Addicted to The Sims 3: Computer Games That Flirt With Sex, Murder, Mayhem - It's All About Control

My introduction to the amazing world of computer simulations was some years ago, before they were as elegant and realistic as they are now. The early simulations were quite wooden, but it was still fun to interact with them - fun and highly addictive. The characters tended to be fairly one-dimensional in the early games, but manipulating their environment held the same exhilaration.

One of my college buddies was addicted to RPGs, Role Playing Games, and after he had hacked, slain and exploded his way through every world he'd set out either to conquer or save, he turned his attention to world-building games, and flight-simulation programs. Together, we flew fighter planes in the South Pacific, successfully defended London and Moscow of the 1940s, and single-handedly turned the tide of the war in South-East Asia with our daring chopper exploits.

From there we moved on to SimCity, and later, to The Sims. Then cutting edge technology, building modern cities was great fun and a nice change from coaxing an entire civilization to the stars.

Sims character f - flickr.com
Sims character f - flickr.com

While playing an early version of SimCity, I found that regardless of my efforts, one of my cities was not doing terribly well. I had built good roads, nice houses, created industries for all who wanted to work, and entertainment facilities for those who didn't or who needed some down-time, raised salaries - and still the ingrates weren't happy.

While browsing through the menus for potential solutions, I came across some interesting entries: "Natural Disasters" and "Alien Invasion". I asked my friend what they would do, and he replied that he had no idea - that he had never used them.

I was intrigued. First I tried out floods and earthquakes. They didn't appear to do much except obliterate large parts of my cities.

"Oh, well," I thought. "In for a penny, in for a pound." I accessed the drop down menu and selected "Alien Invasion".

I hadn't had such a good laugh since I watched "Plan 9 From Outer Space" on the Late, Late, Late Show.

This goofy little flying saucer flew over and started blasting the city. Several other saucers landed and began zapping everything in sight. Tiny cars and trucks zipped in all directions, madly trying to escape. Smoke and the screams of the terrified populace filled the air.

Amazing!

It was all rather silly and surreal, but also rather attractive. Regardless of knowing it was just a game, and that I was responding to some very clever and sophisticated programming algorithms, I was taking things rather personally. If the inhabitants of my cities wouldn't "play nice" and appreciate my efforts, I could afflict them - revenge is sweet!

Fortunately, my free time was not my own, and I was far too busy trying to keep up with class projects, assignments, and papers to have much time to spend with the Sims folk. Also though, to be totally honest, I didn't have a personal computer at that time - just as well.


Computer Game Addictions

Fast forward to last Spring when I answered an innocent-seeming invitation to accept a gift of fruit trees from a friend in Farm Town. I had a ball. This kind of game is right up my alley - no running, no jumping, just gentle planting and harvesting - and making money. OK - it was play money, but it was certainly fun and easy, and boy was I good at it! I had a blast! I was well on my way to being a virtual farming tycoon.

As a recovering "Farm Town / Farmville addict", I can personally attest to how very time consuming these games can be. They can, quite literally suck more hours out of your day than it actually contains - or so it seems.

Yes, I am kidding - somewhat - but there is a pernicious quality to these computer "entertainments". They are designed to create an alternative reality in which we can test ourselves, conquer "bad dudes", build and create things, massacre any quantity of aliens - you name it, we can do it. It's not real, but we still derive great satisfaction from succeeding.

What about the games where we can kill and maim for the sport of it - games like Grand Theft Auto? What kind of reality are we creating for ourselves there? A reality in which we are rewarded for committing theft and wholesale murder. A reality that panders to all that is dark and violent in us under the guise of a harmless computer game.

Legitimate and well-respected studies have shown the correlation between violent, desensitizing games and violence in children, so we try to limit their exposure, but what about us? Well, we are adults. We can monitor ourselves - at least that's the theory.


How it works...

The mechanisms of addiction are much more complicated than a simple black and white correlation, but essentially, at heart, the addiction to a substance and the addiction to computer gaming follows the same course.

