Point of no return

Point of no return

The Sims 2 by EA Games was created as a simulation of real life and player’s task is to create a “sim” (or an avatar, ed) and accompany him throughout its life by establishing relationships with other local residents and trying ensure better standard of living possible through the acquisition of skills and, above all, the construction of a family to carry on from generation to generation. A first specification of the Sim’s Italian community is the use of a game predominantly “lonly” and offline to access a new online virtual world, such as role play The Point of No Return, launched in February 2009 on the forum Sims Style.

The RPG issue was born in the minds of those who are known by the nicknames Kady, Magggg, MedeAthena, Mika_Chan and ViolentDoll; there are typical elements of role-playing games (pg, powers, challenge, with 5 sadistic Mistress who from time to time have fun in complicating the lives of special creatures through pg) along with others more “funny” that are expressed predominantly in chat. In fact is active an IRC channel in which each player can move his/her pg (character) or better pgs (since everyone can hold up to five pgs), and have them interact with others, creating dynamic and plots that lead the RPG the subtitle Returniful.

The chat through a few simple rules, can overcome the lack of a true virtual world like Second Life in which to find each others: in the year were defined key aspects of the scenarios, essential for a coherent unfolding dynamics game, while the rest is given to the imagination of the individual player. The creatures are all “fantastic”, divided imaginary (and only partially physically) between Evil (vampires, ghosts, demons, drow, etc) and Good (elves, fairies, angels, etc). Most of the characters is invented from scratch or even is the second generation of RPG of the past now been completed, or inspired by other characters of myth, books or religions (we have between us Lilith, Belial, Lucifer, the Furies, the Tolkien Legolas and Arwen): there are no limits to the imagination of the player and the inspiration to move a character or another.

A presentation card allows you to specify the main features of your creature, accompanied by photos taken by Sims. The forum is also the topic The Return Incidents for posts in the classic RPG style on the forum and topic The Return Memories where we can store and show who did not attend the chat we consider most interesting, or simply are important to us and we will not disperse through the maze of logs. There is also the topic summaries Lost in No Return, updated discontinuously but useful to offer a quick flashback  to those who has been absent for a while and want to pick up the thread. Then there are the daily weather updates (to prevent a player describing rain while another is talking about sunny day), two topics dedicated to pictures of characters and landscapes, small handbook to facilitate interactions. As for the artistic aspect, on Koinup.com exists a group dedicated to the Isle of Return and its people.

Some might argue that it is simply a technological version of “playing with dolls”: well may be true, but I prefer to think of the relationship between us and our pgs as that between a writer and the characters of his/her book. We have created them, shaped not necessarily in our image and likeness, we have moved them, sometimes we had the impression that they were moving us, made us laugh like fools in front of a monitor or cry as calves, we gave them incredible suffering for which we got in return for the sleepless nights of guilt, we have high advanced, downtrodden and unloved.

It’s nothing particularly “professional”, but in a year and 2 months The Point Of No Return has attracted something like at least 110 pgs and thirty players, more or less discontinuous but still “participating”, created absurd stories and even early patterns found in films or books published at later dates, but mainly has created a new concept of the virtual worlds, not purely visual and concrete in their entirety, but able to bind double-edged tool body (the game The Sims), the online network (chat) and intangible elements such as art and imagination of each individual player to create an environment that every player could describe in detail without ever having “seen” it.

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