But while sex is only a relatively small part of The Sims – crucially, your Sim can meet and form relationships with other Sims – it’s the dark heart that underlies everything.It’s not the engine of the game, but the romantic potential is its fuel, driving it onwards. The Sims simulates life and life’s nothing but a mass of social fabric wrapped tightly around that spark of attraction. Now, I’m aware of Wilde’s “All criticism is autobiography” maxim, and I know that, more than any other game, this is true of The Sims.
All the while, of course, I was thinking that I should point out that phoning me and asking for that sort of quote was a little like me phoning him and asking him to say that all the homeless are work-shy layabouts who stink of piss. To use Owain Bennallack’s memorable description, The Sims is an apologia for consumerism.
A good life needs friends and company, yes, but a better life can be purchased incrementally at Ikea.
It’s the equivalent of someone who really liked designing wallpaper textures in The Sims writing a piece about the dark heart of the game being the variable quality of its fittings. It is, in some reason, why you do everything else – the point. That it included these elements is a reason that people have been attracted to The Sims – a life without love, after all, is not much of a life at all.
But that there’s an actual power to the in-game incarnation is one reason why it is so enthralling. I’d only realised the actual emotional weight of The Sims when I actually played the original game seriously.
Sure, he may have technically had more options than me — he was drawn to men and women, while I was only drawn to men — but that didn’t make him any more promiscuous or untrustworthy than the next guy.
By all outward appearances we should be planning our second marriage by now: In addition to the crazy chemistry, we're both creative, ambitious people who share sensibilities about money, child rearing, politics, travel, style -- and a love for divey ethnic restaurants.
We knew we were being watched at those moments, because every time we answered the phone the same questions came from different missionaries from the Real World Media.
The first and biggest spike in calls was part of the fallout of 9/11 when every journalist in the world needed to ask us whether Counter-Strike or Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear or Microsoft Flight Simulator could be used to train terrorists to take over commercial airliners.
That is, sitting down by myself for a few hours, with no distractions.
I’d played it in the office, everyone crowded around a PC and shouting orders at whoever was holding the mouse: the simple joy of seeing what this strange toy could do and laughing when a Sim was reduced to tears, or when they wet themselves due to us forgetting to leave time in their busy schedule for bathroom visits.
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