Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Virtual Reality

I try not to spend too much time playing video games since I have so many other, more important things to do like drinking beer, watching J-horror, and writing about Giant Atomic Chickens, but I believe in a balanced life so I manage an hour or two every few days without feeling too guilty. Over the years I have grown tired of my many racing games (Need for Speed, NfS II, NfS IISE, NfS III - Hot Pursuit, NfSHP II, NfS - Porsche Unleashed, NfS - Underground, etc.), my ultra-violent games (Redneck Rampage and Carmageddons I & II) were made for an older platform, the monkeyfish (a.k.a. Impossible Creatures) CD is deteriorating, and my all-time favorite Wasteland (made for an EGA IBM PC running DOS 3.3 but still works on Windows) vanished without a trace - the installed game, the backup game, the backup installation files, the backup CD, and the copies on my iPod Satan Sue all disappeared, and the backup installation disks have gone bad (the original 5.25" disks are long gone). Time for something new.

I asked some e-pals for suggestions (you know who you are), saying I wanted something a) easy, and b) potentially violent and mean-spirited. Most of you invariably recommended the Sims. Yesterday I finally caved, joined the masses, and bought the full Sims 1 set - the original game and 7 expansion packs all in the same package. After one installation, one lockup, and one crash, I finally sat down around 8:00 PM (gogo hachiji - sorry, need the practice) and played the game last night.

This is an incredibly stupid and pointless game. You create a person or family, set up house, and then spend valuable time you could be using to eat or wash or take out trash having the sim do mundane tasks such as eating, washing, and taking out trash. Or you can pause the game and put it into the all-important purchase mode wherein you buy furniture and knick-knacks for your sim in an attempt to keep him or her happy and alive (think Tamagotchi for adults). The game seems like it has an ulterior motive to promote rampant consumerism and the false belief that more stuff = more happy. It’s a stupid game based on an insipid, superficial philosophy and in no way will it ever be the equal of a Ferrari F50, Leonard with a range rifle, hordes of monkeyfish, or a team of Desert Rangers.

So then it’s three o’clock in the morning (gozen sanji) and my beer is warm from neglect and I want to strangle Boobert McFeckhead (yes, that’s his real name) because he’s a wuss who lets his jerkwad neighbor walk all over him and he never gets anything done in a timely manner and therefore winds up missing a lot of precious sleep and I’m thinking that, since I’m already going to be exhausted when I head to work in a few hours, why not stay up a little longer and just replace my blood with Mountain Dew while sitting in my cubicle waiting for the day to end, and then it hits me: despite my efforts to create a totally fictional character and have fun doing things I wouldn’t attempt in real life, I inadvertently created a sim version of myself. Boobert is a military trainee by day; by night he is a lonely psychopath who gets along with the neighborhood pets better than the people (especially the women), likes to read and watch horror movies, invariably injures himself every time he tries to make dinner from scratch, allows his neighbors to walk into his life and take whatever they want, never gets to bed on time and has to rush out the door in the morning to do it all again.

One of my “e-pals” warned me “Some people who play get so infatuated with making sure their Sims shower and eat that they forget to do those things for themselves.” Naturally, I hear this after I’ve purchased the game and gotten hooked. So, by way of “thanks” to all those of you who recommended this virtual heroin, let me say: watch your backs. I’ll be coming for you just as soon as I can tear myself away from my computer. Just look over your shoulder and I’ll be there: filthy, starving, and trembling from a 60 / 40 mixture of rage and lack of sleep. There will be no escape from me. My single-minded determination and focus knows no bounds. You will – ooh, Boobert’s crying again. I wonder if a bigger TV would make him happy.

Seriously, thanks for the recommendation. I would never kill any of you. (Or would I?) (No.) (At least not as far as you know.) After I learn the basics, I may come back to you for some hints. For now, I’m trying to train my mini me to stop pitching hissy fits when he can’t watch enough TV. Be a man, goddamnit! Kill that fecking loser neighbor with a chainsaw.

I wonder if I can buy Boobert a computer and make him play the Sims instead of going to bed.

Death, out


Kerry said...

I've never played that... but i've 'heard' about it. When you enter Sim counseling, make sure you keep us posted on the psyche sessions! ;)

Kira said...

