“The only other way to play God is through wri-I mean the Sims.”

My best kept secret that isn’t a secret at all is that I keep a health dose of Sims 3 (used to be Sims 2, will probably one day be Sims 4) in my life. Recently I’ve been playing about an hour every day, but I go through spurts like these and eventually I won’t be playing it at all for a while. But I digress already!

Anyway, I don’t have as much time anymore as I used to to REALLY get into the game and play it – back in the Sims 2 days I had multiple families whose sole purpose was to pop out sim babies so I could challenge myself to take care of them all while watching all their individualisms come out. Then I got the brilliant idea to recreate all my Nagnomei characters in Sim form and try to recreate their settings and situations as well. This ended up being  really useful, because now I had visual references for characters I never really thought about before!

Seriously, do you know how long it took to find this hair again?

When I got Sims 3, the very first thing I did was go the character route, and now it’s all I play. The first attraction is that, especially if you can’t draw worth crap like me, you finally get to make visual representations of your characters JUST as you want them. Although I have gone “hair hunting” for the perfect hairstyle (and am still vainly searching for better ones, but let’s face it, if I haven’t found it by now…) and sometimes I look at my clothes and go “no…no she/he would not wear…any of this. The hell.” OH aand somewhere between 2010 and 2011, my laptop died and I lost all my old files. I had some salvaged screenshots, like the one to the left here, to work off when trying to rebuild my character sims. STILL BITTER about the month  long search for Reina’s fantastically butchy hair, by the way.

Then, once you have them all the way you want them to look, you eject them into the game and gleefully make them reenact your novels (as much as you can, anyway). Mostly it’s just them getting similar jobs to what they “really” have and hooking up with their partners. None of my characters (except one) are the kid-carryin’ types, so I have little chance to explore those realms of the game. In fact, two years having this game, I have never had a sim-baby. Sims 2 Player in me is crying.

BUT THE BEST PART is when you’ve ran out of things to force them to do and you just…let them do their own thing. There are lulzy relationships in my game between characters that will never happen in cannon, but I let them do it because it’s so personally amusing to me. Then there’s having whole new characters enter your world. Sugar Bijou started dating one of my characters, and now she’s being written in later on in the series with a different name and my own background info. I love it when the Sims writes my own damn story for me. (I currently have one supporting character sporting a sudden wish to “kiss” one of my main characters, and my brain is already going “Woah!” at this information.)

Actually, I lied. The best part is when you let things just “run” and your characters still act…in character. When you’ve programed them so well that they react the exact way you would have written them. I can’t lie, I get a huge smug writerly satisfaction from it. It validates that I actually do know this character inside-and-out, because I can exactly predict how they will live as a damn Sim.

So before I go on and on about how great this game is for writers, let me ask – do you Sim? Do you recreate your novels to the greatest extent you can? Have you gotten new ideas from it? Dyin’ to know.