IKEA is going to sell furniture with Electronic Arts via The Sims 2 game. Soon, it will be possible for you game addicts, to refurbish your Sims living room into your own dreamcastle. Or, in the words of Mr. IKEA himself:
‘Turn your Sims' living room into a haven of comfort and relaxation with a plush Ektorp sofa, a unique Expedit TV unit, a complementing Leksvik coffee table, and chic décor, like the Vanna mirror.’
‘Create a bold, vibrant, and revitalizing bedroom with a new Malm bed, matching chest of drawers, a shapely Storm floor lamp and a bright IKEA PS rug’
‘Indulge your Sims with an office that is sure to promote order and productivity with its elegant Vika Hyttan desk, inspiring Kila desk lamp, bold Helmer drawer unit, and Lack zigzag wallshelf’
The service will be available from june 24th 2008 and will cost you a mere $25,-. Earlier on, H&M did something similar. Around 1 million digital fashionpacks were sold. Electronic Arts made a deal with Ford, so Sim-playes could drive in a Mustang. Two point seven million were sold. So what does this mean for gaming? Will the ideal virtual worlds of the Sims and their likes turn into the dystopias of mediocre consumer goods we find along our highways nowadays? What's next? Car alarm or GPS systems in Grand Theft Auto X? Wouldn't it be so much more inspiring if IKEA would manufacture and sell the furniture you create yourself in your Sims house? We know already that the virtual worlds we create are often weak imitations of our ‘real’ lives, but the question how these virtual worlds are going to influence or physical lives is much more interesting. Design your life!
But there's at least one good thing about it: there's definately no child labour involved in manufacturing these digital furniture. Or it would be for some 9-year-old homeless kid in Sichuan, China writing the code for the newest killer app.