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Sim Plague

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the happy-fun-bus dept.

Games 141

Brian Kingsbury writes: "The New York Times has an article on a new twist in the world of the Sims --- a "virus" that can kill off a player's characters. In a particularly sadistic twist, the virus is carried by a guinea pig that players download from the Sims Web site. I wonder what's next, maybe the Black Death? " That's all Nate would have needed to complete his House of Fear - locked doors, no food, two ghosts, and the kitchen on fire. Will Wright, you're a genius.

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Re:If I had The Sims... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1106989)

if i had the sim i'd design a sim that pours bowls of hot grits down his pants for everyone to download, but that game sounds really boring, so i'm not wasting my time. thank you.

If I had the sim progamming language, I'd design an RMS sim that would go around yelling GNU/Linux, GNU/Linux.

Then I'd build a cluster of bloodthirsty monsters, and call them Grendels.

/. inspired Sim site (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1106990)

Hi, Partly because of slashdot, there's a somewhat "The Sims" related website, that I've created and maintain. It's planetsims.com and if anybody is interested in help out let me know. I'm posting from work, thus the anonymous coward posting.

Re:Um... this is a computer virus? (1)

synaptik (125) | more than 14 years ago | (#1106991)

Re-read the article. It does replicate. An infected human character can transmit the virus to another (nearby) human character by sneezing.

--synaptik
If you want to flame me, do so here [slashdot.org] .

Re:Um... this is a computer virus? (1)

synaptik (125) | more than 14 years ago | (#1106992)

Ah. Yes, well... I'm not surprised that the media can't differentiate between a "virtual" virus, infecting a PC, and a "virtual virtual" virus infecting a character in a game on a PC. I get miffed when they bungle computer concepts up, too. But I suppose that concepts that you and I think of as fundamental and simple are obscure and complex to them. Maybe psychologists and other highly specialized professionals find themselves wincing, too, when the media botches up in their attempts at paraphrasing the experts.

--synaptik
If you want to flame me, do so here [slashdot.org] .

It's only a matter of time.. (1)

dougman (908) | more than 14 years ago | (#1106993)

before someone makes a Janet Reno to run around your Sim neighbourhood taking all the children and removing them from the game at gunpoint.

Actually, I was looking for something to do tonight....hmm.

(evil snicker)

Re:Buffy Plug-in? (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 14 years ago | (#1106996)

-and in tight red dresses. With Soulswords.

Ah, Yohko-chan...

Re:About time (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 14 years ago | (#1106997)

>What about a dark ages patch. Go for a witch-hunt
>and burn em at the stakes.

We'd need the "sim-scales" patch too. And a duck.

Take another look at *the* picture (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 14 years ago | (#1106999)

Take another look at *the* picture, and imagine it with a caption that says "Federal agents rescue kidnapped child".

Looks different now, doesn't it?

Re:Playing God, or the devil? (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107000)

"...the most fun I ever had was when I got bored with the city and unleased death and destruction upon my paradise."

It's kind of scary how much this does to explain all the suffering in the world.

F-prot for sims? (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107001)

So how soon until Norton or Mcafee market something to protect your sims from the virus, keep it from spreading to the rest of your computer, and keep your computer from getting it from the Internet? :-)

Art imitates life... (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107002)

Art imitates life, life imitates Art. Mwaaa-haaa-haaa! Somewhere deep underground a malevolent Mad Scientist is creating a real guinea pig virus of death!

Either that or an 3l33t h4x0r is building a virus to infect "The SIMS" plug-ins.

- // Zarf //

Re:Art imitates life... (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107003)

I stand corrected. On another note tho':

The program is intended to be modifiable, and at some point Maxis, now a division of Electronic Arts, plans to make the language it has created, known as Edith, available to the players. Edith is designed to permit anyone with minimal programming skills to extend the game.

Mr. Wright said he realized that such a language in the hands of antisocial game players would create vexing problems. "Hopefully," he said, "they will be balanced by people doing more creative things."


Actually the Edith programming language concept is really a fun little idea from wright. I'm impressed with the implications. A very simple language to extend play within the game... I'm reading between the lines but I think this is intended to be a kind of interpereted language. If it is a "real" programming language with sufficient facilities it would really boot strap a lot of kids into the world of programming.

I like it, it means that there'll be a whole lotta codin' going on. I can see it now... billy's 'The Sims v2.0' plug-in that allows your character to carry a BFG or a HyperGun and blast his enemies!

Ofcourse there are other implications... but those aren't as much fun as crazy coders building insane extentions to muck up a paradise world. so... I still get to laugh manically...

Bwaaa haaa haaa!

- // Zarf //

Re:Virus to deter piracy? (1)

"Zow" (6449) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107004)

Um, the origional SimCity (now SimCity Classic) did this ten years ago. It had a "cheatsheet" that you had to enter the correct code from when you started the game (remember those?). If you didn't have the code or entered it incorrectly (you had two or three tries), after a few years of building up your city the disasters would start (yes, even if disasters were turned off) and continue non-stop, completely leveling your city.

I had some friends that pirated a copy, but didn't bother to patch over the protection or get a copy of the cheatsheet because they actually enjoyed that "feature". Don't ask, I don't understand either.

