Archive for the ‘computers’ Tag

The Sims   2 comments

This morning, after I showered, I was still left in a blur of sleepiness, so I sat on the couch for 15 minutes and played the Sims Freeplay on my phone. It’s the latest app I’ve downloaded. I really, really want to play the Sims, and yet there’s always better things to spend money on. But the Sims Freeplay was…well, it was free.

At first I was so happy. It was Sims doing things I told them do! Even though most of the time the game was telling me what to do, in pursuit of various quests to get points and then level up. Still, I always made sure I had one Sim more than was required by the game, so that I could always have Sims that weren’t doing The Man’s bidding. They were doing my bidding.

But after a while I started to resent my Sims. If I didn’t tell them what to do, they would sit down. Sometimes they would walk to another room and sit down. Sometimes they just sat down in the nearest chair. But mostly, they just sat.

Here’s the thing: the Sims that I know have Free Will. This means that, if you aren’t actively telling them what to do, they will go and do something. They woill take care of a Need that was at the lowest level, or they will go do something Fun. And I respect that. I can leave a Sim alone and know that the Sim can take care of itself. The Sim can be busy. I can also tell them what to do, and they can say No, because they aren’t feeling well. I can also understand that, even if I don’t like it. It somehow makes them seem more real.

But these Sims had no Free Will. They just sit and wait to be told what to do. I’m pretty certain they would wet their pants and starve to death before getting up out of their chair and taking care of a Need.

They also didn’t have the ability to form attachments to each other. Relationships between Sims had Levels, certainly — Stranger, Acquaintance, Budding Friendship/Romance, Good Friends/Dating, ???/Partners, ???/Engaged, ???/Married. But they had as much effect on the world as two high school girls who are Facebook-married. I planned all the devious relationship stuff that one does with Sims. I had Maria start Dating both Betty and Austin. Then I injected Maciej into the mix, and had him start Flirting with both Maria and Betty. I intended to eventually set Maciej up with Austin. I arranged the meetings so that Maciej was never in the same room as both Betty and Maria.

But this morning, in my sleep-haze playtime, the two other Sims, Elizabeth and Owen, got married. It took a little arranging on both sides, and a lot of unnecessary running around. First I had to build a Park. Then 5 Sims had to go to the Park. Then someone had to Talk with Ducks About the Rings for 7 minutes (????). Then I had to send Elizabeth and Owen back home so they could look at their house one more time before getting married. I got caught in a loop. I sent Elizabeth and Owen back home three times each, before I finally gave up and made them get married at home, with no witnesses.

Anyway, while Betty was Talking with Ducks, I needed something else to do with the other five Sims. Four of them were sitting on benches near each other: Elizabeth, Maciej, Owen, and Maria. I clicked on Maciej and had him start romancing the nearest person — who turned out to be Elizabeth.

Maciej was hitting on the Bride in front of the Groom on their wedding day. Obviously I knew that the actual Day wasn’t very auspicious to any of the Sims, who are a bunch of pixel bits and software, but previous Sims that I’ve played with would get pissed if someone starting Flirting with their Significant Other in front of them. I waited for drama to ensue.

Owen continued to sit on his bench.

I frowned. Now I had Elizabeth Flirt with Maciej.

Owen continued to sit on his bench.

I closed the app and uninstalled it.

I guess I learned today what sort of God I would be, if I ever became one (that, too, is on my list of possible career paths to pursue). I might be the sort of God that incites complicated romantic entanglements to entertain myself, but I also want creations who are capable of responding to their environment. I want creations who make their own decisions, who take care of themselves, who Go to Bed when they are tired and Eat a Snack when they are Hungry. It may not be fun all the time, for me or for them — they will get jealous, they will get angry, they will shake their fist at a God that forces them to paint paintings for 18 hours a day — I will get annoyed when they complain that they are tired and refuse to paint anymore when they are so close to being a Level 2 in Creativity and they could get promoted tomorrow! — but at least I can respect their autonomy. At least they have autonomy. At least I can feel as though these creatures that I’ve made are real living creatures, something beyond a bundle of pixels on top of a bunch of statistics.

It’s not introspection because it’s all very superficial   2 comments

So, I have depression. This is a diagnosed thing. Depression. I have it.

Normally I flitter through life saying that I totally used to have depression but I don’t have it anymore, hahaha. And sometimes when I’m very stressed I’ll say that I’m a recovering depressed person, the same way a recovering alcoholic will always be a recovering alcoholic (haha family history). I try to push it behind me and say act like it’s all part of my past, that I’m not depressed anymore. But I am still depressed. It doesn’t way on me as heavily anymore, doesn’t affect all my actions every single day, but it’s still there, every day, like the world’s worst Instagram filter.

And then every few months it gets to me, particularly in March. I don’t want to do anything, ever, even though what I want to do is very easy. I got over depression the first time by always keeping in mind what my job is, in every single location. That works for most places. So I go to work and I work. I go to school and sit in a classroom and ask questions and take notes. But I can’t — I can’t be social. I will go to a classroom and not look at any other students, because no. I can’t. I will go to work and be friendly with customers, but then I’ll sit in the breakroom and keep a book up to my nose and not read the book. I will deliberately avoid visiting places where there will be nothing but sociality going on. I was really looking forward to that dance, depression, thanks.

This post is turning out a lot longer and more rambling than I intended.

A few nights ago I cried myself to sleep.

I’ve barely started on this paper due tomorrow. I’ve been saying for three days that I’ve been working on it in my room, but then I hide in my room and sit under the covers and stare at my bookshelves or my lizards. Or I’ll spend hours on imgur and facebook. Anything, really, to avoid the introspection that comes from writing. Even if I’m just thinking about my opinions on the Chinese Cultural Revolution, it’s too introspective. I don’t want to touch it.

Today I went on facebook and then flipped through my boyfriend’s timeline. I’m not sure why. That was going to be the main point of this entry, actually. I was going to laugh at myself for feeling insecure about him talking to other girls in 2007. I was going to post a picture like this:

Ahaha feminism exists somewhere.

Ahaha feminism exists somewhere.

Which I totally did anyway. But then I felt like talking about my feelings. And I can’t stop. I can’t stop writing about anything other than Chinese history. I can’t stop thinking about myself. All I want to say is horrible things about myself, like I’m ugly and not going to succeed in anything and I’m going to lose my boyfriend and I’m going to get fat and I’m not smart and nobody likes me and I’m not creative and I’m just a waste of resources on this earth. Sometimes I read about Laurence Oates and people like that and I wonder if I could really assess my life and do something like that. It’s not introspection. It’s just horrible obsessive thoughts, this weird OCD that makes me constantly need to control my actions by thinking hateful things about myself. Where is the line between vanity and pride? Where is the line between self-hatred and humility?