The gaming market is always looking for new niches that will help young developers make more money. Popular simulator games have always been interesting for old and new players ever since Pizza Tycoon was released almost thirty years ago. Today, we have driving simulators, hotels or casino simulators, and even hunting or fishing sim games. Space simulator games are a genre of their own, but no one was expecting where this genre will go next when homeless survival games started to come out. It is like zombie apocalypse survival but without zombies, and one needs to beg, steal, or scrap for food to make ends meet, and it is already an instant classic.
Simulator Genre Development
We all loved Tycoon series games and especially political simulators like Democracy, but these are all grand scale titles where the little man seems almost invisible. Developers worldwide felt that so they gave us trucking sims plus fishing and hunting titles that introduced some first-person perspective into this genre. Launching the Sims series gave new meaning to the sim genre showing that even life can be recreated or re-enacted with new storylines over and over. Players loved it, and these titles became some of the best-selling in gaming history. It was time for us to dig deeper and merge the survival genre with a sim of some sort.
During the nineties, we were playing as oil magnates, casino tycoons, or fast food restaurant owners, but reenacting social life has opened new doors for this niche. Some zombie survival games have certainly influenced young players to demand more first-person orientated games, but going homeless was a bold move from today’s developers. It is like all those driving games weren’t enough or all those political simulators weren’t interesting enough for new millennial players who just wished to explore the homeless perspective. Perhaps that is the reflection of what is happening in our social and economic landscape today. Maybe the big popularity of these titles should be a warning that young people are worried about their future, or they are just more socially aware of the world around them.
World Changes And So Does The Gaming
Homelessness is a growing concern for even educated people in developing countries who fear for their future or stability that they got used to, but the new economy is unforgiving. Being a homeless person sure ain’t pretty but when put in a gaming perspective, it becomes a survival game with a unique view of these people’s everyday lives. There is so much more about the homelessness problem than just people who beg for some money and reading some homelessness essay papers may help you learn more about it. Millions of people across this globe lost their homes since this epidemic crushed the world’s economy. Playing games like Change or Homeless Life may help everyone understand what are the implications of economic collapse on people’s lives.
The main character in the Change strolls through a gritty and tough city trying to rise from rags to riches by escaping his homeless lifestyle. It sends a powerful message about those left on the bottom who live in the shelters, steal their food, or beg for money. You will have to do all these things to earn experience points and become skilled at surviving on these streets. One can even choose to start this game as an addict, mentally ill individual, or an abandoned war veteran.
If you prefer some first-person perspective, try playing Hobo, a homeless simulator that has that Fallout vibe of roaming through abandoned buildings, picking all useful items, and using them carefully. It lets you interact with people and objects, plus it is very realistic with decent graphics for an independent game. The most interesting feature of this game is trading stolen items or just hustling other people into giving you what you need at the moment.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to steal or scrap for food, or beg strangers for some money, you would have felt pretty bad, but gaming makes it fun. Suddenly, making cardboard shelter boxes or getting small changes to get through this day becomes a survival adventure with a clear goal and strategy. There is some strange gratification in homeless survival or just satisfying basic needs for food, water, or sleep. This is what developers are aiming for, the fact that most players are goal-orientated, whether it is a first-person shooter or a homeless reality game. The key is to make it fun or interesting, or just intriguing.
Becoming a Homeless Person
Another very satisfying moment for every gamer is a profound realization of how privileged or happy he is not to be homeless like many others. We take many things for granted, like having a place to sleep or having enough food in our fridges. Sometimes, people forget that life can be a pure survival without mercy where one must fight to maintain basic necessities. That is perhaps why these new sims have gained so much popularity among gamers who got used to luxury that we take for granted. They just experience shock or some adrenaline rush by acknowledging the fact that something like this may happen to them in their future.
That is the reality of life, the modern life in our capitalist society that sees humans like replaceable machines. Anyone can experience the same fate as millions of homeless people who were chewed and spit on by greedy corporations for the sake of profit. This is why it’s so scary to think about it, and so interesting to play with that thought in a computer game simulation. Staling, mugging, picking dumpsters, or begging for some nickels or dimes seems like a fun adventure when played from a cozy chair in your living room. Every time you remind yourself that you are doing ok and your fridge is full of food, you will feel relief and pleasure for not living out there in the streets.
Perhaps we are a little bored after all with all the new titles in our gaming industry and we are just hungry for some new or interesting experiences. If you are tired of all those shooting games and grand strategies, try something new like homeless life from the first-person perspective. You may be surprised how much you will enjoy it, even though being homeless is certainly not something you aspire to in your life. It is just a game so enjoy it, if nothing else because of the sheer joy of not having to be homeless yourself.