-"Zow"

Registration required at nytimes.com.. (1)

Koos (6812) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107005)

Someone forgot to mention that nytimes.com needs a complete listing of your personal data er.. I mean registration before you can view articles on their site.

I like it! (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107006)

Next we need to add a computer to it and hook it to the internet. Then we can watch and see what the teenagers in the sim family do when you try to "filter" the internet. And, of course, if you have a teenage geek, s/he will compulsively check his/her e-mail every 37.5 seconds.. raising the electric bill... which, if an entire neighborhood fills up with geekiness.. OMG - then the whole universe will collapse as they run out of electricity, creating brownouts...

Heh. Just a matter of time.... >:)

Re:The End did not justify the Means (1)

skroz (7870) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107007)

The picture also illustrates that the safety is engaged on the weapon, though you can't always see that in the resolution-crippled versions that you see in the newspaper. Also realize that we're only dealing with a moment in time... accounts from witnesses at the scene (including the AP photographer who is, incidentally, guaranteed to win a pulitzer, ) state that the agent immediately raised the barrel of his weapon upon seeing the fisherman and the child inside the closet and confirming that there was no threat.


Events didn't quite go off the way I would have planned them, but the end result was acceptable... zero injuries and mission accomplished.

uh oh. (1)

Lx (12170) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107009)

I downloaded the guinea pig - at first I was worried, since it's been rotting for about a month in my living room, but I suppose it won't bite anyone. I think it's a pretty cool concept, but that still doesn't mean I want my replica of myself to die - he's just about to reach the pinnacle of his career. I've already had several people die - drowning is pretty common, especially if you tell them to take a swim without any ladders to exit the pool...>;)

My first traumatic Sim Death was when I discovered a burnt out light bulb and had one of my favorite sims change it - only she had just taken a bath. Keeled over dead straight away. That really sucked. Fun game though.

-lx

Re:John Markoff is at it again... (1)

dmuth (14143) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107011)

Oh yeah, Kevin Mitnick was a saint! I'm sooo sorry John Markoff wrote articles that made the criminal get treated badly. Boo hoo.

When the articles are filled with lies and misrepresentations, that's a serious issue, regardless of WHOM is being written about. I'm not condining what Kevin did, but that's no excuse to blow things out of propotion and print outright falsehoods, then have the gall to call it "journalism".

Re:Arrrgh! (1)

magic (19621) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107013)

Yes!

I thought the article was really good up to that point as well. Kudos to Will Wright! This was a truly geek move and deliciously evil to put a cute pet on the Maxis homepage that could lead to such havoc. By virtue of making a way to play through the virus and save the character, he's done it in just the right way, without affecting game balance.

At first I was a little mortified at the thought of some kid innocently wanting a pet in the game then having their character get messed up, but then I realized this even has educational value. That little kid will understand that pets need to be taken care of, their cages cleaned, and that human hygiene when sick is important to prevent the spread of disease. Too bad my coworkers didn't learn about washing themselves as kids...

-m

About time (1)

kongstad (28720) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107015)

This is about time!

I've only tried the game once or twice, but after only 30 minuttes of gameplay, I started looking for a way to kill of those annoying creatures.

Perhaps a full blown black death extension to the game, migh be good. Let's see what natural selection can do.

What about a dark ages patch. Go for a witch-hunt and burn em at the stakes.

Re:Arrrgh! (1)

Aqualung (29956) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107016)

No, you read the story again... what Markoff is implying is that, since all the objects in the game are "programs", and by that I assume he means compiled or bytecode objects that are executed by the parent application (the game). What he's implying is that someone might use this functionality to write a trojan horse Sims modification that would do Bad Stuff(TM) to the end user's machine or something.

----
Dave
Purity Of Essence

Making more money. (1)

Snoop (34007) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107017)

It would seem to me that this comes out just in time for the new Sims add-on "Quarintine".

Re:This may sound heretical... (1)

Necromncr (35589) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107018)

No, you're not the only one. I didn't get the Sims (I haven't bought any new games in a while actually; nothing that great has come out this year really) and I don't really see what the point is of simulating someone's real life is. I play games for escape, so I don't see any point in playing a game where I get to be a regular shlub. :)

The fact that you have to micromanage your people so much (making them run to the bathroom, for crying out loud, geez) also does not make the game appeal to me much....

--

Re:More Sims Mayhem - mirror? (1)

Necromncr (35589) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107019)

Not as far as I know....I don't think it's quite prepared to be Slashdotted though. :)
I guess you just need to keep trying to reload the page. :/

--

SimDot? (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107021)

Will this SimNet include a Sim version of Slashdot?

Thanks! (1)

georgeha (43752) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107022)

What a hoot, it almost makes me want to get the sims.

George

Coming out of the closet (1)

Chemical (49694) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107023)

Imagine if the caption read:

"Janet Reno hasn't come out of the closet, so why should we?"

Re:Wright could be in trouble (1)

akiy (56302) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107024)

So, how is having a Sim die from catching a disease from a guinea pig any different than a Sim dying from having the kitchen stove catch on fire? About the only difference is that the guinea pig disease is a lot more mysterious, but it's still avoidable once you figure out how to prevent it...

