It strikes me as odd that games like The Sims or Space Colony always have you forcing your little simulated personalities to train in different things. It’s the generic level-up scheme adopted by computer games since the year dot. And it’s really boring. And unrealistic.
In reality, I don’t decide “hey, I’m going to learn X% of mechanics, because”… I say “crap, my car’s broken again… time to get out some books on introductory mechanics”. It’s the problem that drives us to learn, not some arbitrary god figure clicking insistently on the bookshelf.
So I’d like to see Sims-style games take a different approach in future – make it part of the gameplay that you have to challenge your Sims, which forces them to learn, to adapt, to evolve. Perhaps the way-hyped “Spore” will do just that… who knows.
It’d certainly be much more interesting to think up carrots with which to improve the minds and bodies of my Sims, than to just keep applying the stick all the time.