Tag Archives: article

Sims: The Social Experiment

I used to LOVE playing the sims. Not so much playing with them, but decorating things and building the houses. Anywho, they’ve just come out with SIMS 3 (bigger, better and with more detail). Today I stumbled on the little social experiment Robin Burkinshaw has been conducting. She has created two homeless SIMS (something you couldn’t do in earlier games), taken their money and more or less recreated the basic conditions of homelessness. The SIMS took it from there. There are some really terrible things that happen. You can read the many posts about her experiment and the progress her Sims are making over on her blog: Alice and Kev.

All adults in The Sims 3 have a lifetime wish. An ultimate goal that they want to achieve before the end of their life. Usually this is to reach the top of a particular career path, or become the best at a particular set of skills. When you create an adult Sim, you’re given a selection of lifetime wishes to choose from, which change depending on that Sim’s personality traits.

When I made Kev, choosing a lifetime wish was a little difficult. I knew that he was never going to be successful in a career, which meant that almost all of the options the game offered me weren’t going to be possible. The only lifetime wish available to him that I thought he could aspire towards while still remaining homeless was to become a ‘heartbreaker’. He wants to be the boyfriend of 10 different sims.

So while Alice is asleep on a bench somewhere, I send Kev to the park to try to find him some romance. However, due to either his inappropriate or insane trait, he turns up without his clothes.simsimage from Alice and Kev

VIA (boingboing)

I Am, How You Say… Famous?

The internets has a much better memory than I do. Proof: I just found an article I wrote a year ago for a mailer Evergreen sends out. On a whim I googled my name (and thus far none of the hits have been me, thank goodness) and today I actually recognized one. Phew. That feels weird. Here it is, in all of it’s glory. I don’t think I’ll be writing articles any time soon…

What Brought You to Evergreen?

It had been more than a decade since Michelle Gulden was last in school when she decided to enroll at The Evergreen State College. She had earned her two-year degree at South Puget Sound Community College, after which she decided to “take a short, 11-year break.” Gulden filled those years and more as a single mother and working full time. Then she married, had another child and became a stay-at-home mom. All the while, she wrestled with whether or not to return to school to earn a bachelor’s degree.

“I felt like there was some unfinished business I had with my education before I went back to work. I wanted a bachelor’s degree and I thought, ‘It’s now or never,’” says Gulden, 41, whose career goal is to work in human resources. Gulden read feature articles in Evergreen’s Evening and Weekend Studies Class Listing that were mailed to her house and found that the non-traditional college age students featured in these articles echoed the insecurities that had been keeping her from returning to school while at the same time providing ample assurance.

“Older students said they felt afraid and insecure, but found Evergreen to be a welcoming and supportive environment,” explains Gulden, who continued to contemplate returning to college for three more years. Attending Evergreen’s quarterly Academic Fair helped put her concerns to rest. “It was a treat to meet the faculty before taking their class. They were so helpful in alleviating all my fears. I would definitely recommend going if someone is worried about returning to college.”

Winter 2008 Gulden took the plunge. She chose Evergreen because of the beautiful campus and the affordability, among other reasons. “I chose Evergreen because the schedule of Evening and Weekend Studies met my and my family’s needs. The classes looked very interesting too – not your typical ‘cookie cutter’ college classes,” Gulden notes.

Gulden enrolled in a literature program, a subject she felt comfortable with, to ease into the process of becoming a student again after so long. “I know it sounds cliché, but Evergreen is everything I thought it would be. I love the diversity of the students, the supportive faculty and how laid back everyone is,” she adds.

Hannah graduated from The Evergreen State College this past summer. She hopes to go on to graduate school for a degree in deaf education or library science – or both.

Goodness… I even forgot what I wanted to be doing now. Library science? Hmm….

Ghosts in the Ocean

Vice magazine had a story about Battleship Island/Hashima Island off of Japan. It’s an old coal mining town and had the highest population density worldwide… EVER… with 139,100 people per square kilometer. It’s not clear where the mine was… it’s such a tiny island (less than a square mile). Judging from the pictures in Vice’s little story it looks like something straight out of 1984 (and that brings it’s own set of connotations and images… shudder.). Anyway, Vice has always done great indie articles about wacky things like Battleship Island, this one is no exception, and you should probably peruse their site if you want to call yourself “hip”.

Pictures via: Vice Magazine.