In any case, I think the article itself was drug induced or something. What's up with it bringing up Internet worms in the context of a "virus" that's part of a game? Sheesh. Next, these journalists are going to start harping on the "Censorware" code that's in the game when it mosaics out the characters when they're naked or going to the bathroom... Sigh.

I see this more and more in the future.. (1)

Kancer (61362) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107028)

...People coding to make themselves a host that is carring virri in virtual worlds. But this can be played into the games, just think of medics and wizards that can put a "patch" so to say on the infected users, they have to hack the virus in the world. Oh man that would be cool.... I think when PDAs get more and more wireless we will be meeting for a business lunch and our business cards will automatically transfer to the people you meet. Just think of an injected virus from the wireless card reader app into your PDA ... to much yap -Kancer

Re:The End did not justify the Means (1)

isil (63430) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107029)

pray tell us admiral...
would you have allowed the family time to hide/hurt the child? would you have gently knocked on the door and asked: "may elian come out and come to daddy?"
the cuban american community seems more intent on defying castro than looking out for the real best interest of a child and his father. it is my feeling that elian is being exploited by the miami relatives who are in turn being exploited by the radical elements of the cuban american community.
come on, would his "mouthy" female cousin be a proper role model? she needs a lesson on the proper way to hold a conversation (one that does not involve screaming at the top of your lungs on all sorts of conjecture which seems to be the only way she holds a press conference).

that being said, i applauded the government's restraint in waiting and in using adequate force to confuse and deter resistance. you can argue 'what-ifs' all you want to avoid the real issue.

would the child be better off as poster child for the anti-castro movement?

Re:Don't know if anyone read the article .. (1)

jqs (67745) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107031)

Don't know if YOU read the article or not but you are wrong, Maxis is not going to release source code for "The Sims". They will in the future, after Sims 2.0 no doubt, release the Programming Language that controls the Sims and the objects that surrounds them. That way you can create your own objects etc...

Re:Wright could be in trouble (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107032)

Harm to what? It's a game. This is no more damaging than an AI player in _Starcraft_ suddenly making an unanticipated raid with 6 fully-loaded Protoss Carriers.

It's not like it's eating your _Quicken_ database.

Re:Virus to deter piracy? (1)

blazer1024 (72405) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107033)

Actually, they did something along those lines when they created the original SimCity. You had a red sheet of paper(red because it was really hard to copy... yet it was possible >:) that had codes and such. If you didn't enter the correct code, you'd start getting earthquakes and other disasters about every 10 seconds.

I always thought it was annoying, and, I did get download a crack for it not long after I bought it. :)

Re:Virus to deter piracy? (1)

bendawg (72695) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107035)

Sierra has sort of done this. I remember in Sim City, if you didn't enter in the correct code from the red sheet, your city would get destroyed by tornados, earthquakes and monsters.
Of course, you could always unleash them on yourself for a little excitement too.

Re:Virus to deter piracy? (1)

bendawg (72695) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107036)

Sierra didn't make Sim City, idiot...Electronic Arts did.

Playing God (1)

Matrium (75816) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107039)

As with Sim City, the most fun I ever had was when I got bored with the city and unleased death and destruction upon my paradise. Now lets look to The Sims and see if you can't do the same thing. How about adding a chemistry set where you can build your own viruses, or maybe an option to poision the food. I think the poision would be helpful in the situations where you have two people in love with the same sim... just slip a little be of you special brew in their food and problem solved. Of course I have a sick and twisted mind... but it would still be fun to do.

Lesbian Sims (1)

ElDaveo (90306) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107040)

Yes, they are possible. Could this little "feature" be the Maxis answer to the SimCopter rumors a few years ago?* I do find it interesting that no one has tried to have gay male Sims.

Honestly, when you add in the AdultPatch, who wouldn't want to have two naked male Sims making out on their computer...

(crickets chirping)

* Rumor has it that a programmer at Maxis was pissed about their failure to recognize alternative lifestyles, so he inserted a bit of code into one of the later pressings... come 2/14, male Sims would be dressed only in Speedos, and show "interest" in other male Sims.

Re:Um... this is a computer virus? (1)

Keelor (95571) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107043)

Actually, that was just a lack of clarity on my part. The article implies that this is a virus in two respects--the "simulated virus" that the Sims can catch, which is most definitely a virus, and a "computer virus", because it was installed without the user's knowledge. It's the second part that has me griping.

~=Keelor

Re:Harm to a person's financial well-being (1)

benwb (96829) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107044)

Fortunately in real life the animal -> human disease transmission vector is not so reliable. Probably the only reason that someone's not doing that ;)

Re:Arrrgh! (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107045)

> (note to moderators: mod the above up please).

Offtopic rant:
I am sick and tired of all this "Hey moderators"
bull. Let whoever has mod points moderate already.
It seems in every article these days there are
a few posts saying "I can't believe this got a 2"
or "Mod this up" etc....leave it alone. I mean I
can understand posting a clarification when
something was intended as a joke and gets called
flamebait (has happend to me even) but...seriously
let them decide for themselves.

