S-GAS: Entry 4

Entry 4

written by Emelia Johnson


03-05-15_3-13 PMI decided to host the support group meetings in a quaint little house in the starter-home district of Oasis Springs.  It was my first time using Build Mode on my own…don’t judge too harshly.03-05-15_3-15 PM-2 We were the last ones to arrive.  The house was so full and loud.  I walked in quietly (though it wouldn’t have mattered if I wasn’t; everyone was talking at once — it was loud) and took my seat at the head of the table.03-03-15_7-57 PM-2“Uhmm…hey!”03-03-15_7-57 PM“Hey…hey guys?  Can you quiet down for a sec?” 03-03-15_7-57 PM-3“Thanks.  Okay.”  I took a deep breath.  Stay calm.  Just tell your story, then prompt others to do the same.  Talking is therapeutic.  Just talk.03-03-15_7-55 PM-7“So…welcome!”
03-03-15_7-55 PM-12“Thank you all so much for coming — it’s been so cool getting to know you all!  I believe that having good relationships with others is key to coping with anything.  Everyone needs a strong support system.  I haven’t always had tha–err, nevermind.  Just thank you all for being so friendly and easygoing.”03-03-15_7-55 PM-8“I want all of you to know that you’re more that welcome to be as open or reserved as you feel comfortable with.  I’ll start us out, so no one has to go through that awkward I’m-first-now-what-do-I-say thing.  Well, except me…hmm, maybe I didn’t think this through…  Hahaha, I’m just kidding.”03-03-15_8-26 PM-5“I remember it like it was yesterday.  Granted, it wasn’t that long ago…  Normal Life Span and all, you know.

“My child trait was Genius, and my parents pushed me to be a Whiz Kid as well as the Social Butterfly that I wanted to be.  To make a long story short, I became really smart really quickly.  I wasn’t a super imaginative child, but I was curious and observant.  I asked thousands of questions to anyone who would listen, and when no one would listen, I would watch.  I guess I discovered the Game that way.

“I’d read about some people believing in “the Watcher,” a Creator, or God-like being, who watches over us and guides our actions.  My parents never talked about any ‘higher being,’ and my grandpa flat-out denies the possibility of one.  He says he only believes in what he can experience.

“Being the curious child I was, I wanted to know.  I read all the conspiracy theories about what “controls” us, what influences us how to act and be who we are — Aliens, Astrology, Fate, the Watcher, the “Player.”  I wrote them off as what they were — theories.

“Then I started noticing things.  At first I thought I was just seeing what I wanted to see; I was looking for any truth to those theories, so I started forcing reality to fit them.  The theory that stuck out to me most was the “Player.”  I started to notice “glitches” — the way a building would disappear if observed from a certain angle; some people would seem to “freeze” then suddenly be on the other side of the park, walking away as if nothing happened.03-03-15_7-55 PM-9“I began to worry that I would gain the Insane trait on my Teenage birthday!  Wouldn’t you?!

“I don’t know why I started questioning things.  I don’t know where I learned about ‘the real world.’  I’ve only ever experienced this reality; I shouldn’t be questioning it.  But for some reason, I did question it.  Some things just didn’t add up.  Why do cars drive on the street and boats sail on the lake, but we all teleport everywhere?  Why do we draw pictures of animals that no one has ever seen?  Those were just a couple of questions that I could not find answers to.

“I found out the truth on accident, really.  I told Mom I was going over to Gemma’s house — she’s our neighbor — but while I was on my way, I just stopped.  Have you ever had that feeling where you walk into a room, then have no idea why you went in there?  It was like that.  Anyway, I went upstairs to chat with Gemma on the computer, but Grandpa was upgrading mine, so I used Mom’s new high-tech, super-protected computer that she’d just gotten as a promotion gift from her work.  Gemma told me to check out some new video on Sim.tv, but when I started typing it in, ‘Sims 4’ was a recently searched phrase.

Mom works in video gaming, and I watched Gemma play The Sims Forever all the time when we had sleepovers at her house.  I assumed it was a sequel to TSF, or a mod or something.  Like I said, Mom works in video gaming, so I started going through her files.  (Hey, I wanted to be a Social Butterfly…I figured if I had the low-down on the new, upcoming game, it would help me make friends.)  03-03-15_7-55 PM-10“The rest is pretty self-explanatory, I think.”03-03-15_7-55 PM-13 “I guess I’m just kind of used to it now.  I’ve come to terms with it and look for the positive opportunities in it — like this, S-GAS, for instance.

