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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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Sim PlayBoy dons its slippers

And who doesn’t fancy being Hugh Hefner for a bit, eh?

Players of simulation games thrive on order and neatness. Certainly, my experiences over the years have taught me to be precise (RollerCoaster Tycoon), attentive (Sim City) and to hit Alt-F4 regularly (Sim Tower). Lewdness, conflict and disaster aren't generally selling points, as perhaps evidenced by poor sales of Beach Life, although it helps to inject a bit of each into a simulation game, just to keep people happy during their 27th hour at the PC screen. Usually with some form of spider-legged flying saucer or volcanic eruption.

That said, it shouldn't be too difficult for ARUSH Entertainment and Groove Games to keep people happy for that long, as they have just signed a "multi-year, multi-product, worldwide licensing agreement" with PlayBoy to produce a world-builder style simulation game. Where you are The Hef.

Stepping into Hugh Hefner's slippers and gown, you'll be charged with building up a successful PlayBoy empire and living the ultimate PlayBoy lifestyle. Rumours that ARUSH and Groove are collaborating with Acclaim for the marketing are entirely fabricated (by us). They wish, after all.

According to ARUSH marketing manager Donald Case, the game is "in concept form", with a rough target of late 2004 for a multi-format release on PC and consoles. More details will become available as development gets underway in the next few months. We just hope that all this posturing about gameplay quality being of the utmost importance isn't quickly forgotten and replaced with porn-in-a-box. That, after all, is why we have their fine magazine.