Monday, July 24, 2006

A new addiction...

OK, I will admit to it; I have found a new addiction even more riveting than Literati (believe it or not!), namely the virtual world of the Sims, according to the packaging, "the world's no. 1 selling PC game EVER!" It frightens me, but once one of these little creatures engages you, you just can't stop; I found the whole set of 7 discs at 25% at Chadstone last week, and felt I could not afford not to get it, $140 worth at $35, since the concept of virtual social simulation fascinated me ever since I read about it Psychology Today magazine. It takes a little while to get the hang of, but once you do, it becomes Big Brother, in which you play the role of Big Brother (or Sister), meets virtual, or webcam, reality. I started with the Goth family on the second disc (Livin' Large), which promised extreme situations, like roach infestations and alien abductions. The family suffered a number of traumatic and tragic events, such as finding their space invaded by the "tragic clown" who came to life from a painting on the wall, losing their adopted baby to social services for failure to look after it properly, and losing their natural daughter to military school, because of her failing grades and extremely dysfunctional behavior. When the Grim Reaper came to take Mr Goth, Bella mourned briefly over his urnful of ashes, but now she gets on with life in her own little house, and seems much happier there. Basically, you just have to keep them fed, watered and amused, with either serious fun or just plain fun, and Bella has turned out to represent my only character who managed to get a job (all the others seemed too depressed to even want to look!) as a subway musician, although she does not play music at home, preferring her virtual reality module for "kicks", feeding and watching her fish and watering her plants and pottering in the garden, when not at work. She has not yet had a "hot date" though, despite the title of disc 3, and has no friends, seeming at times a "socially challenged moron", who occasionally loses track of time and pisses off all her would-be friends by ringing them at night, and herself by attempting to call them during their working hours. It seems she equates to a lesbian, also, favoring black leather chaps, and the closest she got to a "hot date" downtown seems jiving to a jukebox with some hot black sheilas.... ;-))
I have found it disturbingly easy to lose all track of time myself playing this, or rather, letting the simulation unfold. It also does strange things to your visual field when you have played it too long, i.e. seeing everything in terms of pixels, which swarm about like ants over the floor? The weird thing about it, though, seems that nobody ever has sex in it, and two characters cannot even sleep in the same double bed! Apart from that though, the simulations seems pretty true to life so far, although I wonder what happened to the alien abductions (mind you, Cassandra Goth did talk a lot about aliens before finding herself packed off to military school!)... lol


Anonymous Kelly said...

Congradulations! Finally an alien abduction. I only hope it lived up to your expectations. Was it trippy, or just a small event??

Keep up the good work!

10:28 pm  

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