Remember the "virtual reality" craze of the mid-'90s, when cutting-edge video game technology meant strapping on a futuristic football helmet and interacting with brightly shaped polygons? These days, interactivity within virtual worlds is commonplace, from the millions of players who escape into World of Warcraft reveries to those who risk bodily harm while wielding a Nintendo Wii controller. This weekend, St. Louis Mills (5555 St. Louis Mills Boulevard, Hazelwood; 314-227-5900) allows guests to try out The Sims, a game in which players create and control digital doppelgangers and let them loose in simulated environments. And what better place to try out the game than in the ultimate simulated environment — a gigantic shopping mall! Pros from EA Games demonstrate the game on Nintendo's Wii and DS platforms in The Sims lounge, located near the food court. You can try out a fake life from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday (March 6 through 8).
March 6-8, 2009