2, Issue 15
March 13, 2000
The Sims the first step toward a virtual life where everyone
Sphincter is sleeping. He was up at the crack of dawn to shower,
dress, eat, and catch his ride to work at the Institute. He almost
missed work this morning - just before going out the door he broke
down, sobbing, overcome by his unbearable loneliness. But Earl
has bills to pay, and a 'fridge to stock, and plans to enlarge
his home. So squaring his shoulders and choking back his tears,
Earl went out to greet the day.
of those freaks who enjoys shooting the Scientists in Half-Life
- mostly just because I know I'm not supposed to. I used to build
sprawling urban blight on purpose in SimCity and SimCity
2000, with integrated Crime Zones and Eternal Traffic Jams.
Then I'd torch the whole lot and start over. So when I popped-open
The Sims my first move was "let's see if this thing
will let two mixed-race lesbians adopt kids". So I cover
the whole demographic: a young white woman, hip-dresser with a
bob and shades, meets older black woman in a sweater with gray
hair. I build them a nice little bungalow. I furnish it well.
I make sure they are well fed, amused, and clean. And not only
do I not get that offer to adopt, these two just totally hate
days and nights later, I have experimented with numerous permutations.
A slovenly biker dude and a serious-minded career woman, one black
and the other white. No dice. A paunchy balding middle manager,
white, and a four-eyed nerd with a pocket protector, brown. Well,
at least those two got along. Finally I went for the buff Ken
doll lookalike, and a Barbie-esque beauty queen, both white, and
guess what? They were falling in love and reproducing in no time.
Likewise with a middle-aged small time crook, male, and a middle-aged
librarian, female, and both black. Two Asians of similar age:
ditto. A pattern began to emerge.
to the manual, in the section entitled "Moving In" on
page 56 we read "The Moving In proposition is…available only
for same-sex friends. Opposite-sex friends never have Move In
available…" Why not? On page 57 under "Marriage",
it says: "Only opposite-sex relationships qualify for a proposal
of marriage. Marriage is the only means to bring an opposite-sex
character into the house to stay". Well, there is currently
a controversy going on about same-sex marriages, so maybe Will
Wright is just taking a stand here. I can even see a certain game-design
reasoning to all this. These two rules control migration of characters
through the homes in the neighborhood, and without pretty strict
rules for this, you'd quickly end-up with 16 people living in
a one-room studio. And I have discovered that with a lot
of effort you can get same-sex couples to fall in love, although
I still can't get the little schmoes to cross the race line…