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Tycho / on Fri, Dec 20 2002 at 7:18 am

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We have made a comic.  The comic is about The Sims Online.  We considered doing a Two Towers comic, but I do not believe there will be a shortage of them.  For my part, what’s to say, really.  It’s fun to watch.  The one word review is Yay.

Besides, The Sims Online has been on my mind a lot the last month or so.  I do not know that there will ever be a more concentrated source of dramatics anywhere on the planet.  It simply has to exist in a simulation, because if this threshold of rhapsodic hysteria were to occur at a single, physical point in real life it would retard the Earth’s orbit, executing billions as we are cast into the sun. 

Aside from the very real “Is My Wife Cheating On Me With A Digital Man/Woman/Mongoose” issue that the game makes easier and more satisfying than ever, I mean, I really think this game is going to fuck people up.  I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.  People like ourselves, the hardcore, for whom an active, electronic fantasy life has always been parallel to the real deal already know that what we do kicks ass.  But the reason The Sims is such a commercial success is that it introduces mortals to our high realms, that’s why it keeps selling.  There are all these people in the world, I’ve seen them when I get groceries or watch the television, and the vast majority of them do not indulge themselves in our pastime.  I am not sure they understand what they are getting into, in fact I can almost guarantee it.  Add to that the fact that The Sims Online combines the most addictive thing imaginable - persistent worlds - with the other most addictive thing, this social angle, into some kind of hybrid super-crack that will seize you with a single puff.  This son of a bitch is going to grip you anaconda style.  That snake is not trying to hug you!  It’s going to open its whole mouth and eat you, hair and all, with the clothes still on

Chris Trottier is quoted in that 60 Minutes thing Gabe mentioned in his post, saying something like “It feels like you’re really kissing people” or whatever.  He and I both agree that as dorks, there’s some shit we should keep in the family.  Her quote reveals something delicious and terrible that we all know about these experiences we have, and I’d feel better knowing that only gamers really understood it.  But Gabe had no computer growing up, he had a Master system, or a Genesis, or his Turbo Grafx.  If memory serves, none of those had attachments for meeting the ladies.  He never had a Quantum Link, where a girl would tell you to meet her at a particular time, and you were totally there but she wasn’t, and you sent her a vicious mail with words you reserved for the unique sort of serpent bitch she was, except it was just a time zone thing and you had both forgotten about how our world has different times in different places.  Or how, on the SR Minerva BBS, you - and by you, I mean I - had a ridiculous handle like Pariah and you met a girl with an equally ridiculous handle like Pulchrity and you both loved words, and it turns out that she was the girl who dumped you in sixth grade, right there at the mall in front of everybody, and now four years out you were perfect for each other and she’d tell you things you thought would annihilate you.         

So now you have all that stuff, combined with something akin to a game, and highly reactive avatars with a diverse menu of social and physical activities.  It is a danger.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot.  When you can get viruses from other players, the illusion will be complete.

(CW)TB out.

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