Hobbit and Wookie hater Gonzalo Frasca wrote an interesting review of The Sims a few years back. Frasca is a ludologist (don't try looking up that word yet) as you'll plainly see in his Simulation vs. Representation article, which, in passing, has a brief "who's who" list of other ludology names to google.
One of the most interesting things in the article is Frascas' reticence over the extensibility of parodic forms into game spaces. Game spaces are simulative as well as representative. Therefore, when Frascas criticizes the consumerist ideology he sees within the Sims (avatar aquisition = avatar happiness), he finds himself needing to defend against the argument that Wright's team intended the game as a parody of contemporary culture. Frascas is dubious as to whether parody is a form that works in games:
While traditional representation just mimics characteristics of a referent, simulation also models its behaviors. A movie that makes fun of consumerism just depicts events that are watched by its audience, but a simulation makes the players perform those actions and I think this is not quite the same.
I think that's right, as far as it goes. But if true, doesn't this insight have some significant implications?