I was reminded about the Sims 3 playthrough I wrote about a few years ago. Placing it here to take up space.
Imagine the magic spawn of Xtreme sports enthusiasts and guys with proto-aspergers and you basically get Robin Burkinshaw’s Sims drama “Alice and Kev”. Alice and Kev was an extreme minimalist playthrough of The Sims 3, a kind of mawkish human interest story about fake homeless people. Now imagine homeless Sims competing to see who can stand around idly for the longest without inevitably dying from insufficient waffle intake and you have what’s essentially the plot arc of Alice and Kev.
Apparently just leaving your Sim in a pool and deleting the ladder is passe and the only way to be venerated by gaming virtuosos is by creating a blog based on watching Sims develop a thick crust of piss fumes around their torsos over the course of months. So I figured while I’m scratching the bottom of the barrel for DreadfulBlog topics I may as well make a desperate grab for attention by repeating more or less the exact same thing.
So hey Robin Burkinshaw. I see your Alice and Kev and I raise you Havisham and Morrissey. Yeah! And the pictures on your blog loaded a bit slowly for me one time. How does that taste?
Like any Greek tragedy Havisham and Morrissey is a multi-layered story about adopting six babies and succumbing to exhaustion and disease after I briefly walk away from the computer. On its deepest level it is a commentary on socio-economic issues in Northern England and therefore much better than whatever is happening here. Unlike Robin’s in-depth study of the harsh realities of eating spagbol out of a bin, Havisham and Morrissey would be an attempt to see what affect family responsibilities and class fatalism had on pre-programmed SimSuccess.
Thanks to the game’s Character Traits and Lifetime Goals attributes I was able to design Morrissey to be destined for musical stardom. Morrissey would enter the game in a relationship with Havisham, a woman whose Character Traits and Lifetime Goals were polar opposite to his own. Her desire for adopting babies would be insatiable but her selfish, child hating and lazy Character Traits would place the onus on Morrissey to do the bulk of child-rearing. So are Sims programmed to have their traits and goals overwritten in this situation? To answer this question I built a house with three rooms and forced Havisham to repeatedly order babies from the adoption agency to rack up maternity leave cheques.
The main protagonist of this story isn’t Havisham so much as Morrissey: a struggling musician who is probably quite good but it’s impossible to tell through his thick veil of twat.
For the most part he spends his time standing about and looking like a bit like a 13 year old Winona Ryder while his wife uses her free time to loiter around the kitchen counter for the three hours that’s required to make a dinner.
I started the game by giving him the ambitious and musically-inclined loner traits which basically forced his reptile brain to pick up a guitar the minute he entered the house, spending the rest of the afternoon strumming for 15 hours to get to the end of one verse of Hot Cross Buns, all while avoiding all distractions ranging from eating to sleep. In fact for the first three days he really didn’t move away from the corner where he spent his hours creating rubbish rock tunes, only stopping occasionally to agonisingly piss himself, just like the real Morrissey. Had I not soon intervened by trying to order babies on the telephone Morrissey would have been destined for stardom, having quickly perfected his musical skills over the course of days.
The DreadfulBlog XTREME social experiment would see whether the family life forced on him would cause his dreams become dashed on the rocks. The answer, poetically, was actually that he would starve to death in front of a herd of toddlers who wouldn’t move out of the way of the fridge.
A few years ago after starting the episodic Sim epic and introducing the story’s sulking kitchen boy, Morrissey, I introduced Havisham.
Havisham is Morrissey’s horrorwife.
Havisham is like what you would get if you crossed The Penguin with a sticky theatre curtain from Nevada rockabilly club. Her personality traits were meant to make her the worst person imaginable: a sort of venomous, black eyed widowmaker who is too lazy to cook actual meals so she just eats fly-laden leftovers that were never thrown out because I forgot to buy a sink. She briefly worked as a cook when I accidentally clicked something.
As far as I can tell, once your Sim has a job, at any point that you manage to get a baby you’re automatically given a weekly allowance as some kind of child care policy designed in to the game. Also part of The Sims’ deeply ingrained child rearing policy is that baby adoption is a service run with the same efficiency as pizza delivery.
Out of Africa
Other useful true-facts:
- Babies don’t need diapers changed!
- Babies are immortal!
