I was more famous at eleven on a Windows ME-loaded HP desktop in my room (eventually moved to a tucked corner in the kitchen after too many borderline problematic conversations with strangers in AOL chatrooms) than I ever have or will be again. ‘slice’ or some version of it, addended by whatever jack-of-all-trades whim I was involved in at the moment (piccolo, to name one), was the pseudonym I used to rocket myself to at least the B list in the network of forums capaciously dubbed the sims community. At my height I held two design jobs and a moderating position at [redacted]. Someone wrote their dissertation on [redacted]. That person is now a tenure-track professor at a legit university somewhere.
Unlike some of my celebutante peers who used the game solely as the vehicle for the other probably more useful endeavors in 3d modeling and illustration, I always made time for gameplay. It wasn’t about fantasy: theirs was not the life I wanted (so many babies! I loved making them have babies). But there was something soothing about ultimately succumbing–normative family agenda be damned–to the plumbob aura. Between its earthenware ragey red and an ecstatic radioactive glow, the goal really was always just green. Just OK.
And just ok is all you need.