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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

sims


I know. Missed another deadline. Maybe I should just change the rule to once every two weeks. At least then I can skip this little apology every time.

So, I recently upgraded to The Sims 2, after having played The Sims 1 for quite some time. Before upgrading, I wasn't sure that my computer would be able to handle the next generation of the game, but it turned out that I had just about the minimum system requirements needed for the game to work. For those who don't know, The Sims is simply a computer game in which you control the lives of little computer people (who are called sims, speaking simmish and their monetary denomination is the simoleon). It gives the phrase god complex an entirely new flavour.

Which also reveals why I haven't been posting as much as I should have. I become completely absorbed in the game, playing every spare minute and even sometimes well into my sleeping time. I have downloaded more customised furniture than you can shake a rather stout stick at. I have built the most beautiful house ever conceived. I have also been neglecting The One terribly. So another new one of these little rules of mine is weekends only for The Sims, and not more than two hours at a time.

The new game is certainly a far cry from the first generation game. The 3D engine is fantastic. You can view everything from infinite angles and zooms, unlike the rigid four angles and three zooms of Sims 1. What fascinated me most at the beginning, however, was the create-a-sim program which allows you to (duh) create a customised sim. With a myriad little settings and tweaks, it is fairly easy to make a quite recognisable face. Naturally, the first family I created consisted of The One and I. You can even choose the relationship level between two sims. I made us roommates, because I wanted to go through the whole courtship and joined union thing.

All of which worked beautifully and fine and we got "joined" and then adopted three children. Three little girls, one right after the other. But another little feature of the new generation game is that the sims age. They age and then they die. I was utterly devastated when The One's sim died from old age. And not long after that the I sim died also. I know there are all kinds of cheat codes to resurrect and rejuvenate and so on. But I have discovered that using cheats make a game boring very quickly. So I try to never use them. And we died.

Yes, I know.

Those simple, meaningless little deaths caused quite a little shock wave in my mind. For two nights I dreamed that The One had really died. I awoke with my face soaked from weeping. How relieved I was to see him sleeping next to me, breathing gently, serenely smiling! Sometimes I am annoyed with myself at having become involved in a relationship. Will it not ultimately cause pain and suffering? What a very Buddhist way of looking at things.

But then again, when I think of The One, I cannot imagine that I could have had a life without him. And he brings me joy, such joy. It will be well worth that ultimate suffering; I shall simply have to cling to that joy when the pain and suffering come.

I have been in a dark place these two weeks. The best way I can describe it is to say that I have been bothered by death. Not in the usual sense of being afraid of death, no. It seems that death is closing in on me, that I am surrounded by it. (I hate having to personify death, speaking about it as if it were a person). I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I feel uncomfortable with the concept of death. It is almost as though I am realising for the first time that I will not always be here. That The One and I will not always be together.

Why can't we simply live forever the way the sims did in the first version of the game?

Written by I

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