October 15, 2005
There are those who so dislike the nude that they find something indecent in the naked truth. ~ Francis H. Bradley
One of my occassional indulgences of wasting spare time is to play The Sims -- a PC simulation game by Electronic Arts that is more addicting than heroin. Basically, you get to be God. You create “Sim” people, you see to their needs, build their homes, their families, further their careers, etc. Personally, I've always loved simulation games (I still miss MULE). I preferred Tai Pan when King's Quest was all the rage. I enjoyed Sim City more than Tetris. Doom never did anything for me and race cars bore me. So, now, when I need to decompress and lose an hour or so to gaming, I load up my Sims. These days, it's Sims2, actually, which is so detail-oriented that I can get lost just in creating Sims and designing their houses; I can forget there's a game to play.
I've mentioned that I can be a pathetic geek, right?
Meet Sim Doxy
One of my petty wickedness habits is to base my Sims on friends and enemies alike. If I know you even in passing, you've likely been morphed into a Sim. I control your actions. I decide if you live or die. It's fabulous. And, I must say, you'd all be happier if I had charge of your real lives in this manner. My Sims are largely fulfilled and content. Except for the ones who die in house-fires, but that is a rarity these days (they added sprinkler systems in Sims2).
By all accounts, I should have West World in full swing in my Sim neighborhoods. There should be rampant Roman orgies and decadent Turkish harems, etc. But, alas, the game strives to be annoyingly "family friendly." True, there is a lot of physical interaction, but there is very little room for sexual deviance. Incest play isn't possible because family members don't get to interact sexually - even step-brothers and step-sisters are off-limits (and they're tracked for generations). Age play isn't possible because a teen and an adult can't smooch. Teens, in fact, can't even have sex with other teens. Yeah – that’s realistic.
Adult sex in the game is referred to as "woo hoo" and mostly consists of two adult Sims rolling around under the covers or splashing around in the Jacuzzi to some vague-sounding 70's soul music. Snuggling, making-out, hugging, and dancing is all very Brady Bunch in its portrayal. I had paper dolls as a girl that got more nasty than my Sims.
And for the most part, I can live with these compromises. It’s a game. Sure it would be fun to fool around and be bad, but it would also get boring. Digital 3-D just isn’t to the point yet where I could get girl-wood over it. Not yet anyway.
One of the silliest restrictions of the game is that when your Sims need to bathe or use the facilities, there are these annoying pixilated "censor" blurs to hide the nethers that they DO NOT HAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Ladies and germs, I give you Exhibit A - The Naked Sim:
No nipples. No pubic hair. Every four-year-old girl with a Barbie doll has seen more graphic nudity than my Sims. So, explain to me the purpose of these censor blurs. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Why, hello, Ms. Ridiculous, have you been properly introduced to Mr. Ludicrous?
Luckily, the community behind the Sims game is pretty fucking resourceful. There are on-line areas to get just about any hack or supplement you can conjure. One source or another has supplied patches to get rid of the nude blur since the first release of Sims1. It was annoying compromise because with each expansion pack a new patch was generally necessary. Then, in a move of unexpected common sense, at the release of the Sims2, EA games actually included a cheat code that would get rid of the blur. You could turn it on or off on your own and trade off the annoying blur for boring Sim doll nudity. It seemed a glimmer of reason might win the day.
With the latest expansion pack the cheat has been disabled. Officially it’s been “repaired” or “patched.” Why? Well, let’s see. What political hack had to try and make video-game-sex her pet peeve of a week a little while back?
Hilliary - please - God - don’ t -make - it - so - I - have - to - vote - for - her - in - 2008 - Clinton. Damn fucking liberal soccer mom politician that she is. I can’t even have the joy of pinning this one on the Religious Right.
Look, I am all for protecting children from predators provided a law actually does that without crushing the Constitution in its wake. But let’s look at the steps involved in “children” being exposed to the Sims. The game requires a relatively good gaming computer with LOTS of RAM and a pretty damn good video card. It also carries a $40 price tag. So, the situations of kids able to get their hot little hands on it is pretty upper middle class. You know, the ones whose parents are supposedly so busy shuttling Cookie and Chip to violin lessons and play-dates that they actually need their SUV fuck-you-mobiles. Even still, these yuppie larvae should still have parents keeping note of what they're buying their own children.
But, let’s say the kids manage to acquire it on their own. Sneaky little buggers that they are. You have to actually have the CD in hand to play the game and it’s memory-intensive enough that it can’t be minimized on a whim. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that most parents at least occasionally glance over their child’s shoulder to see what they’re playing?
I consider these to be reasonable fail-safes to insure that any parent who objects to their child seeing a naked virtual doll be able to keep it from their child. But then, would that save it from being yanked off the shelves at Wal-Mart? Depressingly, we all can guess the answer.
I concede that I will likely never be able to play an actual fun simulation game that includes adult situations (Leisure Suit Larry was the best that genre had to offer and we all know how bad it sucked rocks -- not to mention how big a joke the long-awaited "Singles" turned out to be). And, you know, that's generally fine with me. I was granted an imagination for the forces of darkness and I intend to keep it sharp. Sims can't hold a candle to the videos that play in my mind's eye. So, fine – no good ‘n graphic video game sex.
But should we really let this "protect the children" rhetoric build to such insanity that children are being “protected” from the shame of glimpsing a stipped-down Barbie doll body? Exactly how many generations of American children have to grow up emotional slaves to their personal body images before this country gets the fuck over human nudity?
Remind me to bitch slap Tipper Gore one of these days.
But Doxy, you don't have pubic hair either, do you?
Posted by: Ray at October 15, 2005 04:14 PM
That describes me too. Yes, I want a woman to be president and yes I want to get rid of fundies in the white house. But Hilliary? Ugh.
Besides her voting record turning me off, I think it's a bad move for the democratic party. They're basing their success on the past-Bill Clinton's victories instead of someone who is a newcomer. The dems desperately need new blood in the party before it dies out completely.
Posted by: Vixen at October 15, 2005 07:17 PM
I want to see my Sims person. Did you already show me? LOL
Posted by: Dani at October 16, 2005 03:33 PM
I just know SimElvis has to be doing something very, very bad to SimDoxy.
That's assuming he's not dead. Or on jail. Because it's only a matter of time 'til The Man catches up to him.
Posted by: Karl Elvis at October 18, 2005 12:42 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong but you seem (in no particular order):
willing to explore the 'darker' fantasies such as incest;
Jeez, I think I'm in love!
Posted by: Matt at October 18, 2005 12:14 PM
Get in line, Matt. B^)
Posted by: Karl Elvis at October 18, 2005 12:53 PM
Giving credit where credit's do, HIlary Clinton's yapping on the subject had almost nothing to do with EA's decision---it was much more brought about by Jack Thompson's ravings on the subject, as The Sims was a particular target. And he's a bible-thumpin' Republican.
Posted by: Daniel at October 24, 2005 09:00 AM