> I totally agree, even working in a media
> organisation I hate the way they've got to put a
> spin on these thin

Its not just these things, its everything. Face
it, scare tactics work. Repeat after me everyone:
"Readership is God.".

Why do you think media flocked to columbine like
flies to shit? Great opertunity to scare people
shitless, and keep the glued to the tube and
reading the paper. Anything they can do to latch
into peoples fear, they will do. If your afraid
that something might affect you, then you are
going to keep reading, keep watching, and keeping
their advertisers happy.

Ebola Virus For All (1)

geekguy (97470) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107047)

The Guiny Pig Carries The Ebola virus, if you play with it while it is sleeping it will wake up and bite your sim and they will get sick and die.

It fits in perfectly with our house that has the people locked up in the attic with no food, no bathroom, and no way out. We let them starve to death and call it a documentary.

--

real world atrocities (1)

soulsteal (104635) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107050)

I have some twisted friends who live ont he hall that all but condemn their Sims to death anyway. I think it'sonly a matter of time before one of them gets a computer fast enough to stage a mini-Sim Holocaust. Death to all the Guinea Pig Owners!

Re:Virus to deter piracy? (1)

boneshintai (112283) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107053)

What, you've never used a trial version of Bulletproof FTP? (Don't.) It does that, bascially. S'called crippleware.

B'Shin

Re:Arrrgh! (1)

Fesh (112953) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107054)

I don't know about undocumented... He mentioned it in the interview he gave Computer Gaming World. So I heard about this a couple of months ago.


--Fesh

Re:Playing God (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107055)

but just going that far wouldn't be good enough... after that you would have to have a police investigation at the house and the person who did the poisoning would have a, say, 50% chance of being convicted for murder... now THAT would make things interesting ;)

-- Dr. Eldarion --
It's not what it is, it's something else.

Not a virus (1)

doublem (118724) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107057)

I got this info from the Official Sim's home page. I'm addicted to the game myself.

The "Virus" is part of the Gina Pig download that you get from Maxis. The little sucker will sometimes bite your Sims and make them sick. If they're not healthy (Rested, fed, clean) the illness gets worse and kills them.

The first version of the Guni Pig download almost ALWAYS killed your sims, but Maxis released a new version with a much lower fatality rate.

You can download it from the official home page after you log in (To prove you're a licensed user of the game)


Matthew Miller, [50megs.com]

Re:Edith (1)

xianzombie (123633) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107060)

you can get the female sims to share the same bed and dream about each other and such....in fact the one chick left her husband for the other gal :)
Some of us just have too much free time on our hands.

Re:Don't know if anyone read the article .. (1)

JammmGrrl (131305) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107062)

No, no, no... Edith is the mod editor. It's the tool they use to create the guinea pigs and moose heads and slot machines. According to the article in Computer Gaming World on this, Edith needs some polish to make it easy for people to use (and even then, they said only the most advanced Sim-ers would be able to use it), and then they'll release it. It isn't the source code to anything, just a "map editor" if you will. Then they'll have a place on their website where people can download the creations of others.

However, I no one will be able to use Edith to create REAL computer virii or Trojan Horses, like this article was insinuating. They made it sound like Edith somehow put the mystical power of computer cracking and virus writing into the hands of the average citizen, and, oh no, what ever will we do then?!

Re:Now that's just twisted... (1)

kwsNI (133721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107063)

the next thing you know is that your nieghbours in the game open a crack house...

That would be a blast. Your Sims start getting sick because the neighbor is operating a meth lab.

Sorry, it's sick, I know. I just think it's funny.

kwsNI

Sim Ebola! (1)

bvooste (135887) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107064)

Now that'd be a killer App!

Buffy Plug-in? (1)

lgas (143053) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107066)

If I played this game, I'd like to see a Vampire plug-in. It could be modelled after Buffy and have cute slayers and anti-slayers running around in tiny leather outfits...

Re:stupid little creatures (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107067)

>yes, the stove is on fire. oh, go stand in the middle of the fire, yeah, that's a good idea. point at it and freak out, yep, that'll fix it. retards. Don't kid yourself, some people really are that stupid. I had a tenant, 17 year old girl, started a grease fire on the stove and didn't know what to do so she * walked into another room, sat down, and worried that it wouldn't go out.* Fortunately, for some reason, it did, but not before totaling the entire kitchen. She never tried to put it out, she never called the fire dept., she literally tried to worry it out. She probably thinks she has pyschic powers now.

Re:Arrrgh! (1)

beebware (149208) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107068)

(note to moderators: mod the above up please).

I totally agree, even working in a media organisation I hate the way they've got to put a spin on these things.

I remember many a year ago when computer viruses first came out, the media made a lot of fuss about them infecting people. Now it's been turned on its head and people and infecting computers (okay, it's sim people but... :) ).

I'm now seriously considering buying 'Sims', but I just wonder if my PC emulator can cope. Ho hummm.


Richy C. [beebware.com]
--

Re:I like it! (1)

tracktwo (149391) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107070)

Just wait til they release the language and I create a sims game your sims can play! What happens when the sim's sim's design sims?

My head hurts.

