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The Sims 3 | Torturing Sims For Fun And Profit

Updated on January 25, 2010

When it was discovered that sims in The Sims 3 were able to climb out of swimming pools without ladders instead of swimming around until they drowned in exhaustion, many players were disappointed. When I wrote a hub called “Sims 3 Fiery House of Death,” in which sims trapped in a house furnished almost exclusively with poor quality, fire prone stoves caught fire and died one after another, it became one of the most popular articles I have ever written, and I've written over 900 articles, so that is saying something.

Clearly there is something at work here in the human psyche, something being revealed by these two separate, yet highly related pieces of evidence. Humans, even the sweet peace loving ones who tend to be caught dead playing The Sims, are, at their core, evil little beasties who enjoy nothing more than inflicting pain on unsuspecting and helpless victims.

Guantanamo Bay makes a lot more sense now.

Of course, torturing real people is nothing like torturing sims. Real people have a far more interesting range of emotes as they die, whereas sims will generally make the same wailing cries every time. You never know just how a person is going to react to torture, and I guess that's the fun of it for the sorts of people who manage to distance themselves from people enough to treat them worse than most of us will treat pixels in a video game.

Many were shocked and surprised when torture allegations came out against the US Military. At first they were denied, then they were embraced. “Torture is a natural and foreseeable consequence of being detained,” the US Supreme court said whilst cackling merrily and dancing on the ashes of the Geneva convention.

This all got a bit political, didn't it? Yes, and no. It's not a matter of politics when we let sadists torture people for the fun of it, it's a matter of humanity. Torture isn't something foreign to our natures, on the contrary it is an enjoyable past time for many human beings. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can look at it honestly and directly. There's a reason why The Sims includes the capacity to kill your Sims in terrible ways, and there's a reason why most players will take advantage of that capacity.

Does the fact that torture is kind of fun make us bad people? No. Most of us manage to confine our drives to inflict misery to computer games and occasional mind games at work. So should soldiers, CIA agents and other sociopaths who join the military in the hopes of playing out their violent fantasies.

Torture, whilst amusing and fun, is not okay.

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