It offers an initial feeling of control:

  • Control = mastery of the skills that win the game.

It makes the addict feel powerful and successful:

  • Power = saving the galaxy, smiting all your foes
  • Success = building a civilization, building the biggest and most beautiful farm

In later stages it causes them to withdraw from meaningful contact withfriends and family:

  • Withdrawal = conversations become more and more involved with the reality of the game, and begin to exclude all but other players (especially with RPG and other simulation games)

Eventually, the need to feed the addiction supersedes all social interaction not involved with the addiction:

  • Like the alcoholic living to drink, gamers begin to spend almost all their time interacting within the reality created by the games. Other interactions - job, school, friends, family - begin to have less meaning. Their lives revolve around the game, and time is measured by intervals between gaming sessions.


Success, Mastery and Control

The Sims may seem quite tame in comparison to the mayhem and violence in games devoted to stalking, killing and outright butchery, be it of aliens or our own species. The driving force behind these games is the same, though - succeeding at something, mastering whatever is thrown at us, and thereby having control of our environment.

With programs such as The Sims and all its versions right up to The Sims 3, there is the added attraction of interacting with, and manipulating, a highly sophisticated simulacrum, or simulated person.You can build lives for them - decide where they live and work, design relationships, watch as they "cruise night spots looking for love" - and then follow them in a world of your making to see what will happen.

Humans are possessed of endless curiosity. We like to explore and find answers. That's part of the attraction to computer simulations, but only part. Mainly at issue, is control.

What's the fascination?

The amazingly popular Criminal Minds television series not only scares the pants off us once weekly (twice-weekly with cable), it also offers genuine insight into the minds of those who yield to their compulsion to take life. Thrills and chills are a large factor in our attraction to this series, as is the horrified fascination with which we watch the unsub (unknown subject) stalk, terrorize, and kill his victims, secure in the knowledge that the monster will be caught by the end of the episode. It is, after all, a TV show.

Criminal Minds while being vastly entertaining, has given us access to an understanding of this darkest side of the human mind. The underlying drive of the unsubs, whatever they may do to achieve it, is to exert control - to arrange their world and everyone they require to be in it, in a way that fulfills their need - and to take life is to exert the ultimate control.

To a lesser degree, we are exerting that same sort of control over the sims whose virtual lives we control. The attraction is the same at a base level. Certainly, we would never dream of taking a human life, or even consider harming anyone. Well, except for that guy who cut us off in traffic on the way to work this morning - we'd kinda like to even up the score with him! ...and what about that wretched woman on the phone? She really needs to be tuned in!

In real life, we can't do much about a lot of things that annoy and upset us. Many of us feel we have little or no control over our lives, and actively seek out situations where we have at least the illusion of control. Children and teenagers can be particularly vulnerable to these feelings. In our own little virtual kingdoms though, we have the ultimate control.

What does it all mean?

Sounds pretty dark, doesn't it?

Well, just as not every one who gets drunk will become an alcoholic, not every gamer who plays, even one who plays to excess, will become a gaming addict, and every gamer who becomes an addict doesn't go on to stalk and kill people in real life.

There are, however some frightening statistics on the connection between exposure to violent computer games and rising violence in children, teens, and young adults.We need to be aware, and a lot more careful of the things to which we are exposing our children - they're not "just computer games".

...and for the rest? We need to become more aware of what we are doing. It's far too easy to just zone out and loose chunks of our days to activities that numb our minds to reality.

Animals have the right idea. They are fully engaged in what is happening right now. We need to learn to live in consciously and to live in the now.



These days I limit myself to a few puzzle games such as Anagrams, that involve guessing or finding words, and couple of variations on Solitaire. I limit my time, too.

Though, I am concerned about another addiction that I seem to have developed. I find myself irresistibly drawn to a web site for writers. Actually, I've been hanging around there for hours on end, working on things called "Hubs", reading other writer's "Hubs" and occasionally cruising a place know as "the forums" seeking contact with other writers of "Hubs".

