Sim Family Demonstrates Personal Failings

Dotty Attie, Backflip [detail], 2009
Credit: flickr / 16 Miles of String
Back in high school, my friends and I went through a phase of being into The Sims. I remember one conversation, when my friend said her sim-child had been taken off to military school. I hadn’t known that could happen. She, perceptively, said that she bet my sim-children are all straight-A students.

They were. And I would max out the money without cheating because my adult sim’s were all so high-powered. And proficient in art (or music). Extremely buff. And nice.

So now I don’t play the sims, and I think my friend was right – my style says something about my control freakery and pointless quest for perfection.

That saying “shoot for the moon, because even if you don’t reach it you’ll land amongst the stars” is, despite it’s lamentable grasp of astronomy, accurate in terms of achievements. If I shoot for the gym six times in a week, chances are I’ll make it five. If I shoot for two full features, I’ll likely manage one.

But in terms of overal being. Where success is defined by certain metrics – lines of code, features, bugfixes, blogposts, visits to the gym… and anything less that perfection denotes complete failure as a human being… it’s less than healthy. I don’t define others by their acheivements, but somehow, for myself, it can seem that is all that matters. I caught myself sabotaging something I was “working towards” recently, and I asked myself – why did I do that? I had no good answer. It’s like I beat myself up for imperfection, and yet I’m only going through the motions because I don’t really believe that I deserve it.

If I were one of my sims, I would be such a disappointment. But, life is harder to control than a video game.

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