Friday, October 25, 2013

Sims Confessions

So, before I had E, I was a big fan of the PC game, The Sims. I started playing when I was in middle school and bought the most recent version, The Sims 3, when I was in college. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the game -- it's basically like a virtual dollhouse. You create little people, move them into houses, and (to some degree) control their lives.

When I used to play, before E, I loved having happy little Sim families and raising Sim babies. I most often created family-oriented Sims whose goals were to get married and have generations of Sim families. I loved watching the family tree develop, seeing how all the different personalities changed the family dynamic -- crazy old Grandpa Harold who liked to ride his bike around town in his formal clothes and Grandma Maureen home helping with her triplet grand-babies. From friends to feuds, rags to (almost) riches (and vice versa), I ate it all up like an award-winning soap opera.

Then, I had my own baby to raise -- wow, not exactly as easy as the digital baby. I was also kind of feeling like, "Now, this Mama's got mad skills. Watch out, Sims!" If I could manage 3 real people, I certainly could run a town full of virtual ones!


The sister wives' houses
So, over the weekend, while fighting this cold and not feeling like doing much else but sit, I curled up in the recliner with my laptop and fired up the game. I had been watching a lot of Big Love on Hulu and decided I'd try to make a polygamist family. Building is one of my favorite parts of the game, so I happily built 3 houses on the same lot, created a man (Brent) and wife (Camilla), and his 2 other "wives," (Emmaline and Heather) who were really just girlfriends, according to the rules of the game.

This went swimmingly... until Camilla caught Emmaline and Brent shacking up in House #2. She accused him of cheating (ok...). I thought that the family could recover from the entire ordeal eventually, but Camilla divorced her husband immediately, which created a lot of bad mojo on the lot. Yikes. Camilla and Brent already had 1 daughter, and the 2 other wives were pregnant. It was not pretty. So, I moved them into 3 separate houses on separate lots, right next to each other. This prevented the wives from interacting on a daily basis (what a headache that was), and by the rules of the game, they couldn't just go into another person's house, so the other wives were protected from the Sim horrors of jealousy. Brent, on the other hand, started hopping from house to house each night, and it got so confusing knowing who was where when. Moral of the story: Polygamy is rough. I gave up on them, for now.


I created a new game. This time, I created a young woman, Faye, who I was going to put in the Superstar career -- fame, riches, and glory! I chose her Lifetime wish, the game goal: To "Woohoo" with 5 Sims in 5 Different Locations. "Wow, that sounds like a challenge," I thought. It was so big of a challenge, in fact, that I never started her in any career. She had no time for a job. She was too busy wooing all the men in her life.

Faye and Barry Tenderlove
First up: Barry Tenderlove. Faye and Barry hit it off right away. He was well known in the big city. With a name like "Tenderlove," who would expect any less? A few dates later, and she and Barry did the big "woohoo" in her bed at home.

She decided that it was best to "love 'em and leave 'em," as we had to complete the goal by wooing 4 more boyfriends.

Buster Round was a roadie for Lord knows which band. He latched onto Faye instantly at a night club. She had her doubts -- he wore ripped, whitewashed jeans, a sweatshirt, and had black/gray, matted hair, but a few nights later, she invited him over. And a few drinks later, she woohooed with him in the hot tub. He called quite a few times over the next few days, but she didn't answer the phone.

Faye and Heimrich Shimmy in the hot tub
On to Heimrich Shimmy -- a biker. She met him at Waylon's Haunt, a dive-bar on the far side of town. Heimrich was rough and tough on the outside, leather pants, tattoos, hairless except for a long beard, but sweet, gentle, and kind on the inside. The attraction was instantaneous for both, but he didn't quite fit into her modern, high-tech, high-glam, high-heel kinda world. They parted ways for the time being...

Meanwhile, Faye's house was a disaster. She spent more time wooing and woohooing than cleaning. I decided to have her hire a butler. She made up a room for the butler and expected a Christian-Bale-type to show up in a tux. Much to her surprise, the butler was a woman and had more of a Kathy-Bates look about her. Faye promptly fired her. I wasn't opposed to Faye wooing a woman, but for this story, after already establishing her sexuality, pursuing a woman would have been more challenging.

She requested a new butler from the Services ad, and much to her glee, Bertram arrived at her door. He was beautiful, and she went about happily flirting with him day and night. I didn't want things to get too serious with Bertram, though, because Faye was bringing home a lot of different men. I imagined a stand-off with Heimrich and Bertram would not be pretty. So, she kept Bertram close but not too close. I planned on him being her 5th suitor, if needed, her back-up plan.

In the mean time, Faye's phone rang, and she was invited to a party at Mick Situp's house. I was surprised, as she only met him once at the sports bar, Sports Zone. She rushed to Mick's house, ready to be the life of the party and to meet some new men! But, when she got there, there were about 3 people in Mick's studio apartment, mostly women, eating salad, and talking about baseball. Boring. She grabbed a plate anyway, visited with Mick, woohooed with Mick in his bed, then went home. And, that's exactly as fast as it happened. They liked each other right away... woohoo, home. I've never quite had a Sim one-night-stand like that one. The next morning, Faye got out of her hot tub to answer the phone -- it was Mick. She ignored the call.