*Sigh...* Here we go again:

Step One - admitted we were powerless over "writing Hubs"...


© 2010 RedElf

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92 comments

amulets profile image

amulets 6 years ago from Singapore

I love playing SIMS games. Thanks for sharing some tips.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for well written hub and I sure it will increase the addition.


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Wow! This is so interesting. I never realized that this could be a real addiction. I knew that people would spend hours doing this, but had no idea it went this far. I guess almost anything can be an addiction.

Good videos...the Criminal Minds one was really powerful.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Most welcome, amulets! Glad to share!

Hh, you are too funny! ...and answering the comments will increase my addiction even more ;)

I would have to agree with that assessment, alekhouse! Even surfing for great video clips can become an obsession ;)


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California'

I can attest to the addictive quality of video/computer games, having left a relationship that revolved around video games for 10 years. The biggest offender was hockey - every night for hours (unless there was a real game on tv lol)then R.p.g.s, first player perspective, Sims, computer games, Nascar online racing, you name it, it was played in our house.

I even enjoy them to a certain extent - as you can see I'm fairly addicted to this thing called "hubbing" too LOL...but for some people video gaming is a way of life, a way to hide from the real world...


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Yes - I used to really worry about a friend of mine - my college buddy in this hub. He ended up going through a really bad bout of depression that lasted for years, but has finally managed to pull out of it.


nadiaazhar profile image

nadiaazhar 6 years ago from kuwait

hey RedElf....you have dealt with another intresting topic:)

i'm an internet bug too,but i only have certain phases of addiction,i get addicted to one thing then i switch to something different.

best regards and thanks for sharing such a nice hub.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Greetings, nadia! I hear you. I tend to move on pretty quickly, too. Except for Hub Pages - that seems to be sticking! :D


TnFlash profile image

TnFlash 6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

Excellent Hub! Sometimes it worries me how easy it is to give a kid an internet game instead of spending quality time with them. Good Work!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

You got that right, Tn! It's as bad as leaving them in front of the TV - makes you wonder what we are teaching them!


ateenyi profile image

ateenyi 6 years ago from Chicago

The hub is simply effortlessly – classic. The clarity and balance shine from this hub. The language used is very simple and easy to understand. I believe almost anything can be an addiction. The videos are amazing with such a high quality. This hub can be regarded as one of the most intriguing hub. Thanks a lot for sharing.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Wow! Thank you so very much, ateenyi. I certainly agree with you about addictions, but some things are even worse - faster - than others. You are most welcome.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

This was a fun hub, in a way. I understand how addicting these things can be. When you're in a virtual world there's the escape from reality factor; it IS compelling, almost as compelling as a good book!


abchs_princess profile image

abchs_princess 6 years ago

Great, great hub! Thanks for sharing both sides, SIMS WORLD and ADDICTION! Virtual world... nice but not real and because of that-dangerous... A lot of kids have problems today with game addiction!

Once again, great hub!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, Paradise7. They are compelling - trouble is reality comes back afterward ;)

Greeting, abchs_princess! nice to meet you. Thanks so much for commenting!


antonrosa profile image

antonrosa 6 years ago from USA

Now that is a sexy picture! I love the Sims!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Glad you liked the picture, antonrosa. It's quite a game, isn't it?


Hokey profile image

Hokey 6 years ago from In the energy.

I am addicted to this Hub.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

;) Thanks, Hokey - too funny! :D ;D :D


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I can empathize with video game addiction, Elle. A few times, I played Sims 2 for over 50 hours straight (I'm not kdding) and then suddenly crashed on the couch. I woke up 20 hours later and had forgotten what day it was. This is only one of the reasons why I'm holding back on buying Sims 3 because I just know myself too well. Roller Coaster Tycoon was another game I was seriously into as well, which preceded the first version of the Sims.

