Sunday, October 14, 2018

Why I Cheat When I Play The Sims

There are cheat codes for the computer versions of The Sims. Motherlode and familyfunds are the two money ones (simoleans). And I use them. EVERY TIME.

But why? Part of the game is getting the Sim a job and earning money and blah blah blah.

You know what? I have to deal with money problems in the real world. Hard ones. Impossible ones. Ones that aren't going to be solved by building up a certain skill and making a few more friends.

So I cheat. And then experience, in a game, a version of how a life might be if financial issues were off the table. Deal with other things.

And you know what? I can. My Sims are happy. They have good lives and fun adventures. Sure, things still break. Fires still start. Bees! But they have solutions. It's manageable. Life is still happy and fun.

Plus, it's a game. There are no real consequences for cheating. It isn't like in life where, if I rubbed a lamp and asked a genie for 10 billion dollars US, I'd accidentally screw up the global economy. I haven't robbed anyone. (Other than, perhaps, myself. Robbed of the experience of an avatar being as flat, stinkin' broke as I am.)

This is also the one advantage The Sims has over games like SecondLife. Sure, multiplayer means social interaction. But to get game money... there's no cheat. You need to have money, or make game items and sell them to get money as a job in the game. And, just like a job, you then have to get people to want your stuff. And soon you're almost never playing for fun and just working to get a few cyber dollars so your character isn't as poor as you.

I can't deal with it anymore. I can't enjoy a game where the goal is to get money. If I were good at that, maybe I wouldn't be playing a game to escape the world where I'm broke. Which, oh yeah, reminds me that I spent money I don't have on this game. Even if it's a gift, I could have traded it in for a tiny fraction of the value... oh look, it's the guilt train! Pulling into the station. Which makes me want to retreat into a game world so I can feel any other emotion even for an hour.

Which, again, is why I break out the cheat code and give my character an absurd amount of funds. Because I just can't deal with the problem of being broke.

I'm not legally allowed to return to work without a medically release. I can't get a medical release without a diagnosis. I can't get disability without a diagnosis. I can't get a diagnosis because the doctors can't figure it out (but all agree it's something and it's BAD), or won't risk giving it a name and being wrong because of insurance, or are unable to nail it down because it's so bad that even the tests nearly kill me. (Seriously, the code team was called last time.)

And so I feel helpless, hopeless, and worth  _  less. (Those spaces are intentional because I feel my worth has decreased as I am not an earner. Which holds a different connotation than the word worthless.)

Why would I want to PLAY anything where I feel more of that? It crushes my soul. I barely remember why I fight to stay alive most days just because of the pain. Add in all the feelings from money? If psychiatry were free, I'd go. Okay, that's not totally true. If it were free AND I could do it from home, thus not landing in more pain or risking my life if the office isn't suitable for my respiratory needs, then I'd go.

But that's a pipe dream. So I occasionally game. A world where I can escape from all the problems I don't know how to solve. A place where I can actually deal with what is thrown my way. Where I still manage to succeed. Achievement unlocked! So desperate to feel like I can do something well that I'll settle for an arbitrary win in a game world.

I use to be so good at life. What the hell happened to that girl?

She went to work one day and, unknowingly, inhaled chemicals. And while it IS killing her, and has ruined her, she hasn't actually died yet. Somedays, it's really difficult to be grateful for that. Which is horrible to admit. Choo choooo! ­čÜéThere's the guilt train again. Guilt for not being grateful for this prolonged suffering and poverty. "Think of all you've missed!" Yeah. I know. Rainbows and kittens and all that.

It isn't fame and fortune that I'm aiming for anymore. Just for life to be a tiny bit easier. To just not feel so horrible all the time. To feel like I could do one thing right, one thing well enough to be worth something.

The real world Sim version of me doesn't need millionaire estates. Just needs to not be curled in a ball unwilling to do ANYTHING because it's all so terrible. In fact, the game won't even allow me to create a Sim like me, because they are all healthy. Sure, they can get sick, but they heal.

Hope. I cheat at the Sims so I can escape to a world of hope.

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