There are also some quite serious lessons I've learned from my Sims. I think they've made me more tolerant, and more willing to accept people who think differently to myself. I'll never be a Family Sim, and I've never felt the urge to produce my own children. (Anyway my sister has had my quota for me -- she's had seven!) But, when the first babies were born in my game (the McBain twins) I got as emotionally carried away as the doting parents, and for the first time in my life felt the excitement over the "miracle" of new life. This is possibly in part because I was far more involved than I ever have been in any real life birth.
Where I think my Sims have probably had the most influence on me is on the subject of gay marriage. Although I believe I have always been very sympathetic to homosexuals (I possibly have more gay Sims than straight ones!), until very recently I just felt that gay marriage -- especially gay marriage in church -- was a step too far. I mean for thousands of years marriage has always been a union between a man and a woman. I found it hard to understand the word as meaning anything else. In the UK they were given Civil Partnerships (which are very similar to "Joined Union" in the Sims -- like marriage in almost everything but name. So I just didn't see the need to have gay marriage too. So what has changed my mind? It's two individual Sims -- my gay boys Andrew Jones and Julian Moltke. Ever since they started to go steady (now almost 5 real years ago) they have remained faithful to each other while living in a community where permissiveness and promiscuity are commonplace. Despite genuine temptations they believe they have found true love in each other. Andrew has a deep love and respect for his mother (who has a Romance aspiration), but he still believes that his relationship with Julian is something really precious and valuable; in some sense he feels it is better than "playing the field". Of course a lot of this is in my imagination, but I find the way they play in the game supports my interpretation. To give an example, not so long ago Julian was going to visit Milburn Pennybags (Mr. Monopoly) in Monopolis to discuss terms for the purchase of "The Water Hole", a swimming pool in Monopolis. Andrew went along to the meeting too to give Julian moral support, "to make sure he didn't get ripped off!" (Andrew thinks that Julian is sometimes too good-natured for his own good.) When Andrew arrived he saw Julian standing on the terrace. He paused, walked over to Julian and kissed him. Nothing over-the-top; just a tender, loving, reassuring kiss. Then the two boys went in together for their meeting.
There is still a strong physical element in their relationship, but I can see that their love for each other has matured into something deep, meaningful and committed. They now plan to marry, in church if all goes well, before they go to university. They now go to St. Simeon's Parish Church together every Sunday, sometimes going back for the evening service. Andrew is on best-friend terms with the parish priest, the Rev. Elspeth Anderson, and she is prepared to marry them, provided her bishop doesn't object (i.e. provided all my mods work nicely together!). Is it not only natural that they want God's blessing on their union? How can I stand against the genuineness of their love for each other? And, if I can do this for my Sims, I can hardly object if real-life gay couples would like the same.
This thread has moved on a bit since I started writing this a couple of days ago, but I think in my case that I have allowed my Sims to teach me some valuable lessons for real life. It is, after all, life-simulation, and it can provide a safer environment to help to work through some important real-life issues.
All Sims are beautiful -- even the ugly ones. My Simblr ~~ My LJ
Sims' lives matter!