This was a fascinating read. I think that addiction in any form is unhealthy or can be unhealthy. Thank you for sharing such different aspects of addiction. Wonderful work.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Wow, that's amazing, dohn - I've put in some time on Solitaire, but nothing like that ;) I agree with you and I'm glad you know yourself well enough to hold back! Of course, some people think writing's an addiction :D


grillrepair profile image

grillrepair 6 years ago from florida

you are a goddess!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California

Very good commentary on this expansive phenomenon. It's amazing how quickly university libraries are filling up with research on the various components of this. The concept of the "third place" and any number of exponentially increasing facets has fascinated me for a long time. Well done. I'm glad I stumbled across this.


Fitria Manggiasih profile image

Fitria Manggiasih 6 years ago from Surabaya, Indonesia

It is a little bit hard to say that i am one of them who are addicted to the game. I spent hours to sit in front of my computer and play The Sims 3.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

grillerepair - thanks so much! So nice you stopped in to comment.

Greetings, Shadesbreath. Thanks - I'm glad you stumbled across it, too. It is an interesting phenomenon, and a bit scary because it's so easily accessible.

Hi, Fitria - nice to meet you! You're very brave to admit that - perhaps you can replace it with an addiction to writing hubs ;)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks for your comments, Tony. I've posted them here without your link:

Tony says:

9 hours ago

Very well written article. I agree, videos can become obsessive and a waste of time.


cancernova profile image

cancernova 6 years ago from Anchorage, Alaska

My dad and I used to watch Plan 9 from Outer Space when I was a kid. He loves old cheesy sci-fi movies.

And yes, I find it easy to get myself addicted to online games, and regular games also. It is interesting to see my fiance's mother becoming obsessed with Farmville and Fishville and the like... she doesn't have access to other video games and she's trying desperately to find an outlet to distract her from her life.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

It's very attractive, isn't it, cancernova. I think you hit the nail on the head there. Most addictions are a vain attempt to fill up some empty place within.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks , chloe - I've included your comment below without your link ;)

chloe.rivera1980 says:

8 hours ago

thanks for ths hub! you just gotta love SIMS!

Chloe


fitman profile image

fitman 6 years ago from Ankara,Turkey

nice hub


Kenny MG profile image

Kenny MG 6 years ago from A Child of the Universe

Very interesting hub, well thought out and presented, thanks


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much for commenting, fitman.

Greetings, Kenny MG. Thanks for your comments.


Fitria Manggiasih profile image

Fitria Manggiasih 6 years ago from Surabaya, Indonesia

I think i have to search for some tips to be addicted to writing hubs,ha...ha...


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

When you find them, send me the links, Fitria.


Fitria Manggiasih profile image

Fitria Manggiasih 6 years ago from Surabaya, Indonesia

Yup...yup.... You are also seaching for that one :-)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

You do realize there may be no cure, lol.


doitrightnow profile image

doitrightnow 6 years ago from San Juan, PR

I'm so tired of getting Farmville gifts and other bobería like that in my Facebook inbox. Seriously, some of my friends show me their farms and my jaw goes slack with amazement. They are spending HOURS harvesting their digital peppers and whatnot! What a waste of life! And worse yet, they are actually spending REAL MONEY to get these digital products. That's worse than gambling. At least with gambling, you have a chance of winning. With Farmville, it's just money down the tubes.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

doitrightnow, I got sicked into that for a while, and realized I was wasting waaaay too much time on the crazy thing. Didn't spend any money, but my goodness, what a time vampire it was even in the short time I "played".


Myriad profile image

Myriad 6 years ago from the bottom of your heart .. ie chennai!

Fantastic post bro ! I have my rendezvous with games ! They can literally lock you inside a room and make you lose your connection with the world outside !


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

That is so true, Myriad! I really have to limit my time with the ones I do play, or I am hooped.


Misterlak profile image

Misterlak 6 years ago

Good hub! x


Missi Darnell profile image

Missi Darnell 6 years ago from Southern California

Interesting hub! Sheepishly I admit I was once afflicted with the Sims addiction. Ahhh.. Simcity. That brought back memories. It's good to know that my oldest who loves the "killing" warfare games, won't necessarily act upon his fantasies, though he certainly is addicted.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks, Misterlak! Glad you stopped by.

