taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Friday, September 17, 2004

I've been playing Sims 2 now for about... um, fifteen hours straight. Now, I did get up to feed and play with and change my darling baby, but I must admit I was confused when the Sims baby cried--was that my baby or a simulacrum? Or is my baby the simulacrum and the Sims baby is... oh, shit.

It's not hard to become immersed in a virtual world, especially since the Sims world isn't cluttered with the kinds of complications I find in my "real" world: single socks, vaguely damp diapers, toys with no place to go, bathing suit tops and no bottoms, books I'll never read, mismatched bed linens.

In Sims-land, all curtains fit all windows. There's a money cheat when you can't make ends meet. Everyone is either sort-of-plump or model-skinny. Children entertain themselves, repairmen only cost $50 an hour, you can put the baby on the floor without guilt, and you can make a decent living as a slacker. Decor choices are limited, and most things go with most other things. And when you throw a party, all you have to do is turn on the techno, get in the hot tub, and the place is bumpin'.

I am no stranger to escapism--in fact, escapism has been my best friend for a long, long time. But this game offers me an out which is so clearly wrong, I don't even know what to say about it. It's not that I ignore my family when I'm playing it--I actually forget about them. It seems like the Sims families need me more--and how fucked up is that?


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