Posted at 10.26.2018
The fascinating part about the Sims is to gradually build your home, invent people and determine life goals for the kids. I remember enjoying inventing infinite life scenarios, conceive love reports, friendships but also fights between the various Sims.
This famous life simulation gaming released in 2000 is one of the very most successful games ever before created for Personal computer (Thang, 2008 and Sacco, 2011). During my adolescence, I firmly felt mounted on this gaming and enjoyed to play long hours on the computer. It was the first time I noticed obsessed by way of a video game. So, where does this obsession result from?
It is possible that we first sensed satisfied by the entertaining and creative areas of The Sims. However, I think that what added to make me feel dependent on this video game, is the idea of evasion in a world with no restrictions, where I could feel in charge and in perfect tranquility with my identification. This newspaper will analyze how the consumption of the Sims demonstrates the development of my self-esteem from my early-adolescence until today.
The apparition of desire
"I used to be 11 years of age when I first found out about The Sims. I still remember feeling this discomfort of pleasure inside my abdominal while I was imagining myself creating virtual characters and designing homes to them. I started needing the game so very bad! I decided to ask this game for Xmas and waited for 9 weeks until I possibly could finally get it and play the overall game. "
According to Belk, Ger, and Askegaard, the difference between desire and utilitarian needs is reflected through ardent words that translate profound emotions about the object of ingestion. By declaring words such as "sensation of excitement", "started seeking this so very bad", "waited for 9 months", I obviously illustrate my deep desire of participating in The Sims.
Desire constitutes the hyperlink between the cultural world and people. Consumers have a tendency to desire goods that can enhance the connection between themselves and the sociable world (Belk, Ger and Askegaard, 2003). My thing of desire: participating in The Sims can therefore be considerate as a solution to make me feel more socially accepted.
Who I am versus who I want to be
2. 1 Cultural change and self-esteem
"Since I was created, I resided in 7 different countries and in 3 different continents. I spent my overall adolescence living in Barcelona, Spain. When we moved there, it was the 5th country in a decade, after Turkey, Panama, Chile and France. I had been happy with my friends in France when my parents explained we had to go to Spain. I believed miserable and frustrated to leave my friends once again. When I arrived in Barcelona, I put to assimilate myself in sets of early-adolescents that realized each other since they were 3 years old. "
Living abroad will often make it sophisticated for a child to establish a specific cultural personal information. Multicultural people may at some factors have troubles to find teams in which they feel accepted and recognized (Carvalho Hoersting, 2009). This clarifies the fact that, when I first arrived in Barcelona, I experienced difficulty to find the right band of friends where I would feel safe. Although I could speak Spanish, I didn't know how to speak Catalan, the second official words in Barcelona. The actual fact that I couldn't understand everyone and that individuals from my class constantly discovered my Southern American accent in Spanish made me feel unpleasant and unsecure at college. "Language barrier can lead to misunderstandings, unintended turmoil and emotions of alienation among those involved", points out Jacob Stover.
At the same time, our move to Barcelona corresponded to my entry in the early-adolescence stage of life. Public identity effects during adolescence are important, particularly when they are based on peer individuality. If adolescent do not firmly feel part of a group, they might have troubles to handle developmental problems, to find their personality and increase their self-esteem (Tanti, Stukas, Halloran and Foddy, 2012). This change of socio-cultural environment therefore immediately damaged my self-esteem when i didn't feel part of the new group.
According to Hampton, my self-esteem is directly linked to my satisfaction with my personal information. Nonetheless it is also conditioned by the recognized esteem and esteem from other people. A lack of self-esteem will produce "feelings of inferiority, of weakness and of helplessness" (Maslow, 1943).
2. 2 The theory of self-discrepancy
During my adolescence, I thought unpleasant and unsecure at university. My timidity and insufficient confidence made other people misuse my kindness. They realized I'd say nothing so they used my limits. I experienced furious and thought it was really unfair. At exactly the same time, I couldn't find a way to tell them what I must say i thought and started noticing a distance between my real me -the non-shy person with my family- and the other me personally at middle university - extremely shy and not capable of having well balanced friendships. While participating in The Sims I could control personalities, personas and situations. It was a way to escape from the real world for a few hours.
According to Shankar, humans perform different "roles" in life (e. g. a person will have another type of attitude with his siblings than along with his partner). Folks are there constantly confronted to "multiple selves". The fact that we was acting in different ways with my friends and with my children obviously illustrates the "multiple selves" theory. Higgins distinguishes three different kinds of areas of the do it yourself. Two of these are relevant for the mental interpretation of my consumer behaviour. First of all, there may be what he telephone calls the "actual selves", which corresponds to:
The kind of person someone is convinced he/she is. In my own case, the non-shy person in my own family environment.
The kind of person someone believes others understand him/her. In my own case: the extremely shy and passive person in the public environment at college.