Hey, Missi - I think we've all been there with one game or another. As long as his behavior isn't affected (acting out, or violent play) he's probably OK, but you might still want to redirect his attention to fun, real-world activities as much as possible ;)


Deborah Donados profile image

Deborah Donados 6 years ago from Portland

I played World of Warcraft for about a year and decided I needed to give it up before it took over my life. Yes, gaming addiction is real.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Nice to meet you, Deborah. Glad you caught yourself in time!


Maxvon profile image

Maxvon 6 years ago from U.K.

Yeah - after years of not bothering, for some reason I started playing Evony - could it have had something to do with the girl on the advert? - It took me 7 months and 2 goes to get out - I had definite withdrawal symptoms. These games are very addictive because you put so much time (and sometimes money, into them). Great hub - Max :)p.s. It's not just men playing War Games - and the women can be downright vicious!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Hey, thanks, Max! You're right about that - my sister is lethal at some of those games.


Ryan Clinton profile image

Ryan Clinton 6 years ago from room17art@yahoo.com

This is interesting to me, being a chronic oldster. I love the graphics, the art. I have many students strung out on the game life. I quit drinking and games about the same time. Ms pacMan was rockin then. I fear there is a true addiction to these very hot games. Keep the balance gamesters.


jgw899 profile image

jgw899 6 years ago from Santa Cruz

Would anybody here think I'm weird if I said the Sims turn me on???


thejimster profile image

thejimster 6 years ago

I never understood why the Sims was so popular in the first place. That kind of game doesn't really do it for me. On the other hand, World of Warcraft...well, that's another story.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Just trying to keep it between the lines, Ryan! Thanks so much for your cogent comments.

jgw899, depends which one of you is turned on ;) just kidding, guys! nice to meet you.

Ah, yes...conquering the world, jimster. Interesting concepts to be learned there.


betherann profile image

betherann 6 years ago from Montana

I have been known to partake of some Sims 3 or World of Warcraft...but, like you, I limit myself. Otherwise I'd find myself diving head first into an expensive (in the case of WoW, anyway) video game addiction.

Great hub!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Hey, betherann - nice to meet you! Oh, don't get me started on that one - too much fun!


David 6 years ago

I have recently stopped playin online games.I found that all my time was wasted after a year of about 40+ hours of game play weekly.Now that i have stopped I am starting to relate to people better.:)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

That's great to hear David - good for you!


mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Great hub, RedElf - nice intro with explanations on how you navigate virtual worlds. I've got more reading of your hubs to catch up on, so I'll keep my comment short right here.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so very much. We had a lot of fun.


brandyBachmann profile image

brandyBachmann 6 years ago

I think video game are addictive because it can be a form of release from reality, you can do stuff in video games that you can't in real life, in a sense a kind of freedom that no one can offer or give you


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

That's true, it's definitely part of the attraction. Nice to meet you brandyBachmann


Kharisma1980 profile image

Kharisma1980 6 years ago from Toronto

Very thoughtful, well-argued Hub. And I totally identify with this new addiction to writing Hubs! :D The fact that I might have some high degree of control over content and income...wow. :)

In peace,

Rob


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks, Rob. Yes, that much control is a good thing :D


cupid51 profile image

cupid51 6 years ago from INDIA

I have no addiction to the video games because I intentionally avoided it! Professionally I had to seat in front of a computer, so I thought addiction to video games would cause harm to my carrier!

A very nice hub! Thanks for sharing it!


Sean Leong profile image

Sean Leong 6 years ago from Malaysia

Most people who play this game are women.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

cupid51 - nice to meet you. Good for you, and nice to meet you.

