One night after a few failed attempts to collect nudes from my new long-distance girlfriend, I decided to cure my despair by creating them myself in The Sims 4.
First, I needed to recreate myself, which turned out to be harder than expected. Not least because the game has limited hair options and I cherish mine very much. At the time I had just shaved it into a kind of DIY Chelsea cut, provoked by an attempt to reset my personal life–getting rid of a few inches of orange mess had seemed a good start. The game didn’t seem to agree.
I had just come home from a few weeks in Tokyo with some of my dearest friends, and the trip had triggered a lot of emotions. As NASA was trying to reach Pluto, we were trying to deal with the warm, concrete hell of Paris in the summer.
After a little hesitation and a lot of disappointment (the poor Sims still seem to be stuck in early noughties California), I ended up with a few emo outfits that I could actually wear, and almost recreated my body shape. Well, with bigger boobs–sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
When it came to my personality and other features, I tried to be as honest as possible. I chose the lowest pitched voice I could find, the gayest walk I could walk, made myself a party whore (which is all that most people know me as), and added a few romantic skills and an interest in art to the mix. I had no idea I was soon to be the loneliest set of pixels around. T____T
Once your character is created, you get to pick a place to live and make yourself a home. I grew up in Paris, lived in London for few years, and have always been obsessed with Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, so I thought it’d be fun to give myself a break from the madness and settle down in the countryside, to see what I’d make of it. That was my first mistake.
Cheesy semi-queen that I am, I thought it’d be cute to shape the house like a <3. Unfortunately, I was a little too excited (and broke, as you start the game with rather limited funds), so didn’t spend too much time on the architecture or decoration. I did, however, at least add a boom box, mini pool, mini bar, giant bed, three palm trees and a pink flamingo near the door, in Divine’s honour.
My aim was to be able to sleep, feed on chocolate, and eventually bathe when depressed–my real life atm, tbh (+vodka).
Finally, as I started life in my semi-goth house, I decided to take on a painting career, and obviously earn much less than anyone else in the game, which is, again pretty close to my real life.
With house and career established, it was back to my first interest when starting the game: I now had to make my girl, and by this point I felt pretty inspired.
It took me about an hour to recreate the object of my desire, and I ended up with a pretty similar looking redhead bombshell.
She had to be a creative, nature-loving, crazed beauty. She’d live in the center of the city, so I could go and visit her whenever I wanted and maybe, who knows, one day move in with her?
This is, of course, when it all went wrong.
There are four different areas in the world of The Sims 4, but for some reason the game doesn’t allow you to meet other Sims in other parts of the world.
So there I was, never to meet her, stuck in a swamp with nothing but a mini bar for reassurance… FFS! Fiction was starting to look a lot like my sad reality!
That’s when I noticed a goth manor, not far away from mine, and eventually invited myself over. A mainstream Gomez Addams opened the door and I was soon invited in. There I met his wife, and daughter, who I decided to have a chat with, which in turn led to a date at the local museum. We shared a few tickles, and I bought her some flowers—she was a red-dressed babe with a penchant for red roses.
We had a few dates, a few dances, a lot of fun. I eventually proposed, and asked her to move in with me, to save me from my empty romance hell. Out of guilt, perhaps, that night I didn’t save. Or maybe I just forgot. Acte manqué.
A few weeks later, the girl I was in love with finally came to visit me in Paris. We went to the local museums, had fun and danced, but unfortunately also fought quite a lot. One night I convinced her to play the game with me and recreate herself, but this time I made sure we lived on the same side of the earth in order to create a home together–or at least meet whenever we wanted. Pretty soon, she’d made something similar to what I’d intended to make few weeks before.
We decided to share the same space straight away. Here she was, finally, in my house in real life, and in my house in the pixels.
After a few virtual chats, a swim and some cocktails we decided to go to bed. Once again, the game got in the way: only official lovers are allowed to sleep together. My frustration was growing and growing.
Then, in the middle of the night, she decided to buy herself a bed and change a few things around the house. She bought me a rose and place it in our room (well, my room) and then quickly built a thin wall in the middle of the right ventricle of the heart, so she could have her own space.
I could feel that her trip to Paris was getting lengthy, and she was probably already homesick, feeling the need for personal space I couldn’t offer in my Parisian shoe box apartment. She painted her walls pink, added a Disney princess-esque bed, and finally went to sleep.
The wall was already starting to weigh on me.
The next morning she went fishing. We met later at night and danced by the pool, but my Sim was in a bad mood and decided to run away. This was already a familiar situation for our newborn couple.
That night we saved the game together, knowing we were very unlikely to ever play it again. For some reason we decided to fall asleep watching David Cronenberg’s surreal masterpiece eXistenZ.
Lying in the dark, I realised that the growing pain in my chest felt all too similar to the hole used in the film to connect to the virtual world.
Suddenly, the science fiction seemed all too real.