In fact it seems that in between feeding sessions you can largely ignore them until their toddler years and they only seem to come out of it lightly unhinged as evidenced by a previous game where I tried this and he just grew up to be actor Steve Buscemi:
However, even after programming Havisham to hate, she automatically coos and picks up the nearest doll-faced adoptee she sees when it starts to cry. Regardless of how the character’s traits were formulated all Sims appear identical in how they react tenderly to the endless deathpit of baby screams. What resulted was a treadmill of coddling and forcefeeding babies over 18 hour stretches, pushed by the game’s inherent pro-baby protocols and resulting in mass tragedy for Havisham and Morrissey.
Arise fair Havisham
Havisham is a gentle pink siren and she wants you to know how hard her love can be. Havisham wants you to lay your eggs in her, then she’ll recharge and refuel on the liquid in your spine.
Morrissey and Havisham are star crossed lovers, crossed because Havisham is out of her mind while Morrissey’s heart beats only for the sound of passable but largely rubbish mid-eighties rock. It’s a complicated relationship and like any 90lbs schoolboy in his position Morrissey treats their hideous, unemployed, unhappy, unloving love with the scared eyes of a large lost deer, bolting between the two giant passing vans of Havisham’s hammy thighs.
As I explained previously, their house is a handsome combination of a room with a guitar in it, a bar and a toilet-kitchen with beds that I would later delete as part of a sinister test to see how many phone-ordered babies it would take to break Morrissey.
The house that love built
I posited that he’d turn to the drink in a matter of days, hoping it would turn in to an interesting commentary about Simclass undermining Simtalent and its effect on the Simwill-to-live.
At the start of this playthrough, Morrissey spent most of his time outside in a park, taking hour after hour to perfect his guitar skills while slowly starving to death. Unemployed, he spent most of his time in a park somewhere where I couldn’t be bothered to scroll around looking for him. After a day and a half of him trying to avoid Havisham, his SimAtrophy finally kicked in and I found Morrissey a couple of blocks away passed out on a bench and drenched in his own stinking fluids.
In the meantime, Havisham had already begun to accumulate her spawn over the phone, along with the free maternity leave cash the game provides when Sims with a previous career start adopting children (see: Accidental Cook). Luckily Sim Government laws are lax enough to not enforce any sort of adoption check-up that might look into if she’s melting babyskin into lamp covers. When the adoption agency shows up to the door with a basket in hand no questions are asked.
Havisham lovingly assembles all of her new babies on the floor.
The adoption service came by on an hourly basis until their carpets looked like a bioluminescent ocean floor with babies growing out of it like stinging fronds and I had to move out most of the furniture to make room. Then the game stopped letting me order babies.
Evening sets on Sims 3.
After pressing something in Build Mode Havisham and Morrissey’s dole bunker now opens out onto a spectacular view of lawn jutting out through SpaceTime from a cosmic forge in their front yard. Thanks to the truly amazing customisation options now their patio pond towers like a giant weird finger over the neighbourhood, keeping silent watch over the six baby adoptees.
Baby JohnMaddenXXL gets left in the specialty leaking shower room
Like the devil himself Havisham has many faces, but the most prominent one is unconscious on the floor. Since the adoptions she now takes turns with Morrissey to feed the babies then pass out in a wintery slumber, eating only food I left on the ground at some point.
Havisham’s deep outdoor hibernation is peppered with occasionally waking up from her induced coma to spend time making a Geocities shrine for the actor who played Andrew on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.
While Havisham is busy in her coma during the day, Morrissey becomes the brains and driving force of the family at night. Now instead of busking in forests, he spends hours on end holding babies while his Mood – which represents his need to eat and sleep – drops to a dangerous red-coloured low. Even Havisham would make a bee line for the nearest Simbaby when she was conscious. They would do this for hours when awake, moving from one baby to the next in an endless production line.
He hasn’t touched his guitar in days. He does not sleep. Morrissey wanders the moors of his offspring and takes an hour trying to get from the fridge to the toilet while avoiding the stacks of plates and newspapers that have been accumulating like a defensive border made from bits of stuff found in an Olympic vomitorium. The ground is crusty with newspaper that hasn’t been recycled since they moved in.
His vital signs have plummeted and he hasn’t been able to eat since the babies created a human wall by sleeping in front of the fridge. Eventually child services returned.
Soon after the babies were whisked away into some sort of portal by an adoption agent, as apparently by a certain point you’re not meant to tab out mid-game. Then, with only salad made weeks earlier to sustain them, Havisham and Morrissey died.
The playthrough lasted roughly two days in real-time, with both Havisham and Morrissey having their pre-programmed needs largely overwritten by the robotic obligation to pick up babies until their clockwork wound down. Silence now covers the house and Morrissey’s tombstone sits next to his untouched guitar.