and play with them, but not for them to play a videogame in which they pretend to take out their blocks and play with them?

Above:  Those stubby LEGO legs don’t work as well when there’s no one around to move you up and down while absentmindedly uttering “Do doo dee doo da doo doooo doo dooo”


What it simulates: The classic card game
What its simulation is a simulation of: Having friends

Above:  The space theme most accurately depicts the emptiness that Windows Solitaire represents


What it simulates: Mini-golf
What its simulation is a simulation of: Golf

There’s nothing wrong with mini-golf games in principle. Mini-golf, while in a way a simulation of real golf, has its own particular attributes. But seriously, if you want to play mini-golf, you can get up and go play mini-golf.

Above:  In the game’s defense, real mini-golf courses rarely include lava


What it simulates: A trading card game
What its simulation is a simulation of: A Marvel showdown

So you get to battle with cards, only you don’t get the experience of collecting the cards and most of the social aspects that make card games fun are gone? We guess it’s a bit cheaper, and you might not always have a group of willing friends in the same room at the same time, but it still seems odd to strip several integral aspects out of a game just to digitize it. Preexisting games like poker require cards by nature, but these games could use any mechanic they want. Like… collectable jellyfish that are stuffed full with exciting  stats.

Above: True, playing actual trading card games involves much less lightning

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  • usmovers_02 - January 31, 2009 2:29 p.m.

    Greg Hasting Tournament Paintball IMO is one of the best games ever made. It actually has a working and really intuitive control scheme which gives you almost complete and fluid control over your body which is what you need to play paintball with any degree of success. I can understand why some people might consider it a simulation of combat and thats even the way the game started. In the woods with "sniper" style markers and gilly suits. You might here a shot every 10 mins. While thats fun its just WAY too slow to be the true sport of paintball. Real paintball is played on tight courses with air bunkers with paint flying like crazy. I've played a lot of FPS's that claim to be just like real war and NONE of them feel at all like a good game of paintball does. That's why I don't consider it a war simulator.
  • CoD_22 - January 31, 2009 12:55 p.m.

    Why no sims? thats probably the most obvious sim of real life!
  • fergfighter - January 30, 2009 9:52 p.m.

    am i the only one, EXTREMELEY confused
  • SirBonkers - January 30, 2009 7:56 p.m.

    Good stuff!! I have always been baffled by the paintball and go-cart games. Glad to see I am not alone. By the way "all the speed of Karting" that cracks me up.I can go experience "all the speed of a Karting" in my Honda on the way to work.
  • MacGyver1138 - January 30, 2009 7:36 p.m.

    I have never understood why a paintball video game would be made when someone could put in any FPS and get the experience paintball is simulating. Not to mention most of the paintball video games get crappy reviews. I hadn't ever thought about the others, so thanks!
  • Shellghost - January 30, 2009 10:34 a.m.

    yea i play paintball, it is an acuall sport and way more fun than any other sport :P ReCaptcha: Finger Prune ... O.o
  • usmovers_02 - January 30, 2009 5:17 a.m.

    Paintball is not a simulation of combat. It is another sport of it's own, just like Football, Baseball, Hockey, and others. Ask anybody who plays paintball (and not woodsball, there is a difference) and they'll say the same thing.
  • triforcerpgfreek - January 30, 2009 4:37 a.m.

    smack down vs. raw funny
  • Cwf2008 - January 30, 2009 2:21 a.m.

  • Ninja-KiLLR - January 30, 2009 1:59 a.m.

    i like solitarie
  • Z-man427 - January 29, 2009 10:45 p.m.

    What it simulates: The classic card game What its simulation is a simulation of: Having friends i nearly pissed myself
  • DawgsFan117 - February 1, 2009 1:40 a.m.

    Oh and usmovers_02 you do realize that people arnt debating whether paintball is a simulation of war because its a well known fact that thats exactly what it is. Lets see each person has a GUN which they use t SHOOT people on the opposing side in order to TAKEOUT or KILL them. Sounds like war to me.
  • DawgsFan117 - February 1, 2009 1:36 a.m.

    Z-man427 What it simulates: Someone that thinks its cool to repeat parts of the article even though we all obviously read it. What that simulation is a simulation of: Someone with a life.
  • demo117 - January 31, 2009 1:27 a.m.

    paintball games get bad reviews because only certain people like them like me.p.s.i own at paintball
  • Taxtm - January 30, 2009 7:24 p.m.

    God, I could go on a rant for hours on how ridiculous it is that those baby games are still being produced, but I'm gonna keep my mouth shut on this one. Great article!
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - January 30, 2009 6:23 p.m.

    RC-PRO AM isnt the only RC racing game. Another is ReVolt. It's like RC racing but with more explosions =) And this was my ReCaptcha : "Philadelphia, Tells" - I mean COME ON!
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - January 30, 2009 5:31 p.m.

    Yes, paintball is a sport, one that I said is really fun. But if shooting fake bullets at people isn't a simulation of combat, what is?
  • noobeater - January 30, 2009 4:17 p.m.

    i play paintball and its a sport but it is a sport of simulation oh and a 'hah' to the solitaire i like this article but the baby games are clogging up the gaming market great article
  • danowat - January 30, 2009 1:07 p.m.

    A vast percentage of todays world class racing talent cut their teeth in karts. Karting is a bonifide sport in it's own right
  • AMayer - January 30, 2009 4:02 a.m.

    This is why the world needs GamesRadar. ReCaptcha: Henrike Mike