Then, you have the "ideal personal" which corresponds to the image of just what a person wishes to be. In The Sims, there was always a digital representation of myself someplace in the overall game. Regarding to Higgins' theory, it represented my ideal self on a totally free of limitations environment: the electronic Sims world.
When the various representations of the self become contradictory, and when it is possible to notice a discrepancy between the facets of the personal, a person might start sense unsatisfied, disappointed or "frustrated from unfulfilled wants" (Higgins, 1987). Higgins points out that self-discrepancy provokes emotional or motivational problem regarding the person's identity. The author claims that folks that notice such a discrepancy tend to desire to lessen or remove this difference. The fact i noticed a space between my two "actual selves" and this I tried to escape through the creativity of my "ideal home" demonstrates the desire to resolve the conflicts between my "multiple selves". Below we will have the way the Sims allowed me to solve my inner-conflicts within my adolescence.
2. 3 Playing with my id: Player-avatar identification
"While using Sims 2, released in 2004, players could actually see their Sims grow through six different life levels (baby, child, teen, young adult, adult, old person) and finally die. The idea of virtual life became more similar to real life and I commenced feeling more determined to the Sims I created. For instance, there always was a girl anywhere that represented me. My "virtual me" got a similar physical appearance, a perfect family and a lot of friends while with the rest of the neighbours I experimented luxurious personalities, created mean people, aliens, abundant, poor, fun, intellectual people, therefore many others. I really believe I indentified myself to many other people as well. When one of the Sims I created began to turn into a "superstar", I believed excited and happy. Whenever a Sims who represented all I appreciate in a real person was at virtual trouble, I got annoyed and attempted to save lots of him from the bad situation. "
http://t1. gstatic. com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTGLYsOIuqlTOwAftFCdufFtGW2gGpiKxUcQnFyOOCxaIPdC-TMSJsVJunjjg
Figure : Life-stages on the Sims 2. Source: The Sims formal website
According to the Higgins' self-discrepancy theory, my "multiple selves" during the adolescence plainly interfered in the construction of my id. The Sims allowed me to make and then play with several representations of personalities and therefore offer with my public identity problems. Shankar, Elliott and Fitchett make clear that inside our post-modern society, personality crisis are usually solved "by using the symbolic so this means of brands, leisure and lifestyle pursuits". Video games allow adolescents to cope with their identity within a electronic world (Dong Li, Kien Liau and Khoo, 2012).
In my situation, the symbolic of participating in the gaming The Sims was reflected by "the opportunity of evasion from real life" and "creating and managing digital entities". I thought we would ask the overall game for Christmas since it had a particular personal signification: it could provide me a feeling of control on entities but also the feeling of freedom in my own behaviour. In other words, it would make me feel better with myself during a few hours and therefore feel better about my individuality. Playing video games is indeed an event that provides opportunities for the players to explore areas of their identity that might not be effective in real life (Kernis and Goldman, cited by Dong Li, Kien Liau and Khoo, 2012).
Dong Li, Kien Liau, Khoo, define avatars as "the animated gures of players, that happen to be usually humanoid in appearance. Game players could control the avatar to 'move around, grab, put down and manipulate items, talk to one another, and gesture'''. Sims character types perfectly correspond to this description. They can therefore be considered as avatars. In my introspection, I clarify that I used to signify myself as with a similar looking avatar that "had always the perfect family and a lot of friends". People usually have a tendency to identify themselves with marketing characters that indicate positive ideas (Dong Li, Kien Liau and Khoo, 2012). My "virtual me" indeed presents my "ideal me" as part of my "multiple selves" explained recently. However, I also used to represent myself with many other character types that didn't automatically appear to be me. If an avatar is virtually confronted to different situations, it is the player behind that will experiment different kind of real emotions (Dong Li, Kien Liau and Khoo, 2012). By sensing emotions such as thrills, happiness and soreness, I am indirectly experiencing situations and the correspondent thoughts.
Von Feiltizen and Linn discovered in 1975 two different types of recognition (Dong Li, Kien Liau and Khoo, 2012).
Wishful recognition: for example, the ball player wants to be like a Sims (extreme sociable reputation of the Sims superstar, sociable life of the "electronic me")
Similarity id: for example the player shares characteristics with the Sims (appearance of my "virtual me", Sims that needs help)
The recognition with video game avatars plays a part in the introduction of players' identity with self-concept representations (Dong Li, Kien Liau and Khoo, 2012). "Virtual worlds allow us an 'unparalleled possibility to play with one's identification and allows us to put on new personalities" (Absolom, 2011). Furthermore, Stora argues that alter egos such as the Sims personas provide opportunities to be someone else and learn how to serenely package with new situations in the true life.
Finally, The Sims is a video game where in fact the environment is symbolized in an exceedingly realistic way and that can become an instrument of self-expression (Thompson, 2003). Playing The Sims was therefore ways to better understand myself and little by little resolve my individuality issues while acquiring self-assurance in my real life.
My self-confidence reflected through the intake of the Sims: The idea of the locus of control
3. 1 Internal control versus external control: Who is accountable for my situation?
