Sims of sims: 10 ways to escape from escapism

If you were a kid when this game was released, and you had an NES, there’s a decent chance you also had an RC car. They were synonymous with fun. They turned books and bits of cardboard and anything else long and flat into death ramps. But you’d rather drive colorful blocks around on your TV.

Above: We were stupid to ever go outside

What it simulates: Professional wrestling
What its simulation is a simulation of: Actual wrestling

WWE wrestlers may be very skilled athletes, but that doesn’t make what they do any less fake or strangely erotic. Thanks to videogames, you can simulate the WWE’s pretend taunts, holds and body slams until you’ve had your fill of sweaty men and easily misconstrued poses.

Above: Boy, that digital representation of The Animal is sure in a load of pretend danger now!

What it simulates: Cyberspace
What its simulation is a simulation of: Reality, only with more neon

At first, you might think that Tron 2.0 only contains one level of abstraction – it’s a simulation of the digital world in which Tron takes place. The metaness of it is more apparent if we adjust the wording: it’s a simulation of a virtual world. You’re not simulating the insides of your computer when you play a Tron game, you’re simulating a simulation taking place within a fictional computer in a fictional world. The levels of abstraction here are outstanding. A similar logic can be applied to Matrix games, since they simulate a simulation of reality.

Above: How’d Master Chief get in there?

Jan 29, 2009

Even though you’re supposed to

Slapping giant 'X's on the box doesn't make your game extreme, though it may indicate the presence of porn

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer