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In The Sims 2, I've noticed that my little pixel people are having better vacations than I am. Obviously I am being way too benevolent of a deity. Time to bring the pain! But what shall I do?

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[ profile] joi_division and I exchanged gifts early; among other things, she bought me a copy of The Sims 2: Freetime expansion pack. This means I now have every single expansion pack produced for the game. My wasted life: let me show you it.

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I am really enjoying The Sims 2: Apartment Life, which frankly should have been one of the first expansion packs to be released, rather than the last. What is the point of having low-rent property if all of your pixel people have become mega-rich throughout the generations? Not that this is an issue for me, seeing as how I "rebooted" my neighbourhood a few months back.

Anyway, success has it's time and place, but poverty is where the real challenge is. Ergo, if you wish to torment your Sims like I do, here is the perfect tenement. Who needs lifestyles of the rich and famous when you can have lifestyles of the poor and forgotten?

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Rah! Rah! Braaaaaains!

Anti-climatic, to be sure, unless I decide to install this hack.

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Sometimes I just have to "play god," which is how I usually refer to a session with The Sims 2. The game is great for indulging my megalomaniac tendencies as I can perform any number of tortures or rewards on my hapless little pixel people.

I have some "playthings" which I prefer more than others. Since I have the University Expansion Pack installed, the game generated a cheerleader NPC which I immediately set forth to make as miserable as possible. Her aspiration was Popularity, so in order to twist the knife most effectively, I made it my mission to make her enemies with every single other Sim in my game (including all the cats and dogs). Of course, to get this accomplished in any reasonable amount of time required cheating, something I am not adverse to (what with being "god" and all, I'm allowed - it's my little universe). In any case, to get the hatred flowing, I would use a hack to teleport the cheerleader to a newly loaded lot. I would then have the game's debugging mode activated so I could alter relationships on the fly. In effect, within a few quick clicks, I could get mutual feelings of hatred out of the cursed cheerleader and all the other Sims occupying the lot.

Now, just clicking cheats and hacks to get everyone to enemy status with my pariah of a cheerleader would hardly be amusing, so more often than not I'd throw in a few fistfights for good measure just to get everyone good and pissed off. However, violence is bad...mmmkay? So, since this cheerleader was being naughty and starting all those fights, I felt compelled to punish her...generally in the form of her passing out exhausted in a puddle of her own bladder failure.

Unfortunately, in this evening's gaming session, it seems I went a little too far. I noticed a tombstone in the place where the cheerleader who had been passed out on the lot I was playing. My favourite pariah died of starvation apparently, immobile for too long to escape and get something to eat. Thus, I find myself needing to make a decision; a resurrection is definitely in the cards, as it would be far too benevolent to simply send her tombstone to one of my cemeteries for a blissful eternal rest. The question is this: should I resurrect her fully intact and resume the games as they were, or should I make things even more interesting and go for cheerleader zombification? I have to admit, I'm really keen on the idea of having a zombie cheerleader in my game. And those zombies don't die so easily when you torment them...

Quit looking at my like that - you already knew I was twisted.

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After much thought I have made up my mind: SimCity Societies will be the first SimCity-branded game that I do not wish to play nor own. I honestly think that EA really dropped the ball on this game. One thing I loved about the SimCity series was that it got progressively more complex and realistic with every new iteration. Societies has an interesting concept with the idea of "societal energies," but EA has thrown out the baby with the bathwater by using this to replace the urban planning concept, rather than having it as an augmentation.

Not much else to say on the subject. Oh, I have plenty of ideas for the SimCity game I wanted to see as the sequel to SimCity 4, but said game is not going to materialise.

On the up side, I still have the opportunity to get much more play time out of The Sims 2. I've yet to get the Seasons and Bon Voyage expansion packs (I'm not so much interested in the "Stuff" packs - no one needs that much "Stuff") - and once I buy them and a RAM upgrade for my computer, I'll actually install and play them.

I'm still a bit disappointed in the turn SimCity has taken - I play that and The Sims for entirely different reasons. While the former allowed me to unleash my inner road geek and urban planner, the latter allows me to indulge my not so hidden desire to play god. In fact, I think The Sims may very well prove the existence of a higher power; suffering isn't the result of man's inhumanity to man or the fact that universe is inherently chaotic, but a sign that our gaming overlord was bored and demands entertainment, else the plug gets pulled. So I'm not exactly a benevolent deity, okay?


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Seth Warren

May 2017

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