Re:Arrrgh! (1)

fedos (150319) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107071)

Exactly, the bit about the guinea pig is actually a Trojan Horse also got me. It seems that the New York Times just picked up on the folowing: Computer, Virus, Download, Executable(they say the guinea pig is a program). Sounds like a Trojan Horse to me. By the Spork! Can't they just tell, "Hey, this guy decided to add an undocumented feature to the game he created."

Players of the game have no right to complain, either; they agreed to the license. Also, you're told not to forget to clean the cage when you download it.

Re:Wright could be in trouble (1)

fedos (150319) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107072)

Probably easier to avoid. Here, you keep the cage clean and you're all set, then you can still recover if you take the correct steps.

The wife in my Sims family had the stove catch on fire for her recently(she's a lousy cook) the fire guy showed up, but she was too busy jumping up and down in an attempt to scare the fire away that he couldn't get close enough to put the fire out.

Re:Wright could be in trouble (1)

|guillaume| (151395) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107076)

You fragged me! You bastard!

I'm taking that to court, you'll regret that killing spree...

---
guillaume

We've had this for awhile. (1)

Nidhogg (161640) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107077)

And it's actually a good thing.

Some of those whiny-ass Sims NEED to die.

It also felt really good to download the Bill Gates skin then watch him die from it. 8^)

sims (1)

pyrrho (167252) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107080)

what, does he think he's god? just kidding... isn't he? Thank god I lost that plugin when my laptop died! where is the sim dog with rabies they've been promissing (not really, but wait!) -craig

Re:Arrrgh! (1)

pyrrho (167252) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107081)

you bring in an interesting question. I think the answer will be that most people will be far more cruel than they are in reality. Look, the sims site itself talks about marrying rich sims and killing them (for example by putting them in the pool and then removing the ladder). That would seem a little needlessly cruel, why not just publish the money cheat tho if they want people to get money outside the real parameters of the game. (shift-ctrl-c then type "klapaucius", doesn't work with 1.1). Ok, it may not really be cruel, it's only pretending to be cruel. But why? Like this poster mentions, with the costs of kindness less, why not pretend to be less cruel rather than more. -craig

Re:Wright could be in trouble (1)

pyrrho (167252) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107082)

my god. you are right! this is the confliction with hacker laws! As a long shot, this might be a way to require open source as de facto full disclosure, because otherwise patches might have to have full disclosure of all features (even undiscovered bugs). This is no difference from a feature patch than might introduce a security flaw in a productivity app. Don't get me wrong, I think that the artist (maxis) has the right to do this in the game world they're creating, but if it destroys hours of work, it does fall under these laws! and the point is the flaw that implies in the law. -pyrrho

Re:Creator (1)

pyrrho (167252) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107083)

I became a programmer before we knew about the money and the hot grits girls! Imagine my luck... I might have been a rock star or something instead! -pyrrho

That's OLD NEWS (1)

blarkin (170256) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107085)

The idea of Sim Plagues is old. It was originally devised for the series of "biblical adventure" games that are in "development" by Elves on Tricycles [elvesontricycles.com] . You can read the press release here [elvesontricycles.com] .

Re:Art imitates life... (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107086)

We don't need to steenkin Mad Scientist

The virus already exists: The Hantavirus.

Re:Edith (1)

72beetle (177347) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107088)

>By the way does anyone know if you can make
>lesbian Sims?

Yup. I haven't been able to get two women to marry in the game, but I've gotten 'em making out like a couple of prom dates, complete with 100 percent in the friendship/love categories. It may just be a programming oversight (doubtful), but I think it's cool that alternate lifestyles are represented. Pretty bold for Maxis, which typically blands their simulations down so nobody will get offended.

For future revisions, I'd like to see more from the criminal element in the game - drive-by shootings, arsonists, phone scammers, and so on. The setting in the game is quasi-rural, but I bet most people that play it live in urban surroundings and would be able to identify with the game just a little bit more if it was a little uglier.

Now we just need The Sims for linux... (1)

slamouritz (177451) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107089)

It seems like the game is gaining its own momentum, have anybody played around with the "sim" editor.. I wanna create Geeks-In-Space as sims.. Cant u send me some facial photos?? *G*

Re:The End did not justify the Means (1)

daemonenwind (178848) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107091)

Begin flame.

I have fired such weapons as well. Did anyone teach you what you were doing, or were you fucking around with a cannon like that for fun?

View again the picture of Elian and the Federal Agent. [time.com]

Note that the agent's finger is OUTSIDE THE TRIGGER HOUSING!!! In other words, there is NO WAY that he will accidentally shoot ANYONE!!!! This is part of weapons training for people who's jobs require the use of such force. Oh, and a side effect of such training means that odds are good that, unlike YOU, the agent will NOT spray bullets randomly upon pulling the trigger. Ordinarily I'm all for gun rights, but people like you scare the crap out of me. Please learn what you're doing with guns before you hurt someone you care about.

