Sunday, October 02, 2005

Mam's the Word

If I had
any Sensitive New Age Guy credentials at all, they've been revoked.

I've been playing Playboy: The Mansion. And enjoying it.

It's basically The Sims 2. Except it has very clear goals, which is why it appeals to me. I didn't care for the Sims because it never quite resonated with me -- maybe I lack the empathy, but dammit, even with the Free Will option my sims couldn't take a piss without my supervision.

Despite the presence of naked breasts, Playboy: The Mansion is actually a pretty straightforward game. You're presented with different goals that are easy to accomplish. Line up an article, an interview, a pictorial, a centerfold, those sort of things. A checklist for the magazine, which is then given an overall rating that determines your earnings.

Other than the magazine, you run the mansion. You can put in some furniture, unlock new areas (like the pool), hire playmates, staff and various hangers-on. Then throw a party.

My favorite thing about the game is that it's insanely easy.

I love easy games -- Terrible, I know.

There's never a lot of pressure and little chance to screw up. It does, in other words, do a pretty good job of pushing the image that Playboy wants to sell -- you can chat a woman naked in seconds, then photograph her topless against a sunset and then befriend a rock star in the same day. Hell, before lunchtime.

If anything, though, the game is remarkably inoffensive. Pedestrian, even. Sure, there's sex, but barely. The reviews I read said much the same.

In other words, it represents the same sanitized, slightly-offensive shallowness that the Playboy Magazine itself offers.

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