Monday, September 12, 2005


Last night I got out my copy of The Sims and stuck it in my computer. I hadn’t played it for so long that I’d forgotten I’d even installed it on my current computer, but it powered up and showed me a neighbourhood I’d thought I'd lost in some far off computer upgrade.

The Slaphappy House

Hep Slaphappy is young, gifted and black. He is a professional athlete at the top of his game, and lives in a sprawling bachelor pad with designer furniture, top-of-the-range entertainment systems and an enormous swimming pool. He even has a Narcissus Room lined with mirrors so that he can practice his speeches and his photogenic smile.

He also lives opposite the Bimboski School of Beauty. Life can be pretty good for a Sim when he has a benevolent deity on his side.

The Bimboski School of Beauty

This classical Georgian mansion, decorated in a style that can only be described as High Barbie, is both home and self-improvement workshop to the eight Bimboski girls; Starlett, Amora, Booty, Erogena, Salacia, Candi, Fantasi and, er, D’lishass. Given that the girls all have the same surname but distinctly different ethnicities, they must either be step-sisters fathered by a very busy Mr Bimboski, or members of an insidious, pastel-toned cult. Neither of these possibilities overly troubles their extremely happy neighbour Hep.

The Scooby House

A real estate agent might call this house a solid, heritage-listed fixer-upper with an extended lap pool. But let’s face it; it’s a castle with a moat. Herein dwells Fred, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy Scooby. There are scary gargoyles in the entry hall, spooky cobweb-encrusted furniture in the living room, and at least one neighbour whom I suspect to be Old Man McGruder, the owner of the abandoned amusement park.

Sadly, since I don’t have The Sims Unleashed, there is no Scooby-Doo.

The Pantera-Vader House

I think this house began as a dry run for a sitcom idea; what would happen if you put Darth Vader and Phil from Pantera in a sharehouse? The answer: hijinks galore!

As you’d expect, Darth isn’t really a people person. He’s on the Military career track, unsurprisingly, and although he rates very highly for Neat (who do you think kept that Death Star so tidy?), Active (crushing rebellion is hard work) and Outgoing (you have to put yourself forward if you want to control the universe), he's very low on Playful and Nice. This makes it difficult for him to make friends and keep his Social levels up. Fortunately, Phil is a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky soul who is constantly bringing new people into the house. And proving that opposites really do attract, Phil and Darth get on together like peanut butter and evil, black-hearted jelly.

The Neon-Claws House

Gamblor and Gamblora Neon-Claws seem like an ordinary married couple living in a large, stylish suburban home. But all is not as innocent as it may at first appear. Gamblor is in fact a Criminal Mastermind, while Gamblora has the perfect career as an Executive, no doubt laundering all her husband’s ill-gotten gains through a variety of semi-legitimate companies.

You’ve also got to wonder at any couple who have the bathroom as the centre of their house. It’s the largest room, clad in black marble and decorated with potted orchids and fine works of art. There’s a large hot tub smack in the middle of the room, and one must pass through it to reach both the bedroom and the Activity room.

I find myself wondering what sort of socialising the Neon-Claws do when I’m not watching. I suspect I wouldn’t approve.

The Splodeydope House

Ahmed Splodeydope is a bit of a loner. He’s on the Political career track, which keeps him busy, and he doesn’t have many friends. Certainly, he has shunned the friendly overtures of the Bimboski girls, preferring to spend his evenings working out, eating simple meals in his dilapidated kitchen, and reading the same thick, red-covered book over and over again.

I fully expect that the decadent appeal of pinball machines, cocktail cabinets and a socially active neighbourhood will loosen Ahmed up over time. However I also have the lingering fear that one day I’ll turn my computer on and find a large, smoking crater where the subdivision used to be.


Blogger Annie said...

I am commenting here as your posts are so long it could get lost on the relevant one.

Sapphire and Steel! I remember that! It was brilliant! In a terrible kind of way obviously.

5:29 AM  
Blogger MC Etcher said...

If only your Sim-hood were sitcoms, I would watch them all. Especially Neon-Claws.

7:54 AM  

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