"Psychological situations are a function of both the nature of external situations and people's interpretations of these occurrences" (Higgins, 1987). People's psychological situation therefore depends on the way they interpret the reality. This allows a much better understanding of the idea of the Locus of Control, created by Julian B. Rotter in 1954:
According to Rotter, the Locus of Control is a emotional idea that illustrates the degree to which individuals interpret what affects incidents, situations and their own behavior in life. A lot of people believe in an interior control (these are responsible for their behaviour and their destiny) while some believe in an exterior control (luck, fate or powerful entities are accountable for their destiny) (Rotter and Mulry, 1965).
During my adolescence, I used to think that I got unlucky, that folks around me experienced bad intentions which easily was sensing insecure it was because of this new environment and folks I had to review with. Based on the theory of the Locus of control, I used to participate in the "externals" category of people. I thought in an external control that was in charge of my situation as I was persuaded that my problems were conditioned independently of my activities.
Figure : The Locus of Control theory. Simplified representation.
At the same time, this theory suggests that exterior people are less able to cope with life than exterior people: "an external locus of control has been associated with hopelessness and depression" (Rotter and Mulry, 1965). Rotter and Mulry make clear that inside people are indeed more willing to improve their life conditions as they have confidence in their personal advantages.
3. 2 The feeling of controlling destiny by playing the Sims
"Within this game there is no winner no looser. It's all about the difficulties and goals. Sometimes the game models them for you: the Sims needs devotion, comfort, professional ambition. Sometimes you placed the problems: "I'd like my Sims to be hated", "I'd like him to be rich", "I want him to show up deeply in love with this one", etc. I believed fired up by the control I could have on the overall game. The actual fact that I could see small little Sims living their virtual life, control and deal with their existence from above made me feel powerful".
"Lacking control is often associated with fear, depression, or withdrawal behaviour. It is natural for individuals to attempt to re-establish control when their sense of control fades" (Quan, Feng, Yang, 2011). Having less control regarding my social situation during my adolescence caused feelings of stress, sadness and self-reject from the group. Regarding to Quan, Feng and Yang, when a person really wants to re-establish control, he/she will attempt to find substitute solutions that could provide control and compensate this dissatisfaction. The actual fact how the Sims brings to its players a possible digital control on individuals, architectures and virtual situations helped me to compensate having less control I got noticing in my interpersonal life at institution.
The sensation of control provokes positive incidents and for that reason happy thoughts, with a facilitation of emotional adaption (Quan, Feng, Yang, 2011). By making me feel happier and in situation of control, this gaming provoked an illusion of being inside in the locus of control theory, thus an improved understanding of my-self.
3. 3 Today's satisfaction with my identity
"I started being well informed at 16 years-old, after having a summer trip to america, where I achieved a fresh group of men and women from my age that made me trust in myself. We all got along perfectly with each other and I understood that, if indeed they could see me happy and outgoing, I could make my situation change at high school. The next season, I evolved my attitude at college, and I slowly and gradually gained everybody's value in my class. I realised that we had the energy to improve people's attitude starting with mine, and for that reason understood that people create our very own luck. Today, I understand who I am and have a tendency to control my life with the achievement of personal goals".
Self-esteem and self-assurance are directly linked by the feeling of control on a situation (Gestion, 2006). By thinking which i am liable from my very own luck and for my destiny, I started to really become what Rotter calling an internal person. Based on the theory of the locus of control, today I really believe in my personal strengths as being the reason of my contentment. I finally found a way to erase self-discrepancy in my personal information and feel assured in public contexts.
It is interesting to consider that we stopped playing the Sims when I felt better with myself:
"I stopped participating in the game as i turned 16. The overall game just disappeared from my life even if I still feel mounted on it in a certain way. Last summer, for illustration, I downloaded the free Sims application on my Iphone and played the game for a few hours. The nostalgia felt while I was playing the videogame made me feel joyful initially, but I quickly felt bored. I attempted again using the pc version a couple of days later as my other young brother asked me to learn with him, but I felt tired of it after a few minutes. I wasn't patient enough to play. The sensation wasn't the same anymore.
At 16 years-old, I understood that I possibly could control my behavior and improve my sociable situation. The lack of control on my entire life disappeared, with the necessity of participating in The Sims. This gaming was a short-term solution that helped me handle my momentary low self-esteem and need of control on my life.
As we observed on the first part of the paper, the video game The Sims allowed me to experiment with with my different identities, gradually feel well informed in the true life, and satisfy my needs of control on my entire life at a stage where folks are often confronted to a crucial identity crisis
Most of all, this utilization experience illustrates my self-confidence at different periods of my life. AS I was confronted to a very low self-esteem, I believed a higher desire to flee and found indirect solutions to my problems by playing the game. On the other hand, whenever i finally noticed socially comfortable and good with myself, I ended feeling the necessity of participating in The Sims. The consumption experience of this game can be an interesting representation of my occasions of self-confidence and enjoyment in life.