Oh yeah! I love the Sims. I often name characters after book or movie characters, then make them look like said character. I usually only "allow" myself to play it on a break from school because it sucks out my soul. The only game worse than Sims was many years ago, Balder's Gate just absorbed me whole into the computer. I know there's a university expansion and another one, but I try not to be aware of them because then I just want them :)

If you ever get really sick of a character, put 'em in a swimming pool and then remove the ladder. They eventually drown. Ummm...uhhh...not that I'd do that or anything. I mean, that's a sick feckin' thing to do.

april said...

I can honestly say that this Sims game doesn't sound the least bit interesting to me. I've never tried to play it, but just the description has lost me. Not lost like DUH lost, but you know. =)

Happy fecking hump day!!

And gogo??

Melissa said...

The only 2 video games that ever absorbed me were Wolfenstein and Area 51 back in college (early 90s). The least you could do for your mini me is get him an ultra hot chick with big cans.

Nobius said...

I must be an idiot because all my SIMS do is die.

I hate that frecking game.

Liz said...


I got addicted too for awhile. If you think Sims 1 is bad, never pick up Sims 2. My gal is obsessed with “WooHoo”, getting laid. I spent hours trying to figure out ways to get her action with as many different sims and locations as possible. She goes to all the clubs (night life expansion pack) looking for more tail and in public. I found some cheats so she didn’t have to work for money or eat/drink/bathe/pee. That way she can stay focused on her real goals, getting laid.

Eternity said...

I'm currently on number three of the Otherland series by Tad Williams. This post reminded me of them on a wee level.

fatty ~ said...

um hello...

real life is more excitinng - whats the use of living ur life in a stupid box?

i struggle daily with addictions of similar sorts - sometimes you just have to go cold turkey

Pink said...

I found i have to limit my time playing it otherwise im here all day playing.My daughter asked me to look after her family on it once while she was away and i got hooked playing.

Joe said...

The more I hear about the Sims, them more it sounds like a respectable version of crack. That said, I'm wondering if I can get one of those cheats for real life so that I didn’t have to work for money or eat/drink/bathe/pee

Tai said...


OMG Grant, that was SO funny!

I, too, was a Simaholic for a while (but I got better!)

I had a friend who used to go into 'cheat' mode and create hundreds of cats to populate my house with.

Eventually, of course, the would all die and become little fly attracting lumps that I had to spend all my time taking to the trash.
Believe me, no time for showering!

Grant said...

kerry - for the sake of your family, stay far away.

kira - I did the literary thing with Impossible Creatures - Charlotte from Charlotte's Web, a centaur from Harry Potter, etc.

april - it sounds silly, but is highly addictive. Gogo = PM.

melissa - I should have given him an entire family, but he's having enough trouble dealing with single life.

nobius - I've been able to keep him barely alive and going to work, but Boobert can't do anything more complex than watching TV.

liz - so, is your sim a mini-you as well?

eternity - you're at a wee level? Maybe you need a cheat code.

aka fatty - reality is vastly overrated. Hollywood wouldn't be such big business otherwise.

pink - I can see I'm going to have to limit my time as well if I ever want to get anything else done.

joe - actually, if you don't eat or drink you shouldn't have to pee for as long as you live, and bathing has always been optional.

tai - I guess you couldn't just call animal control and tell them your house is infested with cats. Maybe your friend needed a non-virtual pop upside the head.

Mel said...

I'm a recovering SIM addict - shamefully I created a mini-me and a mini-boy and had them live in perfect harmony, you know, like I would know what the hell that was, having never experienced that myself. DO I sound bitter? Nah. But keep playing - it gets better when you remove the doors, windows and you pop a fireplace in the room with your SIMs.

annush said...

you didn't ask me for suggestions...I am hurt!

Liz said...

Hmm… now that I think about it, the similarities are striking. But hey, I do bathe!! HAHAHA

Grant said...

mel - this game needs a way to be more directly violent. I hope version 3 has chainsaws.

annush - what do you know about video games? You're too busy having a real life, you freak. :p

liz - so you're saying that other than bathing, you're the same as your sim (inexplicably wealthy party bunny). :)

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