Wait, what? Tech Guru is the dream career? Apparently so. Among other things, it is interesting to note that the top traits we choose for our characters include romantic, cheerful, and active. It almost sounds like a New Year's resolution list. Why do we seek these specific traits? Why don't we want our characters to be slobs, or kleptomaniacs or have a poor sense of humor? In addition, how come the divorce rate is 34% less than the U.S. average? If we were to say that we're projecting our own needs and wants onto our characters, then could we say that all we want from life is to be more romantic, fit, happy and have a long lasting marriage? As well as that computer science genius Silicon Valley career.
I had a chat with a fellow simmer to find out what her motivations are and why do we seek the things we seek with our sims.
I found it interesting that Emy said she's drawn to Sims when she feels her own life is out of control. However, I wasn't too surprised as I share the same sentiment. It's a way of escaping from the real world into a simulated one. When I was a kid, I'd use my doll houses and my imagination to do the same, but over the years I've lost that superpower, thus games like Sims are there to fill that gap.
I was curious to find out how other simmers felt and met up with another player, Caitlyn. Turns out, Caitlyn shares some of the same feelings Emy and I do about our motivations for playing.
"I enjoy the control of it and I think most of the people would... I don't personally enjoy playing God in real life, but then in the game I'm just like let's go for it." - Caitlyn
The part that caught my attention is the distinction that Caitlyn made between liking control in the game, but not seeking it in real life. Again, we see the this trend: the virtual reality quality of the Sims allows us to do things that are out of character for us but that we still desire, or at the very least, find entertaining. After all, I hardly know anyone who'd trap a person in a pool with the goal of killing them, but know far too many people who've done it to their Sims characters. However, that makes me wonder, are those actions truly out of character simply because we'd only participate in them in a game?
The stakes in the game change once we relate our character to the outside world. For example, if we decide to make ourselves, I've noticed that there is more emotional attachment to the character's life. After a very long day during midterms, my roommate returned from class and wished to relax with Sims.
"I just need to feel in control of something..." - Soraya
Unfortunately, as my roommate isn't a highly experienced simmer, she accidentally burned her sim in a fire after about an hour of playing. To make the matters worse, she made her character look like her and gave it her first and last name. Thus, upon the character's death, I found her crying as she had formed an emotional attachment to the object and was defeated with the loss of control. She didn't keep playing after that incident and when I asked her why is that, she cited the lack of control as the main reason.
In the end, although the Sims is marketed as a life simulation game, it in fact provides us with an experience that is less lifelike and more catered to our unfulfilled desires. A true simulacra of control, and not life.
play with life?
I'm merely glad that no human is controlling me the way we can control our characters. This team of comedians envisioned what that would be like.
Thanks for reading!