A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Sims 3: Late Night is an expansion pack to the Sims 3 game for PC and Mac platforms. It adds the ability to go out on the town and visit night clubs late at night. Players can take their Sim to dance, socialize, and hook up with other characters. Its entire emphasis is on nightlife and encouraging players to get into more and more exclusive venues. Along with visiting these clubs, players will see provocatively-dressed dancers and see that it is easier to make out with some characters here. However, other factors usually associated with nightlife - including getting buzzed or drunk - are avoided in this game.
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What's it about?
THE SIMS 3: LATE NIGHT is an expansion pack to The Sims 3, which gives players the opportunity to get out of their digital home and meet new Sims at the city's hopping nightlife. Players are encouraged to gain fame among the entry-level clubs in order to get invited into the more exclusive sites. The game presents this task more like climbing a virtual social ladder than focusing on any of the sleazy or tawdry aspects of real-life nightlife. However, it is possible to meet a character and, moments later, start kissing and making out, and even lead to having "woohoo" with him or her. For the most part, as has become synonymous with the Sims franchise, players create their own story in this open-ended adventure.
Is it any good?
The Sims 3: Late Night is part of the best-selling PC game franchise of all time. It has earned that title because of its sophisticated depiction of real life, and as such has a lot of clout in all of its presentation. So even though night clubs and random hook-ups are glamorized, they are presented in a way that comes across as a legitimate part of the player's virtual life. Even so, this includes a lot of material that many children may be unable or unready to understand and should be treated as such. For players who understand how to make moral decisions in their own life, this game is a vicarious adventure that allows them to live out activities they know would have different consequences in real life. For those players, the Late Night expansion is a fun way to add to their Sims 3 experience.
Online interaction: The game does have some online interaction, however most of it is not played online with other players. For example, there is an online store in which players can buy extra items for their game, and the game provides access to online message boards and community sites. However, much of this occurs out of the realm of the actual game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of a curfew. Why is it unsafe to be out late at night on your own?
The Sims 3 lets you customize your own character and determine its personality traits. Which human traits do you think are the most important?
How can you balance your social life with the responsibilities of work or school?
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