Re:Um... this is a computer virus? (2)

EngrBohn (5364) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107092)

You're correct. More properly, this is a trojan horse. But in the "common usage" that equates hacker & cracker, this would be a virus.
Christopher A. Bohn

Harm to a person's financial well-being (2)

Zico (14255) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107094)

Wait 'til the multi-player version comes out, when people can exchange characters. I build up a great family, looking to sell it on eBay. Mr. Wright gets cute and throws in another virus. My family's wiped out, and I've got nobody left to sell on eBay. Time for my lawyers to have a little talk with Mr. Wright. You just wait. :)

Personally, I think the guinea pig thing is a great idea, and should just be seen as part of the game. Who's to say that there isn't someone going around to animal shelters injecting guinea pigs with nasty viruses? Sure it's far-fetched, but so is life -- how many people expected their Tylenol to be laced with cyanide back in the '80s?

Cheers,
ZicoKnows@hotmail.com

Sims meets Resident Evil (2)

dayeight (21335) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107096)

I think we need Resident Sims. Rats can carry the T and G virus, and your sims can hunger for blood and flesh and may evolve into Tyrants if you keep them well fed.

And they could still have babies, and baby zombies like Dead Alive. Ah, Peter Jackson...

Doh! Should have sued him a long time ago! (2)

Frac (27516) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107097)

I should have kept a tab of all those times when all those earthquakes, tornados, UFOs, Godzilla attacked my peaceful SimCity town. Damn you Maxis! You owe me BIG!

On a more serious note, I don't think it's "damage " when your game character dies. You might as well sue him for not making the Sim guy live forever.

Go get your free Palm V (25 referrals needed only!)

Re:Arrrgh! (2)

Aqualung (29956) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107098)

One of the (many) things that I loathe about the media is how they have this uncontrollable desire to make issues appear as nasty and brutish as possible.

You did see who wrote the article, right? That bufoon Markoff has made his living pulling crap like this. Besides, it's easier than doing any kind of research or something. :-P

----
Dave
Purity Of Essence

Re:It's only a matter of time.. THE HORRIBLE TRUTH (2)

Chao (45000) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107099)

http://www.geocities.com/elian_true/

simcastro! simcastro! simcastro!

Chso the Clockwork Maus

Throwing Stones.... (2)

The Queen (56621) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107100)

Offtopic rant: I am sick and tired of all this "Hey moderators" bull. Let whoever has mod points moderate already. It seems in every article these days there are a few posts saying "I can't believe this got a 2" or "Mod this up" etc....leave it alone.

It's a bit hypocritical to bitch about something you yourself are guilty of, my homey.
http://slashdot.org/co mments.pl?sid=00/04/13/1939221&cid=152 [slashdot.org]

The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk

[Slightly OT] Problems with the Sims? (2)

Denor (89982) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107102)

It may be a bit off-topic, but I figure an "ask slashdot" wouldn't be quite appropriate, so I just threw the question into a comment:
Does anyone else have problems running this game?
There's a page on the EA support website for my problem. "Sims crashed with a page fault in module " meaning, basically, I can run it for about five minutes, and then it crashes.
Their solutions are to kill all the other programs, and to make sure your drivers are up-to-date.
I've contacted EA support, and while they've suggested numerous solutions to the problem, none have worked.
Is anyone else getting this? I see good reviews and (mostly) positive comments on this game everywhere, but almost no mention of my problem.
If anyone had this problem, and has fixed it, I'd really appreciate hearing how!

Unauthorized virus hacks? (2)

DeepDarkSky (111382) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107103)

What's to prevent people from creating or hacking the guinea pig virus and create different strains? What's to prevent the exchange of such hacks? Is this a possibility?

Re:Virus to deter piracy? (2)

DeepDarkSky (111382) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107104)

weeelll, not quite the same, though. What I'm saying is that if you have to download an "antidote add-on" to cure the disease, and let's just say that the virus has a signature that is generated from registration information, and the only way to get the "right" antidote is to register the software with the registration information you enter. The antidote would be keyed to your registration information, thus can be used to "cure" your characters.

This sounds a little like the Intel PIII CPU ID, doesn't it?

I'm going to buy this game right now! (2)

DeepDarkSky (111382) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107105)

I think that this is the kind of stuff that makes these games cool. I'd love to see more "realisms" in the game. I don't know about you, but I think this game can be used (maybe after modification) as a tool for creating an environment for people to deal with "real-life", maybe good therapy, even.

Don't know if anyone read the article .. (2)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107106)

But maxis is going to release the source code of the game named "edith" sometime soon. So like every popular game that windows users loved and linux users hated to dual boot for ... here comes the code. I figure once Maxis releases the code sales will skyrocket because this game alone looks like an addictive 3D RPG.

I guess I don't blame them for making the game for linux from the get go ... that would have taken production costs higher, but now that the game is going no where but up I don't thi8nk it would be so unlikely to make it for linux. I like Loki, but just because they make games for linux doesn't mean they're cheap ...

Now that's just twisted... (2)

Ron Harwood (136613) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107107)

However I have to admit that it is an ingenious "easter egg" for the game.

But truly, you would have to trust Maxis 100% with any bonus material they give you for the game... the next thing you know is that your nieghbours in the game open a crack house...

Re:Arrrgh! (2)

Anomalous Canard (137695) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107108)

Are you suggesting that the guinea pig is not a trojan houre? A TH is an innocuous looking program that actually calies nefarious code. The code that this TH carried was a game virus that infected characters and could be passed from character to character. How is this not a TH?

Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected

The story with no registration required (2)

Once&FutureRocketman (148585) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107109)

Go here [nytimes.com] for the story with no annoying registration.


Edith (2)

adpowers (153922) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107110)

It says they are going to come out (in version 2) with a thing that allows you to program your own extras. My brother has the game and I think I am going to turn one into a SimStripClub. Topless dancers and the like, that way I could bring it up to the standards with EA games. Or maybe... I could make a whore house. By the way does anyone know if you can make lesbian Sims? It could be like free porn.

This may sound heretical... (3)

Glytch (4881) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107112)

...but am I the only one on this planet who hates The Sims?

The (alleged) AI in this game seems no more advanced than some expert system based Starcraft clone. Was this just a testing ground for Maxis to play around with neural networks, and happened to become stable enough to release as a game? This game needs to go through a little more improvements to the neural network before it even comes close to what a real human would do.

That, plus the fact that the premise is so *dull*. Oh, joy. I get to simulate a person who gets a job as a medical test subject or a race track announcer. Yeehaw. Woohoo.

Oh, please. I'd much rather spend time blowing away enemy starfighters in X-Wing Alliance or giant robots in Mechwarrior 3 than guide a person around a house, doing chores in The Sims.

Just ranting. Flames are welcome.

Re:Arrrgh! (3)

itp (6424) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107113)

Dude, time to take a deep breath, chill, and look at the story again.

They're not implying that this well affect the entire Internet. What they're saying is that, were Sims a multiplayer game, the potential would exist for the virus (that kills characters in the game) to spread from character to character.

--
Ian Peters

Re:Arrrgh! (3)

zCyl (14362) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107114)

> Virus in a computer game? We must surreptitiously imply that it might affect the entire Internet!

Clearly you know nothing about computers! Everyone knows this happened on X-files with that hot S&M digital chick with the sword.

Wright could be in trouble (3)

/ (33804) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107115)

Depending on how pissed off a user could get from seeing his beloved sims characters die, he could try to press charges under Federal statute 1030 subsection (a) (5)(A):

Whoever knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;....incurs a penalty of: (c) (3)(A) a
fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, in the case of an offense...of this section which does not occur after a conviction for another offense under this section...and no more than ten years imprisonment if previously convicted,...or an attempt to commit an offense punishable under this subparagraph.


Intentionally causing damage without authorization sounds about right....

More Sims Mayhem (3)

Necromncr (35589) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107116)

Someone with far too much time on his hands decided to see how badly he could break the game on ISCA BBS -- here's the results:

http://us4n6.dnaco.net/simz/ [dnaco.net]

I particularly like the fireman watching people keel over dead in the street....



--

Re:Now we just need The Sims for linux... (3)

Cy Guy (56083) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107117)

But then MSNBC [pcformat.co.uk] would have to do a story with the headline
LINUX IS VULNERABLE TO VIRUS

only to explain later in the body of the article that it was a virus that only characters in the SIM game were vulnerable to, and then only if you download the Guinea Pig patch.

Re:Virus to deter piracy? (3)

RavinDave (58826) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107118)

They (Maxis) did something along that line, which I found rather hysterical. About a week after several gaming magazines published cheat codes for 'The Sims', they offered a patch upgrade to correct several minor annoyances (cursors on accelerated cards kept leaving tracks & the Sims repairman kept getting electrocuted when he tried to fix the TV). Anyway, after you installed the patch, they casually mentioned that they all those cheat codes have just been changed.

That the 'ginea pig' virus made news is odd; they tell you point-blank that characters handling it might get sick. Maybe I came in late and they had added that after several complaints -- but I've been playing several weeks and always knew.

"The Sims" is incredibly addictive -- the ONLY reason I still have MicroDos on my system. The various add-ons they offer on their site, coupled with pre-made characters & houses from fan sites (one UK site features dead-on renditions of various celebrities) have cost me more sleep-time than I care to admit.

Re:More Sims Mayhem (3)

Keelor (95571) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107119)

There's plenty of amusing Sims stories right at the official site, www.thesims.com [thesims.com] . Not only do they tend to kill off large numbers of people, but they do it with a storyline! Lot's of fun ;)

~=Keelor

Re:Arrrgh! (3)

haystor (102186) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107120)

What is being said here is that "it will create an interesting social dynamic".

Think about this for a second. Outside of the very recent past, people with diseases were locked away. Personal "rights" were stripped for the good of the whole. What will happen in the game when someone gets a character that is running around trying to kill everyone with disease.

It will be interesting to see if people are as forgiving in a game atmosphere (where it costs even less) to someone that has a disease. Will names of the diseased be posted. Flags put outside their houses? Neighbors take up collections to pay for the cure?

I look forward to the answer to these questions and more when people can behave however they want.

Re:Arrrgh! (3)

chipuni (156625) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107121)

It's already happened.

Back in 1991 or 1992, text-based MUCKs already had programming languages. One enterprising programmer wrote a virus that attached itself to a person's description.

Whenever someone would look at an infected person, they would also be infected.