Sean, thanks for sharing your opinion.


ray_sloth 6 years ago

That was fun to read, thanks for sharing.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

You are most welcome, ray. Glad you enjoyed reading it!


bladesofgrass profile image

bladesofgrass 6 years ago from The Fields of Iowa

I have a girlfriend who is seriously thinking about leaving her husband, because all he ever does is role playing games on the computer. He ignores her, their children, and recently has started calling into work. Ridiculous. Maybe his depression would go away if he actually got out of the house and enjoyed "real" life experiences with his friends and family. Thanks for the informative Hub. :)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Most welcome - there are probably some other factors at work there, but on the whole I agree...and if things don't improve, she needs to stop thinking and do something.

One of my family went through the same thing, and ended up leaving with their son. She still has to deflect a lot of "video-game-fallout" when he comes back from visiting his dad.


adorababy profile image

adorababy 6 years ago from Syracuse, NY

Sim has really evolved and has gone a long way since it first started.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Greetings, adorababy! It has certainly become more sophisticated over the years.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much for your comments, funpages. I have included them here without your link:

funpages 2 days ago

thanks for writing such a true depiction of game addiction. we know it doesn't have to be about computer games, but it is an honest statement to make that many people try to hide or ignore: too much of something IS too much.


funky23 5 years ago from Deutschland

is that true ?


wat 5 years ago

Films are the same as video games in violent / sexual content, except they depict actual human beings doing it, not "just some pixels on a screen" as most anti-video game individuals claim.

You simply can't win when it comes to being a gamer - you're either in a "fantasy world" that *isn't* real because it consists of coloured dots on a screen and are constantly teased about it, while at the same time you're being told the violence and sexual content is essentially real and the same as reality.

There is a definite stigma related to video games that hobbies such as engines, airplanes, train-spotting, birdwatching, photography, skiing, anything you can think of, simply don't have. And that stigma stems from the theory that people must be outside playing with people their own age in order to live a normal life, and must fit in with groups of friends in order to feel fulfilled.

Believe it or not some people actually don't like hanging with people, partying, having wild sex with strangers, getting drunk, and/or pretending to like people to their face when they don't; most of those are personal escapes anyway, one could argue palying a video game on a laptop sat outside in the garden is as healthy as sitting outside reading a book.

People who enjoy technology tend to get the rough end of the stick from society, branded as geeks, nerds, no-lifers and it's not hard to see why - they are enjoying themselves.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Well, hi there, funky23! In the opinion of the poster, I guess it is true :D

wat, this hub is about EXCESSIVE use of video gaming, and ADDICTION to video games.

However, to say everyone who drinks or goes to parties is a drunk or will have sex with strangers is the same as saying everyone who plays and enjoys video games is an addict. You see?

Yes, there is a stigmas attached to video gaming as there is to many other activities. Shy people are often stigmatized as stuck-up, non-drinkers are called prudes or party-poopers, etc. The list goes on, and it is too bad anyone feels the need to call names.


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 5 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

I spent 8 years in Camelot leading Albion on various runs to Hibernia and Midgard trying to overthrow their kingdoms and steal their relics. Only in the last couple years have I turned the addicition into a managable now and then occurance. I made some good friends, but largely lost a lot of time. People BEWARE!

Good hub!

-Harlan


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Hey, Harlan - welcome back to the real world :D:D:D Thanks so much for commenting. It's so valuable to hear from someone who's been there and back!


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 5 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

BTW... some of that time I can sadly never fetch back, I didn't see it at the time, but I lost time with my most precious gift... my kids. I can ever get that back and tears roll when you finally realize what you lost - so you could play - and pay money to do it.

Set reasonable time on the computer and stick to it. DON'T BE SELFISH - PLEASE - they are so precious and time is so short! WAKE UP!

BEEN THERE - DONE THAT! AND PAYING FOR IT!

BUT NOT ANYMORE!

- Harlan


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Right on, and good for you, Harlan! Thanks for your honesty in sharing this. I hope your comments here will influence others positively so they will take control of their computer addictions, too!


