The simulator genre brings a great many deal of benefits to the player. While some sims may use a madcap, tongue-in-cheek spin-off of reality to boost the fun (such as Viscera Cleanup Detail’s post-alien-battle maintenance levels) and others are keen to be as real as can be (Flight Simulator, for example) there’s a wealth and breadth of simulator titles that mean players are never without choice.
Indeed, with games like Goat Simulator letting us play as a goat with an incredibly stretchy, destructible tongue and Rock Simulator letting us play as an inanimate lump of sediment, the simulator genre is hotting up – for better or worse. Part of that can be chalked down to the more open and accessible entry points to game journalism as many of these new sim titles (Bear Simulator included) have made their way to our computer screens by way of crowdfunding service Kickstarter which has helped the games secure funding for wacky premises.
The simulator shtick isn’t going to end at wildlife either, as Game Journalism Simulator has now been announced. Is it set to bring japes and jokes at journalists’ and reviewers’ expense? There’s a possibility but from the sounds of it, the team behind the game are taking Game Journalist Simulator every bit as seriously as the most well-researched of op-ed pieces.
That seriousness comes from the creator’s genuine hope to bring insight to gamers about the minds and thoughts behind the words that deliver info about their favorite games on a regular basis. With the concept for Game Journalism Simulator put together by journalist Jason Evangelho who then enlisted several other game journos (including Game Informer’s Daniel Tack) for help, the team wasn’t inspired by simulation games whatsoever and a bit of brilliant games journalism is actually what spurred them on.
As Evangelho explains in an interview with Siliconera,
“What sealed the deal, though, was Dan Amrich’s book ‘Critical Path: How to Review Video Games for a Living.’ In it, he suggests that game critics should at least dabble with game development. The argument is that they’ll gain a deeper understanding of the process and be better equipped to judge a video game’s many elements. It struck a nerve when I originally read it, and it struck that same nerve last week,”
Watching Polgyon’s Brian Crecente live stream the writing of this article about Nintendo is also said to have had an effect on them.
So that planted the first seeds, but it was the positive response to a “half-joking” post that Evangelho made on Facebook about putting together “Game Journalism Simulator 2015” (which was only inspired by Rock Simulator‘s announcement and Deep Silver acquiring the North American distribution rights for Goat Simulator) that set things in motion.
It’s unclear as to whether the jovial attitude that both of those games had will be carried on in the actual game, perhaps with it being a speedrunner in which the game’s journalist character has to dodge signposts with deadlines as well as irate editors for boss battles, but Evangelho does say this of the game’s plans,
“We’re neck deep in our design document, plotting the course forward! It’s a serious project for us, and we want it to be a genuinely fun game which both empowers players and makes them laugh their asses off.”
That sounds positive for the future of Game Journalist Simulator and it may very well provide a look at the side of the industry that most only ever hear about from the outside, or when a controversy blows the doors open for an inside look. These will be positives too but do we really need yet another simulation game to add to a pile that’s becoming increasingly (and almost embarrassingly) heaped?
Goat Simulator worked because it was funny and because it poked fun at other simulators but as the ‘quirky simulation’ genre seems to be over-saturating itself like a soiled nappy, much in the same way that the ‘plastic instrument/rock star simulator’ did with Guitar Hero and Rock Band or the ‘military shooter’ is doing currently with all 500 hundred of the Call of Duty games, there is the question of just how long it will be until ‘Simulator Simulator 2014’ lands itself on the Steam Store ready for purchase.
Game Journalist Simulator will be released on PC.