who killed videogames? (a ghost story)

| tim

epilogue: some maybe-interesting screenshots i took of the sims social

just two seconds into the game and the abstract quality of this supposed escapism has ravished me: as in real life, i sit here, writing "simple emails" in my underwear on a computer sitting atop an ikea table, an acoustic guitar behind my office chair, money all over my odd-colored carpet.

my room in reality. the mess on the carpet is what happens every time i click "reply", type "no, fuck YOU", and then click "send".

all i had to do was write seventeen or so "simple emails" by clicking a computer and selecting "simple email"! the last time i tried to share the news with the world about how i had reached skill level one on writing, someone emailed asking why i didn't have cancer yet.

this big neat gems appear in your yard from time to time. they look cooler than weeds, so i'm tempted to let them stay where they are. though when you smash them, you get social-points-money, which is pretty darn valuable. they're about as valuable in the game world as the visual presentation of these rocks is valuable (eye-candy) in the real world. well! whatever!

i sent brandon a dunkin' donuts coffee boost . . . and he never used it. if he had, he would have found that it satisfies his sims social sim's "sleep" need instantly! which is something he could also accomplish by clicking on his sims social bed and selecting "nap". you know what i always say: "taking a nap is the cup of coffee that doesn't lie to you". the sims social runs on dunkin', and brandon sheffield does not.

as in my real-life bathroom, there are no shelves on which to put things. i imagine my sim keeps his toothbrush and tootpaste on the back of the sink.

practicing guitar scales = "composing" in the world of the sims social -- and in the world of metal bands that break up before high school graduation.

here, to build a bookshelf, i could either ask my friends for "muse", i could perform music or art actions (one energy point each) for a one in four chance of collecting a muse, or i could pay for it. the music action route is quick enough: you get 15 free energy points per hour, so you'd have twenty muse in around six hours. the simcash cost is 3 per muse. at a rate of a maximum nine simcash to the dollar, that's $6.67 for an imaginary bookshelf. you could get a real one for that much on craigslist!

in the depraved world of the sims social, it's polite to not look at someone when you're in their house and they're playing the guitar!

note that 1: my guy is wearing a crew-neck t-shirt. the game does not offer v-necks. 2: there is a "skirts" tab, though no skirt choices for men. 3: he's touching himself. 4: the "PLAY NOW!" button is enticing. they don't tell you that if you touch that button, you are locked into all your choices. this is how a million men accidentally made themselves women. the playfish forums were aflame about it: "i don't want to be a woman", they all said. lol @ them. they think they can hide that they wanted to play around with putting dresses on cartoon characters.

click the guitar to interact with it! of course, this requires that the entire screen aside from the guitar be darkened in order for the player to, once the tutorial is complete, remember what a guitar looks like.

here we glimpse the whale breeching: "you got some experience points" it says. ("(XP)" it explains, immediately initiating you to game-jargon.) "i got them!" you think. "yay! 'got' means means they're mine!" no, it's not yours yet: "click the XP star to collect it", it says, using the jargon it has just initiated you to, denoting that it is a "star", whereas before it was just "experience points", putting the whole sentence in green text. "get" and "collect" are not the same thing in this game. bonus tip: if you don't "collect" the experience points (by clicking them), the game will just give them to you anyway.

again, just as i do in real life (every day), i am inspired, and i am digging through my own garbage for food while there are perfectly good strawberries (so good that god himself has given them a check mark) growing right next to my mail.

do i actually need a caption for this one? uhh. my sim is sitting on the toilet. he is grinning. a mosaic obscures his genitals. whatever he is doing, he's smiling about it. who is the ghost cleaning the sink? is she real? is he imagining her? if he is imagining a girl cleaning his sink while sitting on the toilet and doing something scandalous with his genitals -- well. alert the republicans.

i sure know how to grow a strawberry! note the game's constant insistence on "sharing". for the longest time i didn't want to "share" because i thought that would halve my reward. well, it doesn't! sharing multiplies it by a theoretical infinity. of course, only 30 of those theoretically infinite simoleons can ever be mine.

my house around when i quit playing -- it's pretty pimp. note there are two of me! one is a glitch. can you guess which one?

this is my brother stabo's house. i think it's the best sims social house i've seen by far.

this is my brother american "alice" mcgee's house. i went in one day to try to talk to him, and suddenly his sim and mine are enemies. i bet he likes that :-/ note that i am talking about television and he is talking about a bucket. also note the DooM-worthy level design.

this is my house today. i think it's The Best Sims Social House i have seen! that's just my opinion, i guess. well, there it is. notice i have no television. what would i need a television for? playing videogames? notice also that, though i was trying to save up 6,000 social points to buy a fish aquarium in time for this article, i didn't quite make it in time.

note that will wright has added the sims social. i wonder if he plays it? i bet EA gave him like a million free simcash so he can just build whatever he wants. i hope his house looks like stabo's. i'll never know, because he won't accept my neighbor request. doesn't he realize that he gets social points every time someone visits his house? he has like 5,000 facebook friends. and most of those are the type of people who would play the sims social (reason: they friended will wright on facebook without actually knowing him.) if he accepted all those neighbor requests from people he doesn't know, he would be rolling in money!

i made my dream girl: she is a black-haired introvert who wears knee-high stockings and running shoes and big black glasses with a stripey shirt while reading a book indoors on what looks to be a perfectly fine day. also, she has that kind of antique, fluffy, gorgeous name reserved for only the hippest cantonese girls.

hey! that's why i wrote this article! now where's my money :-/

if you’d like, you could read my review of the sims social on action button dot net

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