I forget what the 'payoff' of the virus was, but the 'antivirus' command even now exists in places like Furrymuck. [furry.org]

stupid little creatures (4)

cheezus (95036) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107122)

what do you want now? oh, you're hungry. ok, fine then, don't sit in the hot tub anymore, go make dinner. what? yes, the stove is on fire. oh, go stand in the middle of the fire, yeah, that's a good idea. point at it and freak out, yep, that'll fix it. retards.

you know, given that my sim just tends to pass out on the floor when he gets tired, i doubt he could be trusted to take care of another living creature. no wonder the hamster bites them and gives them diseases.

---

Virus to deter piracy? (4)

DeepDarkSky (111382) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107123)

What if they create a virus that is in the game from the start that is not an optional download, and that will kill all your characters, no matter what happens, and you can't get the antidote unless you register your software?

I'm sure people won't like that and a patch would certainly be created in no time, and it could be a PR problem, but it's an idea.

Creator (4)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107124)

Will Wright obviously sees himself as the Creator the God or the Devil, and he is right. What is the ultimate goal of all programmers - control. You control something - your PC you GNU/Linux your application your network etc. This guy controls his creation - a little world, in fact many little worlds.

In some aspect he also controls the people who play his game. He has the power to teach them, to change them, to manipulate them.
for this ultimate goal all means are justified.
hale

Media Sensationalism and Reader Rabbit (4)

JammmGrrl (131305) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107125)

By then, however, gamers may have been forced to confront the same challenges that face e-mail users whose computers are frequently attacked by hostile programs.

"Right now it would be hard to convince a prosecutor to attempt to convict someone for such a program, but that may change," said Mark Rasch, a former assistant United States attorney who successfully prosecuted a Cornell graduate student for releasing the first Internet worm in 1989. "These things become more important as online gaming proliferates. With online gambling it will become even more problematic."


WTF??? I read about this Guinea Pig mod to this game two months ago in Computer Gaming World, and I thought, "No way! That is so cool!" All it did was prove to me that this thing really simulated real life, and was versitile enough that they could release such a hugely new feature into the game months after its release. It almost made me go out and buy it then and there.

It's a fscking game! The point of a game is for it to be difficult! If Sims players are so upset that they would, as this litigous Mark Rasch put it, attempt to CONVICT the programmer, then perhaps they should move to more easy to play games, like Reader Rabbit. That way, they'd always win.

To me, this is adding value to the product. For the same low price of $50 (or whatever it is), you get a game that is always changing, always becoming more challenging. Sounds to me like you're not likely to get bored of The Sims within the first two weeks of game play, like so many other games I've played. Again, if people want an easy game where they always win, then leave the computer alone and watch sitcoms.

I don't see where they get off saying "gamers may have been forced to confront the same challenges that face e-mail users whose computers are frequently attacked by hostile programs." What??? I don't see where anyone's hard drives have been deleted. I don't see where anyone's been forced. Sim players choose to download mods. Worm recipients don't choose to receive worms. And even then he's sensational about it. I'm an e-mail user, and I'm not frequently attacked by hostile programs. I've gotten maybe 3 infected emails in my entire life, and even then, was not stupid enough to open "prettypark.exe".

To me, this article didn't get bad in the middle, like a lot of you said. This article was doomsday from the very beginning. There was a lot of negative and dark language from the headline to the last sentance with only a few minor positive highlights.

Incidentally, the virus he refers to in Snowcrash only worked on hackers, so you'd think the media would like that... Get rid of the hackers, and all your problems will be solved.

John Markoff is at it again... (5)

dmuth (14143) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107126)

Why can't they just tell the story, and not try to inflame the public with these false potentialities?

Well, if you look at the author of the article, it's none other than John Markoff! If the name doesn't ring a bell, he's the same guy who wrote sensational articles about Kevin Mitnick many years ago which ultimately resulted in Kevin getting treated so badly by "the system". You can read more at http://www.freekevin.com/ [freekevin.com] .

Markoff wouldn't know good journalism if it bit him on the ass. Why the New York Times continues to employ someone as irresponsible as him is beyond me.

Arrrgh! (5)

revscat (35618) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107127)

From the article:

Although there is no easy possibility that the guinea pig virus will escape from Sims and cause havoc in the Internet world, the specter of software viruses in the future of computer gaming is real, Mr. Smith said. "When they introduce a future multiplayer version of Sims, it will create an interesting social dynamic," he said.

Why can't they just tell the story, and not try to inflame the public with these false potentialities? JESUS. The article was great right up until this point. One of the (many) things that I loathe about the media is how they have this uncontrollable desire to make issues appear as nasty and brutish as possible. This is a perfect example. Virus in a computer game? We must surreptitiously imply that it might affect the entire Internet! That's MUCH more interesting!

FUCK THAT. Just tell the story! Grrrr....

-Rev.

Um... this is a computer virus? (5)

Keelor (95571) | more than 14 years ago | (#1107129)

This seems to lack one of the essential aspects of a computer virus--it completely lacks any way to replicate itself. It's basically just an undocumented feature in a patch that a lot of people downloaded--but the only way to get the feature is to download the patch, so it doesn't act like a virus. So kudos to the NYT for making the connection to Snow Crash, but next time try to make the analogy correct.

~=Keelor

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