The greatest charm of EA’s The Sims series is its absurd and creative nature that allows players to do whatever they want – well, almost – and build many different mods on the side. An upcoming reality competition series based on the franchise seeks to retain that spirit of creativity, and it’ll be premiering on American TV channel TBS on 17 July 2020.
Called The Sims Spark’d, the four-episode show will pit 12 contestants in a host of timed skills and elimination challenges “to win the title of the world’s most creative storyteller”. These tasks are built on the premise of storytelling through the game’s tools, such as character customisation and home design elements, which will then undergo judgement from a panel. Players will be rewarded or eliminated accordingly, with the winner walking away with a US$100,000 cash prize, and the mantle of the undisputed Sims master in the world.
The project is to be presented in partnership with esports brand ELEAGUE and Buzzfeed Multiplayer, so it’d be interesting to see how the idea will take off on the reality show medium. Shoutcasting, an important aspect of esports, may not always work – just imagine someone commentating, “Will Jack head over to the fridge, or will he opt for the oven?”. Some spicing up is certainly in order, and The Sims Spark’d starts that off by involving casual Sims players in special challenges from home during the airing of the show.
Former American Idol finalist Rayvon Owen will serve as host, alongside BuzzFeed Multiplayer YouTube personality Kelsey Impicciche, singer-songwriter Tayla Parx, and Maxis game developer Dave Miotke, as judges. Episodes are scheduled for weekly broadcast every Friday, with encore telecasts airing at 8am on Saturdays.
The BuzzFeed Multiplayer channel will stream the show on YouTube as well, on Mondays following the televised broadcast.
Si Jia is a casual geek at heart – or as casual as someone with Sephiroth’s theme on her Spotify playlist can get. A fan of movies, games, and Japanese culture, Si Jia’s greatest weakness is the Steam Summer Sale. Or any Steam sale, really.