A little too ironic…I really do think

Tomorrow will see the release of Sims2 Apartment Life. Usually by now my pre-order would have been long placed and I’d be bouncing up and down awaiting the latest expansion. But I’m not. No pre-order, no poring over screenshots, nothing, and I have to take a moment to wonder why. After careful thought I believe that I’m all Sim-ed out. Not the game – I still love it and am still determined to turn Brandi Broke’s life around for her, determined to have the time of my (Sims) life at a cool college dorm and rise to the top of my chosen career…so it isn’t that. Just that this is the eighth expansion (I’m not even counting the myriad of stuff packs). That’s a lot to deal with. Before long, Sims 3 will be out so is it even worth it when I will have to start all over again next spring?

I lapped up the first few – I adored the Uni pack, loved Nightlife and Open for Business….wasn’t fussed about the pets until they picked up and jiggled a tiny puppy about and my heart melted. (It promptly hardened again when a stray dog destroyed a bed that cost thousands of hard earned simoleans). However, as each play with each new pack progressed, I found myself with more and more to juggle…teen years, homework, skills, then on to uni – classes, term papers, and pranks, not to mention your Sims’ needs and then their wants and then the lifetime aspiration and influence…then business…trying to juggle managing your lot, dealing with slacker staff and indecisive customers before coming home to newborns screaming, toddlers toddling, an agro nanny who made my adult Sims cry, and your sleep-deprived Sim ends up slumping in the dinner with exhaustion.

Then there were pets needs too…then holidays, and then, and this is what finally broke me…hobbies. Now I have to fulfil their hobby wants too and keep up their interests in case they wane and I realised that I was so busy managing all this and more that I was forgetting to enjoy the game. I found myself getting more and more stressed and frustrated. I became especially irate after a stupid gaming hobby woman phoned my house at 3am after a Sim’s dream had pushed them into the next hobby level. It seemed she thought it was an okay time to phone and wake up newborn twins to invite me to join her club. Well piss off love, can’t you see I’m at breaking point?! I nearly mangled my mouse and ate it.

What was happening to me? This is supposed to be the easy way – managing a life better than I can cope with my own. Gentle, sedate, making people’s aspirations come true – it made me feel good and I enjoyed every moment, advancing careers and my Sims whoo-hooing and hob-nobbing with everyone in town. Now, to add to it all, the final nail in my coffin, we have ‘Apartment Life’. I haven’t even touched the holidays yet and now I’m supposed to build some airy loft space and feed my Sims cheeky Friends-esque cups of coffee and sip Cosmos and dream of Manolo Blahniks? When will I find the time? How will I fit all this in? What are the developers trying to do to me?

And then it sinks in. In a subtle, insidious way it has transformed to this point where it beautifully shadows real life. Trying to juggle family and work and hobbies and needs with your wants and desires and your secret wishes, holidays and destructive pets. I can’t cope in the game anymore, there is not enough time. The game’s perverse juggling is simply a mirror held up to our own lives; mine at least and that is rather sobering and quite apt. So like the real world, all I can do is vaguely prioritise and hope to muddle through and somewhere in the middle, I’ll find a kind of happiness.


16 responses to “A little too ironic…I really do think”

  1. Tony avatar

    This is exactly why I hate The Sims – games should be an escape from real life. I want to crash cars, shoot people and wipe out evil enemy races.

    Getting a job? Cleaning my house? No thanks, I can do that in real life.

  2. James avatar

    And this is also why I download hacked Sims stuff that cheats my way round some things (Like a shower-thing that puts all the mood bars to the best they can be).

    Okay so its cheating but who cares? XD

  3. Kirsten avatar

    I have to admit the Sim life you describe does sound worryingly similar to mine too. It’s not just a passing similarity either. That’s really quite like my real life and i really can’t fit it in. No one can. you have to decide in life whether you are going to kick back in your Manolo Blahniks and read Cosmo or whether you are going to deal with the baby and have a hobby. I think EA expects people to pick and choose between expansions really – an idea that works for the mainstream but not really hardcore gamers who want to experience every element of a game.

    I quit playing after “Open for Business” I could see where it was heading and I didn’t have the time. But by then I’d had several generations of my family including alien babies and all that.

  4. Michael avatar

    So why is The Sims so popular then? As that sounds just terrible!

  5. Lorna avatar

    It has it’s wonderful moments though. I loved finding Brandi a man and getting her a great career and spiffy new house 🙂 I’m just soppy like that though 😉 It is surprisingly addictive, trying different aspirations and building the mansion of Sim dreams.

    As for reality, I imagine as things progress they will get a lot more hectic and I will look with envy at my Sims who will seem to be standing still in comparison 😀

  6. Laura avatar

    I’ve only ever played The Sims once, years ago. The kitchen caught fire which killed the mother and then the kids and husband wouldn’t do anything except sit around and cry.

  7. Lorna avatar

    lol…If you keep the gravestone or urn on your lot then their ghost will be on the wander. Many a time I’ve had a ghost terrify a sim so much they have wet themselves. I shouldn’t laugh, but…. 😀

  8. Simes avatar

    Of course, if you treat it as a god simulation in which the little puppets are there to dance for your amusement, it takes on a whole new dimension.

    Make a room. Put someone in it. Take the doors away. Put in a fire, wooden floors, and a lot of wooden furniture.

    Wall someone up and watch as they deteriorate. They take a surprising amount of time to starve to death but they become gibbering wrecks much sooner.

    The best bit about this one is watching the other sims go blithely about their daily lives as their friend cries, wets himself and starves mere feet away.

    You get the idea.

  9. Michael avatar

    Er, right… I think there’s maybe an interesting thing about how men and women play the game differently here. But, on the other hand, it IS Simes – a guy Who likes setting things on fire. Burny burny Simes.

  10. Kirsten avatar

    I tried that once for a bout 5 minutes, Simes but I had to stop what with me not being psychotic and all.

  11. Simes avatar

    I just think your psychoses manifest themselves in different ways to mine.

  12. Emily avatar

    I have to admit I’ve got quite a few Sims games, but all I do is cheat and make an awesome house, I can’t be bothered with the endless gauge-filling that is Sims ‘life’.

    Also, the dancing in the Sims 2 really amuses me 😛

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