Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Simulated Lack of Imagination

I have a crappy imagination.

You know how I know that? I mean, other than by reading my own blog?

The Sims 2.

Yes, I play The Sims 2, though I've never mentioned it on here. But, sadly, in a simulated world where you can create whatever kind of people, with whatever kind of lives and lifestyles you want, all I ever wind up doing is...

recreating comic books heroes.

Oh, it's seldom directly.

But my neighborhoods are full of families named Wayne, Kent, Queen, Prince, and Curry. The Kents live in a rural looking house and use Sims Seasons to live as farmers (god bless eggplants!) with an adjacent "barn" where their son can live (before he starts his career in Journalism). The Waynes are always the richest ones in the neighborhood, with a live-in servant; but DANG is it hard to kill that couple before the kid grows up!

The Queen men have, ahem, "Romance" as their Aspiration and their homes aren't complete with a Hot Tub of Love. The Prince household doesn't have a lot of guys in it, if you catch my drift. And the Isley house is sure to have at least one PlantSim in it.

The Rayners earn their living at the easel, the Jordans work in the Military Career, the Palmers decorate with the Atomic Style, and the Curry house is always built around a pool and a couple of major fish tanks.

Sigh. I try to convince myself that I don't lack imagination, it's just wrapped around the mesh
of characters who are archetypes and whose iconic power is irresistible. But I could be patterning my SimFamilies after the great Roman houses, the Greek gods, the signs of the zodiac, Gilligan's Island, or the cast of Top Chef. Maybe even crafting whole new concepts and dynasties all on my own. But no.

It's so bad that Townies and NPCs start to tick me off. "Great Gotham, Bruce," I find myself moaning at the screen, "don't waste time with Goopy Gilscarbo when James Gordon is right there beside him!"

Please tell me I'm not the only one! Does your familiarity with comic books sometimes "infect" your other pastimes?


Rob S. said...

Years and years ago, when I was a telephone researcher, we were allowed to use pseudonyms when we spoke to people. I was often Victor Sage; sometimes Vic Stone, and occasionally other heroes' secret IDs as well.

Hobbywise, I'm sure there's something, too, but as most of my roleplaying fans aren't comics geeks, I keep my comics shout-outs to a minimum in the game I run.

Jon said...

When I was studying computers, I'd frequently have to create lists of names to test database programs I'd written. I could only ever think of comic characters, so I'd end up handing in assignments with test data that read something like:
Scott Summers
Bruce Wayne
Norrin Radd

I've also used Scott Summers on more than one occassion, while filling out online registrations, if I didn't want to use my own name. X Factor was a large part of my early collecting days.

Captain Infinity said...

What are these "other" pastimes of which you speak?

totaltoyz said...

Good one, Captain!

My ATM personal identification number is based on two comic book issues, first appearances of favorite characters of mine. Easy for me to remember but difficult for anyone else to guess.

Alex said...

oh man, i do this all the time.
Any games that have characer creation, i try to make comic characters. Hell, im starting to play d&d and i want to make green lantern in the middle ages.

Jon K said...

When I used to play SimTower, I'd always end up naming my building "Metropolis Tower" or something like that...

And when I played "Star Trek Starship Creator" I had at least a few starships named after comics characters...

But these days? Well, working as an ad designer for the newspaper, sometimes I have to download PDF files of customer ads that they (or their agency) created. One of our largest customers, despite our already needing a login and password to access the site, also requires us to enter our own name before downloading each file.

So... since I got tired of entering my name all the time, I use other names... I've used characters from Futurama, actors from Star Trek... but I think I've mostly used comic book references, so that pretty much all the founding members of the Justice League and Avengers have been used, as well as many, many comics creators names.


SallyP said...

I don't know, this seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

Andrew Ironwood said...

"I'd frequently have to create lists of names to test database programs I'd written."

I've had to do this at my place of employment fer years -- in fact, so many of the programmmers here were using 'Bruce Wayne', 'Clark Kent' and 'Peter Parker' fer testing porpoises that we got a memo form corporate *banning* those names (and some similarly well-known names from fictional sources) from our test database (apparently they were using the same database to demo our products fer prospective clients and felt such references were 'unprofessional').

To date, however, names such as 'Scott Summers', 'Carter Hall' and [my all-time personal favorite test name to use] 'Simon Stagg' have yet to make said banned list [grin]...

Laurie said...

All of my Sims are superheroes. If you're a comic fan, the twisted games you can play with beloved characters is surely the main attraction.

Currently my Brucie Wayne is breaking the hearts of both Catwoman and Talia Al Ghul. My Renee Montoya is carrying on a torrid affair with Diana Prince. And my Raven just got married to Superboy Prime (not quite sure how that one happened).

David said...

I created the city lay out of Metropolis and tryed to build as accuritly as i could to the city in simcity 4000. I even tryed to create a Kandor, and eventually i hoped to try Gothem

Foolio_Displasius said...

I have fond memories of Civilization III where my cities of the DCU achieved such heights of cultural enrichment that they subsumed most of America without a fight.

Ah, if only...

HammerHeart said...

I play Sims2 as well, and my game is similarly filled with characters modeled and named after superheroes and other fictional characters. In my game, Ollie Queen married Dinah Lance just like in the comics, but other romances were more surprising - Clark Kent married Willow from Buffy because I didn't bother making a Lois, for instance. Across the street, Buffy lives with her husband Matt Murdock and their daughter Dawn, Barbara Gordon married J'onn J'onzz (!!) and Jack "Starman" Knight married Lori Lemaris. Oh, and Bruce Wayne ended up with Diana Prince after I watched too many "Justice League Unlimited" cartoons.

This whole thing is made even more confusing by the fact that my girlfriend, who also likes to play Sims2, modeled HER characters after Harry Potter characters, and they co-exist with my "superhero" Sims. As a result, the Lex Luthor from my game ended up marrying Draco Malfoy's ex-girlfriend Pansy.

And that's what happens when a couple of geeks bring their respective hobbies into a common playing field.