North Korea uses The Sims to display “decadent and destructive imperialist lifestyle”


No-one has the heart to tell him that North Koreans aren’t actually Sims.

While the world quaked in fear having seen North Korea’s latest visual masterpiece, depicting a flaming New York City from Activision’s Modern Warfare 3, it turns out that this was actually just the latest in a long line of video game-based deceptions foisted upon the population of the secretive Asian nation.

One of the most brazen uses of propaganda, according to defectors from the regime, is the showing of The Sim. Presented as a documentary into American life, the game demonstrates that even those who can harness the sheer power of floating emeralds are incapable of realising their dreams without the guidance of the Dear Leader, and will ultimately, like America itself, either burn themselves to death on the fireplace or pass out in a pool of their own urine.

Also popular on Pyongyang’s TV networks are the Grand Theft Auto series, which are chiefly used in order to demonstrate the collapse of society and the proliferation of crime in cities where the rule of law is not properly upheld by constantly surveying your neighbours in case they are hoarding rice. To their credit, North Korea has one of the lowest rates of traffic accidents in the world.

Perhaps the most bizarre use of propaganda though is that of Farmville. Those who endlessly toil for their daily grain and crops, none of which they are ever permitted to eat or take home, under the thumb of an oppressive and faceless regime requiring almost cult-like devotion are reported to provide endless sources of entertainment to the North Korean populace.

About Cieran Douglass

Cieran built this website in a cave with a bunch of scraps. Actually no that's not right at all, it was with Wordpress and middling Photoshop and design skills. He often plays video games and his favourites are Paper Mario TTYD, GTA San Andreas, Portal 2 and Minecraft. His display picture is not an accurate portrayal. He currently works for a much bigger website at the University of York, but if you'd like him to write something for you he can be contacted at