Monday, March 10, 2008

More on Sims

One might presume the puppet master in this electronic doll house would go for replicating actual family, trying to make a mirror image of her or his own domestic matrix.

However, I've rarely if ever seen a kid take to it in this way (of course that's just me, not some "universal observer" so your mileage may vary).

Avoiding the attempt to transliterate one's own reality gets around the challenge of needing to model oneself in the software, as a cartoon, with whatever hairstyle and outfit -- could be time consuming to get it just right.

Then there's all that zodiac stuff, the motivation settings -- who has the time to be so self-indulgently introspective? "It's just a game for crying out loud, let's get on with it" -- another playmate protesting the slow pace.

On the other hand, one might imagine psychotherapies deliberately built around The Sims architecture, with the express purpose of working on various complexes.

In my own household, some part-time staffers were marveling at my always-clean fish tank. How often do I change the water? I explained about the filtration system, powered by the Columbia River and FDR's progeny. So put like a talk balloon next to my sim, with a dam hieroglyphic, maybe some lightning bolts, smiling fish...

Of course every life saved in the big city, thanks to a steady supply of AC, means livelihoods lost in the fisheries business (except in the hatcheries), including among fish (and the sea lions who feed on them).

Finding a sustainable balance remains a dynamical systems challenge, not something to resolve once and for all. Nature doesn't pause at any equilibrium, just hovers around them, sometimes stretching to limits, again optimizing, and so on. In a very primitive sense, "evolution" means no more than this, against a backdrop of generalized principles.