The Imaginary Country

by fmhilton

I’m about to blow some minds, if you don’t know me personally-or even if you do. Your perception of my wisdom might take a huge hit, or not. I’ll leave that up to you.

Because I’m going to confess my darkest secret here: I play Sims 2.

“Oh, my god, she’s gone batshit crazy! I knew it! ”
“What an idiot! 58 years old and still playing games?”
“There is no hope for this world..older women don’t play kid’s games!”

If one of those responses is something you’re thinking right now, I’d suggest you stop.

I’m not alone in this-one of my dearest friends, Lisa Pham (who lives in Australia) is about 6 years younger than me and we often swap tales and send each other links to the newest downloads for this game. In fact, she not only creates houses for the game, she also runs a website that critiques games of all kinds for players.

There are millions of players for this game called Sims 2, and a lot of us are old ladies-and I assure you, we’re not all crazy. Some of us are even men! Imagine that-an adult male playing a kid’s game!

Some of us are teachers, professors, lawyers, doctors, pharmacy techs, etc. We don’t talk about our real-life jobs on the various social sites this game has spawned-dozens of them.

Why do we do this, when there’s so much housework to be done?

There are a ton of reasons-sure, it’s a work-avoidance thing at times, but it also relieves a lot of stress that one can take during the day, and yes, it does isolate you, but the pixels (or sims, as they’re officially called) can really make you feel better.

“Now I’m convinced-she’s crazy! Lock her up!”

Consider these points about the game before you judge me totally off my proverbial rocker:

In the Sims 2, there is no

  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Violence
  • Ageism
  • Anti-gay hate
  • Political corruption

So, in the real world that I do physically inhabit, I can look forward to seeing all of those problems on a daily basis in one form or another.

Can you guess that I much prefer playing a game where:

  • Women are paid the same salary for the same job as men.
  • There is no racial bias. Everyone is the same, no matter what color they are. Black, white, green, or furry. All are equal under the Sims 2 sun.
  • There is no anti-gay hate. In fact, this game is famous for that. Anyone can love anyone, no holds barred.
  • Life can be extended forever in the game.
  • Nobody ever dies (naturally) of anything but old age.
  • Nobody ever gets really sick. A cold or the flu once in a while. No huge hospital bills to pay or go bankrupt over.
  • You can have as much money as you want (you cheater, you!)-and you don’t have to rob a bank, either!
  • You can buy houses without mortgages or banks to foreclose if you don’t pay for it.
  • The politicians are not all crooked or liars.
  • Anyone can be Mayor, or reach the top of their chosen career, if they do well.
  • Anyone can go to college, free, all expenses paid, with scholarships. No crushing debt to pay back.
  • The trash gets picked up and taken away. We gamers still don’t understand how that happens, but the trash can outside the door is always empty.
  • There are fewer bills to pay, and the mailperson is always on time, every single time!

Yes, it is a very nice world, the Sims 2 one. It’s where one can escape the very harsh and unrelenting reality called ‘real life’ that sucks a soul dry in no time at all. Read enough news, watch enough TV and you’ll wonder why playing games is all that bad.

There’s a lot of evil out in our real world-enough to make you sick to the stomach.

So I don’t think I’m quite so crazy-really. I can protest, write letters, and blogs, and sign petitions-but it seemingly does no good. What good can come of protest when there’s nobody who’s willing to hear? Doesn’t anyone hear each other anymore?

After learning of the Zimmerman verdict, it only confirms one thing I’ve always thought:

Skin color is but a pigmentation. Hatred of that pigmentation is irrational and insane, and the sooner we get rid of it,the better off the human race will be.

Because prejudices and hatreds of any kind (religious, political, sexual, social) are the leading killers of human beings in the real world.

Isn’t it about time we all grew up?