I play a lot of simulation based video games. Actually…if the game doesn’t have the word “simulation” in the title, I’m very much liable to pass it by. I also have an extremely narrow definition of the word “simulation” and there are some very popular game titles using the word “simulation” in their name. Some of these titles have absolutely earned the right to be called “simulators” and some have not. In addition to playing simulation based games, I also enjoy watching others via Twitch and YouTube. There are a lot of really good gamers out there and likewise there are a lot of not-so-great gamers. It may surprise you to know that my views of what makes a great simulation gamer versus a not-so-great simulation gamer may have little to do with regards to controlling an aircraft, backing up a truck, seeding a field or driving a train. The reason? We’re all a noob at some point. The majority of the great simulation based gamers don’t have a pilots license, they’ve never driven a vehicle larger than a car and the closest thing they come to running a farm is when they walk through the produce aisle at their local grocery store. For the most part, what makes them great is how much they strive for realism in their gaming style.
Realism through Simulation
I’m not sure if the tagline “Realism through Simulation” has been adopted by anyone. I did Google it and I searched using that phrase on YouTube and nothing really relating to video game play or video gamers popped up, so I’m adopting it for my blog. Realism through Simulation will become my goal as I not only play the various simulation based games I enjoy, but it will also become the threshold for what I write about and how I write about it here on GrizzlyBearSims.com.
Mods, Mods, Mods – The root of all that is evil?
One pitfall I see many gamers fall into with regards to realism has to do with mods. Before I go any further, let me say this. I absolutely love and support the modding community. While you may disagree with what I’m going to say next, I truly believe the modding community has been instrumental in the success of many of the simulation based games I play. Said another way, many of these game titles would have been dead a long time ago without a strong modding community supporting them. Imagine what it would be like to play ETS2, ATS, FS15 etc. without mods?
But some mods are perhaps the root of all that is evil…or certainly go along ways towards breaking realism. Again, before I go further….let me just say that I’m NOT writing this article to instruct anyone how they should play their simulation based games. If you want to haul in the wheat crop pulling a loooooooooonnnnnnnnggggggg train of tippers that is your choice. Likewise, if you want to cultivate a field with a cultivator measuring almost 150 feet, again that is your choice.
Perhaps the reason why I’ve been thinking about my own game play style and choosing to write about it has to do with a Twitch channel I watched recently. I’ll keep the identity of the streamer to myself, but he was clearly struggling and I (and many other viewers) were trying to coach him on a few things. Most of the issues he had were caused by some of the mods he was using. But towards the end of his broadcast he mentioned that he was bored with Farming Simulator 15 because it was too easy. Yes, he was cultivating his field with a 150 foot cultivator.
As I try to wrap this up, no I certainly don’t count the rivets or bolts and I don’t compare color swatches. But for me and how I choose to play these simulation based games…I do strive for authencity. I believe playing simulation based games as authentic as possible, goes a long way towards keeping the level of play from becoming boring. It’s one of the reasons why I will routinely plow AND cultivate a field before harvest. It’s also the reason why I don’t use a 150’ cultivator.
Realisim thorugh Simulation works for me.
Until next time…
Best of luck with your simulation adventures….regardless how you play the game.