Toby Simon profile image

Toby Simon 5 years ago from Kansas City, Missouri

What an evolution to the technical world! Imagine you can play the characters in a video game like they are real people. Good job! Nice hub! Thank you.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

You are most welcome, Toby. Thanks for stopping by to comment.


clark farley profile image

clark farley 5 years ago

Last year I finally got around to looking into this 'virtual world thing', in my case as represented by Second Life. Turns out I am 2 or 3 generations shy of the evolved eye/hand coordination that seems to be requiste to play and enjoy RP online games.)

Second Life struck me as a 'chat room' with animation, but amazing nonetheless. There was an age was a factor, showing itself in an interesting way. Although voip is possible in Second Life, a majority of people there still do the typing thing, communicating by text.

In a relatively short time 'in-world', I found that I could (sucessfully) guess another avatar's (RL)age after only a brief interaction.

It was not just the langauge that (a young person in SL) would employ, it was the 'rate of interaction', the depth of response. Really, really a very interesting phenomenom and I think that (guessing the age of the person on the other side of the monitor) was only possible because of the very nature of the virtual world.

I stopped going into SL as my blog ( the 'Doctrine) and these Hub Pages took up more and more of my free time. And to be honest, I think I was creeping them out, with the age guessing thing, (lol).

As to getting addicted, (in my opinion), the process of addiction is to be found within the person, not the activity/substance, at least as I read the discussion here.

Of course there are addicting substances, opiates and the like that require no cooperation. But as the concept of addiction is applied more liberally, increasing attention should be paid to the person, as opposed to the object (of the addiction).

'cellent Hub.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Hey, clark, thanks so much. I find our skill in age guessing definitely improves with age... and experience, of course :D

I agree with your assessment, though there are definitely substances and activities that increase the addictive personality's likelihood of becoming addicted - it's WAY harder to become addicted to fresh broccoli than to chocolate. ;)


clark farley profile image

clark farley 5 years ago

yeah...lol not too much of a blackmarket in asparagus, (psst hey buddy got some prime wheatgerm! direct from Topeka...good shit)

(Re)reading your hub I see quite a few aspects to the subject. The whole idea of 'virtual reality' in the ways that it seems to be altering how people relate to each other, incredible. Perhaps counter-intuitively, it seems (to me) that communication in a virtual reality forces responsibility back on the individual.

Good Hubation


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Absolutely, clark. Responsibility lies entirely with the individual, which can be a hard truth to swallow when one gets in over one's head. 'Surviving' intact the effects of a virtual reality world requires a degree of critical thinking and willingness to accept personal responsibility that is sometimes beyond the player's ability to muster.


myi4u profile image

myi4u 5 years ago from United Kingdom

I can easily get lost in games that require a lot of game time. Therefore, i always prefer to play racing games and sports games. Sims isn't really my type. You are absolutely right in saying that children will be affected differently when playing games. In fact, it will affect just about anyone if gamers don't know how to differentiate between games and real life. Great hub and glad that your are addicted to hubpages while bringing us many more good quality hubs.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

myi4u, thanks so much! I think you're assessment is right about being able to differentiate between reality and the game.


Emily 5 years ago

is there any sims games on the web


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Emily, I am not sure. You could try a Google search.


Rfordin profile image

Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

I am addicted to Sims 3. I too played Simcity and the rest of the "girly" RPG. I love playing them but as you mentioned they are VERY addictive. At the same time I don't seem to have as much spare time as I once did. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!!!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada Author

Rfordin, sometimes a lack of spare time can be a blessing in disguise :D Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


LLugo profile image

LLugo 8 months ago from USA

I am a huge Sims player I have Sims 3 and Sims 4. You can imagine my addiction to the game. I recently ran into some trouble with my alienware so I have to re-downlpade all of them but the good thing is I have them all on origin and disk too Lol.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 months ago from Canada Author

I must admit I haven't played in some time. It's all great fun though. I recently had to do a factory restore on my laptop and it didn't take long to discover I was missing quite a few discs. God for you though, hanging on to them :)

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