Thursday, April 22, 2010

There's something about the way I play the Sims that I think is peculiar.
I play with the aspirations in mind. I mostly make family and learning Sims which seems congruous with how I understand myself. I like community and learning. Popularity and fortune Sims annoy me but I make a few of each of them. Superficial friendship and money. Not my thing but I pair them with a family Sim and they add some kind of balance. And then there are Romance Sims. I do make them but I play them as if they are in a separate game. I don't like them to mix with my families. There is one exception. I let them have relationships with my learning Sims. Romance and learning go together for me.
So I've been doing my death march through my Sims world and having lots of fun with it. There isn't much game play specific to elders. I talked about this with the designers who did agree but for the most part didn't care. The game is designed by young people and they are driven by their own interests. I made a plea with lots of game play ideas once to a designer on Sims 3 and he liked the ideas but ... there's only so much time and energy and they believe they're more likely to sell to younger people.
When my Sims are elders I usually move them in with one of their adult kids so they can help with the babies and toddlers. Keeps the annoying babysitters out of the way. I've worked my way though all of my families. Part of the thing I want from all of this is a tombstone on every lot because learning Sims like to see ghosts. While I was playing out the last days of each elder life babies were born, kids grew up, adults realized lifetime goals, houses got bigger and full of more stuff, ghosts appeared. Fun, fun, fun.
I had one family made from two learning Sims. The male learning Sim had an affair with a romance Sims and I moved him in with their adult son. He'd been living with another one of his children but I needed him to get out of that house for a variety of reasons. He and his learning Sims wife had been separated for awhile because she lived with another of their children. When he moved in with the son by the romance Sim I forgot that the learning Sim wife didn't really know that family and I moved her in. I didn't realize it until I had the elder couple flirting and the adult freaked out because ... it was his father flirting with a woman who wasn't his mother.
I never have romance Sims get married and if they flirt in front of their kids the kids will cry and freak out but I didn't know the adults freaked out.
The father died a day or two before the mother. There she was in a house full of Sims with whom she had no relationship. It was kind of sad. This whole complex drama developed because I forgot about something I'd played earlier.
Playing through the families was pretty straight forward with exceptions like that family. I moved a few couples around. All fun. And now I'm in the romance world. The goal there is to make sure each romance Sim has woohoo with every other romance Sim. That means I have to jump from house to house. This morning I was playing with one adult romance Sim and jumped to one of her elder lover's home so that the elder could introduce her to another romance elder and yikes! As soon as the elder romance Sim greets her elder lover he goes to kiss her and the adult romance Sim has a jealous fit. Now she hates them both and I have to get her to love the elder male so they can fall in love. I don't have to repair the relationship between the two women but ... I probably will.
And this (after all of that) is what I find peculiar. In my life happiness is not a goal. I like being happy but I'm more interested in being whole. Life feels complicated and I think it's best to be aware of as many of the moving parts as one can be. I look toward something like a point in the middle of it all. When I play the Sims I want everyone to be happy.
And. Yes. I know they aren't real.
More peculiar yet is the whole keeping romance Sims separate thing. Again, in my life marriage is not interesting. Commitment is interesting. Love is interesting. But a civil ceremony (especially one denied to a whole bunch of people) isn't interesting. It's about property. And I do value sensuality and romance. In my Sims game I have my happy little families and my swinging romance hoochies. Separate.
It makes me wonder if I know myself at all.

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