Okay, I’ve been rambling on and on about myself for like an hour…  Who wants to go next?  Uhhh…anyone?  Anyone at all?  Hang on guys, not everyone at once!  That was sarcastic, by the way.”

19 thoughts on “S-GAS: Entry 4

  1. This is so interesting. Their awareness really makes me question some things! But when I think about it – I don’t know. The things they are experiencing (like teleporting everywhere, or disappearing buildings) are normal for them. They never experienced our world as we know it, so they can’t know that things work differently here… right?
    But yeah, I’m probably just over thinking it. 😀 This was great, I adore this whole concept of game-awareness! Such a great idea.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s what I started thinking about too, when I was doing S-GAS. Like, glitches and babies popping out of bassinets are just the physics of their world — they wouldn’t know any different. The whole “game-aware” thing was definitely a plot driven by us writers (though I would dare to say Fey is actually game-aware…she was killed off in my save, deleted in all of my other saves, and yet generated as a legit NPC townie in my main legacy save. Same traits, same clothes, same name — everything. She’s terrifying). Now, I do believe that some Sims have higher intelligence than others and/or are more self-aware. Like CT’s Sugar and onezero who keep drinking Youth Potions! So cool. It definitely makes you think!

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      1. That thing with Fey is super creepy! How is that even possible?
        I understand that game-awareness was made up by writers and that’s it’s just a plot twist to make things interesting. But despite all that I think the sims are actually game-aware. I mean, in TS2, they would always look at me and wave at me when their needs were low, so they probably knew that I am there and I have power to help them. And some sims in TS4 look at me, too (it’s kind of scary sometimes). So I definitely think they KNOW. At least some of them 😀
        But I think the weird physics of their world is not the way they found out. It must be something within them – I think some sims are able to feel the power of the Player and they recognize it as something foreign, as something that is not coming from sims themselves and that’s how they found out that there is more than their simple sims universe. (I’m so good at theories I can made up from nothing! 😀 )

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  2. I am still just not sure about Game Awareness, and how much sims can know about the outside world or their player. I love how they break the fourth wall and look at us, but I think that’s just clever programming, for both TS2 and TS4. (Although when it happens I definitely feel a connection; but I don’t know if logically I can say I believe they really see me.) I think they have autonomy, the ability to know what’s in their inventory and possibly other stats about themselves, and self-determination, some more than others, but I’m just not sure about the Game Awareness.

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    1. For me, Game Awareness was definitely a plot, not “real.” They’re programmed to have a certain amount of artificial intelligence, and I’m super curious about what the coding will really allow them to do or not to do (but I understand why they keep their coding secret). Game-awareness is a cool idea, like a good sci-fi plot, but I don’t think it’s “real.” (Now, I’ll totally eat my words when robots take over the world.)

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  3. Oh, my goodness, Maruska! I think about this, too! Sometimes, I feel that when our consciousness touches them, it activates something in their sentience. It is likely my fanciful thinking, but it’s a fancy I enjoy. I also sometimes feel that as we put our consciousness into our Sims, like Sugar and onezero, they are able to develop themselves differently perhaps we begin to play them differently, empathizing with them more, and supporting them through our game-play to develop themselves more completely.

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    1. Well, I think our sims can distinguish between autonomous actions which are coming from them and our actions that are coming from us. Some sims may consider it their inner motivation which tell them what to do, but some sims (like game-aware sims) know that it is indeed external interference from a distant source of intelligence that is not a part of their universe.

      Of course, we players are part of the sims universe, but not in the same way as the sims (obviously, since we exist in our world and sims only exists in theirs). But! Every player is a part of the sims he play, because sims really are our reflections. I learned that when I was reading raerei’s thoughts about playing Evil sims and how hard it was for her, because she is a good person who doesn’t even believe in evil. And that’s exactly it! Every player had different experience with the world and a very unique mindset – and his sims exists in a limited reflection of the player’s experience.

