The Philippines’ Contribution to The Sims
How could I have missed this? Apparently Tagalog played at the very least a minor role in the development of a best-selling video game franchise.
More specifically, the development of Simlish, the gibberish language used primarily in the The Sims series in place of real speech. According to Savvy Gamer:
The designers and voice talents that worked on the original Sims games decided to base this new virtual language on many real languages. They began to experiment with Tagalog, the language spoken officially in the Philippines. They also experimented with fragments of Ukrainian. They were also very inspired by the famous code talkers of the Second World War. These were the Navajo soldiers who created the unbreakable codes that could not be broken by the Japanese during the war. One of the original Sims creators, Will Wright, was interested in experimenting with the Navajo language, which many have feared will eventually be lost.
Why was Simlish created in the first place? Creator Wil Wright decided that real-language speech would sound repetitive. Hiring voice actors for different languages would also be a costly affair.
I’m not sure if any Tagalog actually made it to the Simlish players of The Sims 3 hear today. Or if it made to the first game for that matter. Perhaps the next time I play a Sims game (if at all), I’ll listen closely to what those virtual characters say.
Whatever the case, here’s an old video of voice actors recording Simlish for the first Sims.
This entry was posted on Friday, March 19th, 2010 at 7:30 am and is filed under Asides. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.