Once upon a time, PC gamers weren’t known for our affection for mainstream culture. It’s significant then that the Lead Producer Corey St John tells me the Sims Showtime was “totally inspired by performance reality shows” like X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.
In Showtime, you take an aspiring acrobat, magician, singer or DJ from small-time busking for change to their first paid gig and onto performing massive concerts in arenas (or as near as the Sims 3′s engine can produce to an arena.)
When these performing Sims take up their new career, they start out at a pretty lowly level – singers start as candygrams, complete with a bellhop outfit, whilst acrobats can start by juggling batons. Magicians, we presume begin by stealing a top hat and some rabbits.
As they level up their skills, they perform more reliably and get access to more difficult activities. Notably, compared to earlier Sims 3 careers, where your characters levelled up off-screen, these are very interactive and visual; you see the Magician putting the sword into the cabinet containing a volunteer Sim. Other sims can also take part, throwing cabbages or roses, heckling and praising.