      Sorry, Jordan, for spamming your great post with my deep and profound brain things xD But I love to speculate about this, it’s such an interesting topic. (Although my boyfriend says that I am crazy and sims are just bunches of numbers and are definitely not able of self-conciousness 😀 )

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      1. No, I love hearing everyone’s ideas! I’m afraid I’m with your bf on this one — Game-Awareness is too fakey sci-fi for me to really believe in — but it’s an interesting concept nonetheless! I’ll admit that for awhile I was 100% sure Fey was Game Aware. Still about 40% sure, considering she regenerated herself after being killed & culled. *shifty eyes*

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      2. Weeell, I’m kind of agree with him, too. I know sims are really just a code and their personalities and desires and everything about them is programmed. The thing is: I KNOW that they are not real, but they feel real to me nevertheless. Just like characters in the book but better because I actively parcipate in the process of creating their personalities and their stories.
        And so, as long as my (or yours or everyone’s) sims feel real to me, their game-awareness is real, too. So, to put it simply – I know it’s a fantasy, but I don’t care.

        I hope this is not too chaotic. I wish I could talk to you in my language, it would make much more sense 🙂

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      3. No — it makes sense! It’s as if they’re our own [book] “characters” we make, so their personalities are what we make them. If we say they’re game-aware, they’re game aware. If we say they like long walks on the beach, they like them. Because those things aren’t necessarily set-in-stone in the game perimeters (i.e your Sim can’t autonomously take a walk on the beach — there is no beach right now). It’s up to the creator/player to flesh them out how they see fit, because they really are all little extensions of our ourselves. And just like what was mentioned earlier — the only limits to their personalities are our own personal beliefs/perspectives/creativity!

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      4. Yes, it’s true – a lot of personality aspects of my sims are made up. Not all of them, however. I noticed one sim who tends garden autonomously and he has no nature-related traits or aspiration or whims. I know it’s part of his coding – he is programmed to do so. But it’s definitely coming from him, not from me.
        So if love of gardening can come from within the sims themselves, maybe their game-awareness can do the same 🙂

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  4. Maruska, all the more reason, you need to talk about your sims here… there’s only so much my husband can stand to talk about sims, so I’m so happy to be able to talk with all of you.

    I agree with you, that the perspective and world of each player determines the limits of their sims’ existences. That’s very well thought out.

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    1. “The perspective and world of each player determines the limits of their sims’ existences” — YES! This is why I find myself occasionally disagreeing with CT on some of these game-aware/self-aware/whatever topics. As much as I claim to be open-minded, I’m pretty close-minded in what I really “believe” (logic over emotion; I have a hard time believing anything that can’t be “proven” to my liking, so I just don’t believe it). I’m 100% sure it limits my Sims (and life) experience. I’d love to believe some of the things my family/friends/fellow Simmers believe — if not for any other reason besides “it sounds fun” — but my mind just won’t accept it as truth. It amazes me sometimes how intricate and unique every one of our brains/minds are (I’m currently really into psychology and neurology, so this topic has been coming up a lot in my life) — while it can be challenging for people to peacefully disagree, it’s such a good thing that we have so many different perspectives and levels of logic/emotion. (Not to say that someone primarily emotional isn’t logical; it just has to do with left/right brain dominance — left dominance triggers patterned/predictable, logic-driven responses, whereas right triggers creative, emotion-driven responses. Both have their goods and bads, for sure. It’s healthiest to be right in the middle between the two extremes, though we always favor one or the other. Okay, //endspeech xD)

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  5. The comments on this are just as interesting as the posts themselves!

    I’m kind of torn about game-awareness, it’s not really something that comes to me naturally, which why I’ve never directly addressed it in my story. I mean, they do seem aware of the entity out there (the warcher, the player or whatever you want to call it), because they give you those looks; some more than others (Yenn used to give me a lot of pissy looks as a teen, especially when I threw parties).

    But whether their experience seems like a game to them, I don’t know. Why would it? As Maruska pointed out, they have no comparison, but even if they did, this is the only reality they’ll get to experience themselves.

    I guess my issue is that I typically only tend to write about what my sims “show me”, where I have a strong sense of them going a certain way (even admittedly some of it happens in my mind). And I just haven’t had a sim scream at me bing like, hey, I know this is a game 😀

    On an unrelated note, Jenna looks so much like Amelia, it’s crazy!

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    1. Omg, right?! Jenna made me do a double-take when she jumped outta the bassinet. I think she looks most like my Simself facial-features-wise as a teen. Genetics are so cool.

      I would honestly think nothing of “game-awareness” if it weren’t for Fey regenerating herself back into my main legacy two generations later. o.o *still scared*

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