In the mean, mean time... while Faye was out searching for men to woo, she kept running into the infamous Rafael Striker. There's no other word for Rafael... he was, quite simply, HOT. He had the digital jawline of a Greek god, and the pixelated body to match. Rafael already had a girlfriend, Bianca, but Faye didn't care. "Woohoo with Rafael" kept popping up in her Want List. She called him a few times, but he kept saying that he was busy. She finally invited him over for a party (and cleverly did not invite any of the other men she was dating), and they had a nice time. A heart appeared next to his name -- they were officially "dating." To get to "Woohoo" status, they'd have to like each other a little more. The next few times she tried to call him, Rafael declined her invite to go out or come over.

With Rafael ignoring her, and while still wanting to keep Bertram on the sidelines, Faye started going out with Heimrich again. They met in grungy biker bars across town, and Faye even invited Heimrich to one of the trendier lounges -- Plasma 501. There, she got all gussied up in her fancy dress and heels... got incredibly drunk, and woohooed with Heimrich in the elevator.

Though no one technically saw them, Faye's Sim got the "public humiliation" moodlet. This is a negative, little "curse" on her mood which affects her happiness level. A "public" woohoo also causes rumors to spread, so that anyone Faye is dating suspects that she may be cheating. If someone accuses her, it instantly reveals her dirty little secret.

Faye, in her skivvies, chatting with the new butler, Westley
Though she didn't intend for it to happen, Bertram, the butler, had grown quite attached to Faye. Her "harmless" flirting had caused the heart to appear next to Bertram's icon. So, when she strolled in the front door of her house, after her outing with Heimrich, she ran right into a very agitated and betrayed Bertram. Sims are unique, little beings, and each one of them handles this kind of thing differently. Some yell. Some cry. Some run away. Bertram actually attacked Faye -- physically attacked her. They "fought" for awhile, in a cloud of smoke until Faye finally jumped up and threw Bertram to the ground. He got up, brushed off his perfectly-pressed slacks, dusted off his monocle, and quit his butler job. He changed into a neon green jumpsuit and ran off the lot.

Faye seemed unaffected. She now needed only one more woohoo to complete her lifetime goal, and I have to say that, I was a little disappointed that Bertram wasn't going to be lucky #5. I looked through Faye's contacts and remembered Rafael. She waited until evening, when she knew he'd be finished with work, and invited him out to dinner. Surprisingly, he accepted, but when they arrived at the restaurant, it was closed. They chatted and cuddled a bit outside the restaurant. Then, Rafael just ran off. Bathroom emergency? Maybe Bianca showed up? I have no idea, he just left. How frustrating!

Faye gave Barry Tenderlove a call. She was already out anyway, may as well have some fun. She and Barry had been chatting on the phone pretty regularly since their first encounter, so he was still very much smitten with her. He showed up right away, ready for anything! They walked through a graveyard, of all places, and ended up making out in a mausoleum (did not know that was possible...). Then they toured the local science facility, where they woohooed in the test subject lab. Wow, that Barry, what a guy! It was still pretty early in the evening, so Faye decided to go home and actually get to bed early.

But, when she got home, she wasn't quite tired enough to sleep. It was about 10:30pm, so she thought she might try Rafael one more time. Much to everybody's surprise, he accepted her invite! Rafael came over and hopped right in the hot tub with Faye! Success! They seemed to be having a fantastic time, and then, "woohoo!". Her goal acquired! Lifetime Wish complete!

Partners: Barry, Buster, Mick, Heimrich, Rafael
Locations: Faye's Bed, Hot Tub, Mick's Bed, Elevator, Mausoleum, Science Facility

Faye and Rafael Striker
I let the game continue to run and sat back to think about what Faye would do next, where her little virtual life would take her. She and Rafael chatted quietly, digital bubbles gurgling around them in the hot tub. When I turned my attention back to them, they were woohooing again. Um, what? I hadn't hit any buttons, but Sims will do things on their own, if the autonomy setting is turned on in the game, and it was. "Well, look at you two!" I thought, "Couldn't even wait for your next woohoo!" I hovered the cursor over the action icon.

"Wait a minute," I stopped. They weren't woohooing. They were doing another action: "Try For Baby." No, no, no...!! I went to cancel the action, but it was too late. I heard the familiar jingle the game makes when a baby is successfully conceived.

Rafael dragged his drunk self out of the hot tub, naked. Faye did the same, still wearing her sunglasses at 3 o'clock in the morning. He went home, she went to bed.

Morning came, Faye spent the day at home, and by the time she rolled out of bed at Noon the next day, she was sporting a little baby bump. She seemed happy. Even the new butler, Westley, stopped making lunch to talk to Faye's baby belly. Though I would have preferred Bertram or Barry as a baby daddy, I thought that Rafael might eventually come around to the idea. They'd definitely have a beautiful baby... I got Faye dressed and planned to have her go over to Rafael's to share her big news.

She drove into the city and found Rafael's apartment building. I imagined that she'd burst through his door, share her news, and that his girlfriend Bianca, devastated, would go crawl in a hole somewhere. Faye and Rafael would then ride into the virtual sunset together... Instead, Rafael greeted her outside.

He was not happy. Apparently, rumors were flying of Faye's scientific "experiment" with Barry in the test subject room at the Science Facility. She confessed to cheating, tried to apologize, and announced the pregnancy... probably all in one sentence. Rafael wasn't having any of it, so she was forced to go home.

And that's where the tale ends, for now. I can't decide if she should work things out with Rafael Striker or let Barry Tenderlove help her raise this baby. If I'm deciding only based on last names, Striker is going to win. More to come!

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