So yesterday was a day dedicated to achieving nothing really. I always start with good intentions and plans, but they tend to fall through when I’m tired and dying in uncomfortable heat. I had planned to film videos, write my film script, storyboard a video for school and edit my holiday video. But none of those tasks were even touched. Instead I positioned myself in front of the TV and turned on the PS3, awaiting the catchy sound of the Sims 3 theme. Who knew that running a bunch of virtual lives could dominate your own so much? I spent hours building my Sims family’s house, raising the kids from babies to children, getting promotions to afford a more lavish life for my Sims, and resurrecting a fallen Sim from the grave, just so she can continue to write her next best seller.
I am a great fan of simulation games, so Sims is obviously an appealing game to me. But the addictiveness of the game worries me. I can easily spend hours in front of the TV controlling these virtual lives, and not even realise that four hours have passed. I get into regular routines, remember who goes to work when and what side jobs people have to do to achieve their goals and such. I get drawn into this virtual world that I’m improving and crafting so easily, and get attached to these virtual characters I’ve created. Not so attached that I’m devastated when they die, but just enough to associate a personality and like for these characters.
I think it is because I really enjoy design and control. To be able to design and control these virtual character is fun and entertaining, and makes me eager to play again. Also the designing of the houses is an aspect of the game that I adore. I’ve added two extra floors and various other extensions to the house I started with on the Sims, and have thoroughly enjoyed designing and building to the requirements. Additional bathrooms and toilets are a must, and the kitchen can’t be too far from a dinning room, otherwise your house will soon have plates scattered everywhere as your Sims attempt to find a place to sit and eat. This house pictured above, has evolved to the circumstances – and is faulty in its design because of it. It’s not a very appealing house from the outside, and I’d move and extend various things inside if I could. But it works for the family and their activities, so in that sense it is successful.
I have now designed an extravagant and lavish mansion, with libraries, grand staircases, balconies and verandas all sketched out and planned. I recently tweeted this on the subject:
And I received mixed opinions. But found that others also revel in drawing up plans for their Sims’ houses, and even strategise; choosing certain traits to make a Sim that will be happy to write for days on a computer without food or the need to pee, or Sims that will easily rise up the ranks and bring in the big bucks. It showed me that I am not the only oddly addicted Sims player, and that many are far more addicted and into it than I.
Although I achieved nothing of significance yesterday, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. But have a nagging sense of guilt for simply having fun and not being productive. Society seems to look down on those that simply have fun, seeing it as some sort of high-cost frivolity. Why must we be productive all the time, and why is time simply having fun, time wasted? I personally see the activity of having fun a necessary part of life. Yes you can have fun whilst accomplishing things of importance, and being productive. But having fun with no limits or boundaries, just simply having fun without worry is far better for us in my opinion. I whole-heartedly agree with Bertrand Russell when he says, “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
So today or tomorrow I think I shall return to my virtual family of Sims and work them to the bone, until they can afford the grand mansion I have designed for them. Then they shall live lavish lives and hold marvellous parties with their friends and family, revelling in the beauty of their home. Perhaps I’ll update you in the future of pictures of the grand estate when it is completed? We shall see.
Thanks for reading guys!