Meet the Sim Bubs!

sims31For Valentine’s Day, my daughter Maggie and I tried to recreate our own family with the PC version of the Sims 3. The result was this article, originally commissioned by – reprinted here with their kind permission.

You could see the disgust on their faces when Sim Linda and Sim I immediately started flirting and kissing. Ignoring the neighbors who had come by to greet us.

Hey, that’s pretty realistic and both characters have solid relationship goals.

To avoid the public display, Sim Maggie and Sim Henry walked inside. The house was small but perfect for us. Two bedrooms, a bath, a nice furnished kitchen and plenty of room for a computer, some easy chairs and a bookcase. We immediately upgraded the beds, bought a mid-range PC, and added an office chair. Almost instantly there was trouble. Sim Linda, Sim Henry and Sim Andrew all wanted to go on the computer. Sim Linda won because her reason was that she wanted a job, Sim Henry – who wanted to play video games – and Sim Andrew – working on the great American (Simerican?) Novel would just have to wait. All told the house, furnished and with a few extras, cost us $18,000 simoleons. A fair price even in this depressed market but this left us with a mere $2000 left. Yep, it’s gonna be Mac & Cheese and Pancakes for a while!

Since the goal was to re-create my family and see how they do in the Sims 3 universe I enlisted my 9-year old daughter to help. I created Linda and me, approximating our looks, goals, strengths and weaknesses. Linda loved to cook, I was all about gardening and writing and both of us were generally ready to relax whenever possible. First I had Maggie make her brother Henry, she was surprisingly generous to the boy, getting his look and personality right on the first try and needing little help from me. The phone rang and I got it while Maggie created herself.

Sim Maggie ignored the silly argument and was found dancing in her room. Pumping beats, her long blond hair and perfect model’s body bouncing and cavorting as the music played.

Maggie was quite proud of her creation and explained to me that she HAD to be a teenager (she’s 9) because otherwise she’d be the same age as (shudder) Henry. I let it go, but I didn’t like – I really didn’t like – the outfit she chose. Against her will I made her change into her running outfit. Some fashionable, yet frumpy, running sweats. It briefly occurred to me that I didn’t want to see her in whatever Maggie chose for swimwear.

Meanwhile in the front room Linda, having won the computer argument for now, had found a job. She’s an Academic Nurse but in the game, she’s just starting out. Her first job? Ginnea Pig. Medical Experiments? How . . . disappointing. Sim Henry was growing more and more angry over his lack of computer time and Andrew had resigned himself to going out front to talk to the neighbors. One of the neighbors, a woman with long dark hair, flirted with me immediately.

It’s not that I’m sooo good looking (I am, but this isn’t the reason) it’s because I gave my character a relationship goal and made him friendly. I put a stop to this as fast as I could as Maggie, sitting next to me on the couch, laughed and laughed and then ran to tell Linda.

Linda came down to help supervise.

Sim Henry was now on the computer playing video games, which made Sim Andrew angry. Sim Linda suddenly called Sim Andrew to the bedroom and getting into bed together they began to kiss, kissing led to more, more led to even more, and before you could put Al Green on the stereo they began to Whoo-Hoo!

In other words Linda came downstairs, saw our avatars, looked at me and said “Can we? I mean can they?” and wiggled her eyebrows. “Uh… yes,” I looked at Maggie. Linda sent Maggie upstairs. She wasn’t pleased.

I sat back and let Linda do the work – hey, get your head out of the gutter. She ordered her avatar to the bedroom, ordered SimLinda to call her husband over and then she had a blast picking all the flirty choices until, to her surprise, she got the WHOO-HOO option. Get your head back in the gutter! She got the option, looked at me, and took it. Then laughed and laughed at the cloud of hearts and smoke that followed. She did it again – she was about to do it again when Henry got off the computer, I wrested the mouse from her and sent her upstairs and SimMe – a very tired SimMe – over to the finally vacant computer.

SimAndrew titled his first book, a work of non-fiction, GAMERDAD (somewhere my real life Agent is heaving a sigh of frustration or relief) and tappa-tappa-tappa. Sim I was soon making small amounts of money from my work.

The next day dawned and everyone had had a good nights sleep – Linda didn’t come back to the basement – Sim Linda went to her work getting suspected, inspected, detected and selected, the Sim Kids went to school and I managed to finish the book that day. Sim Andrew noticed the kids would be home from school soon so he made a nice snack. Realistically, the stove burst into flame. The fireman put it out. Now the only problems were a neglected dirty toilet, my reeking Sim, a broken oven, fire damage and more. Oh yes, when Sim Linda came home that night – there’d be no Whoo-Hoo.

No Sim Woo-Hoo.

The Sims is a powerful program that literally simulates life. The above example really happened, with only a little encouragement from me and my family (Sims don’t Whoo-Hoo often on their own). I’ve played separate games that featured a single woman who had a lovechild, lost the child to Social Services (this broke my heart as much as it did hers), married the cad (a rich cad,) got cheated on, dumped the guy and kicked him from his mansion, found and reconciled with her now adult child. He moved him. Lived to a ripe old age. Died and was buried, lovingly, nearby. Her child visits the grave often,

There’s even a blog out there that has a player trying to make a go of a homeless Sim Family. Be careful with kids, themes are mature but the game is tasteful and centers on difficulty realizing dreams, the difficulty of child rearing, money and time management, and the joy of family moving ever forward generation to generation. Best for Teenagers, my 9-year old will continue playing – and learning – with my supervision.

Sim Henry spent the night doing homework and playing games. Sim Andrew spent the night exhausted and cleaning. Sim Linda tried to make miracles with the microwave. The garden slowly died. And Sim Maggie danced with abandon with some boy she’d invited in (!).

All in a day in the life of the Sim Bubs. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

No Responses to “Meet the Sim Bubs!”

  1. Whew! I think I’ll stick with Animal Crossing. –Cary

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