E3, The Sims, and Me
The year is 2006. We could go back even further, but we will start here. A very distraught Leslie is in Kokomo Indiana. This is where people go to get pregnant and die. That is all they do there (and meth). But I am there. After living it up In Lafayette for a time, running out of money and with no healthcare, I have tucked tail and returned home. I have two shitty jobs and an even shittier outlook on life, thanks to living back at home with someone I do not mesh with at all.
I am working on myself. Truly. I have re-enrolled in school and am going to get my associates in computer information technology. I am working with a therapist and was surprisingly diagnosed with something that has plagued me my whole life. I got medication for it and it made it easier to return to school.
Life is still hard though. I am in a town I do not want to be in. Small town, small mentality. It sucked the soul out of me. All of my friends wanted to party and drink and I was slowly growing out of that phase in my life. I wanted more. I wanted stores that don’t close early on Sunday evening. I wanted a nightlife that included culture and local music. I wanted the demands to attend church to stop. I. WANTED. MORE.
I ended up spending more and more time by myself. Friday’s were for Chinese takeout and a rental from blockbuster. I’d also get popcorn and a candy if I was feeling extra. I’d work on homework and look for a better job. I’d also play The Sims.
My mother didn’t understand my fascination with The Sims. “Go outside!” she would say. “You can do all of the things you are doing on this game in the real world!” Could I though? Could I really? Is there a way to Ctrl+Alt+C in my life and type in MOTHERLODE and be the recipient of $50,000? If that is the case could someone give me this secret, because mama still got student loans to pay.
Could I then use that cheat code multiple times in order to get the house I want, work whatever career I find interesting, because it doesn’t matter how much I make, I have plenty of money? Could I randomly find a man, eat a bunch of fruit and give birth to twin girls like I wanted?
The Sims was my escape. An escape I so desperately needed in such a trying emotional stage in my life. I would build generations of families and pass down the wealth. Create elaborate houses for them to live in with every whim cared for.
Meanwhile, I was floundering emotionally. For the first time in my life school was going great, I’d found a job that while the pay was still horrible, the pay was better than anything I’d earned. My personal life was in shambles. But two years was all I needed.
I played The Sims. Constantly. I didn’t have much else to do, so this is what I did. I retreated into this world. It may have been a little unhealthy, but it kept me sane. For every verbally abusive instance I endured, The Sims was there. I invented lives, better lives than I ever thought I would get to live. I was happy. My characters were happier than I ever thought I would be.
Two years came and went. I met someone. I graduated, I left a shitty life and even shittier job behind. I moved on to more schooling and a bigger city. Life was great. My Sims playing slacked off a bit. I still grabbed the other itineration of The Sims, because I love the game. It’s no longer an escape for me however. It is just a pure joyous pleasure to play.
It’s 2019. I am in a wonderful job. I have a house of my own. A family that I care very deeply about, and I still play The Sims. This time, I let a Geeky Baby join me on the designing. She is fascinated by the babies. “The baby is crying! Help it!” I don’t really use cheats anymore. I like them to work their way up. The latest family started in a house half built I got on the exchange. She kept doing freelance work until she could afford things for it. She met a guy, got married, had a baby, had twins, and is living her best life with them. They have money, they have things, everyone is pretty much happy.
This is my Sims Story.
EA is not at E3 this year. They had their own thing called EA Play. It was here where they announced a new expansion of The Sims 4, it is called Island Living. It looks like fun. There are mermaids and dolphins involved which is always a plus for me. The island (Sulani) changes based on how you care for it. Knowing me it will be a desolate island with one beautiful but foreboding house in the background. They also teased a magic expansion pack this fall as well as some goodies for Pride, starting June 18th. I can’t wait.
I will probably pick it up and play the expansions with Geeky Baby where she demands I paint everything black. We will fuss back and forth about it, but I will eventually create a house that she can make all of her own. EA, thank you so much for creating a game that provides so much merriment to me. It also provided a light through the darkness of my life at a certain time.