Tag: equality

everything I need to know about sexism, ageism, racism, or sizism i learned from the sims (g2)

So for those who are not aware, The Sims, is a simulation game. You create… people. They do life stuff, create friendships, get jobs, earn money, have relationships, marry, have children and even die. You are given enough goals and achievements to remind you that its still a game, but all in all, you can pretty much do anything you want. At least within the confines of the game. Unless you’re a mod junkie that I am, but that’s for another time.

When my kid first started playing The Sims, which was Sims 3, I didn’t get the appeal. At the time and the age, Spawn could spend two hours customizing an avatar and exactly fifteen minutes doing any actual gameplay. This was a game where the kid could pretty much do nothing but an entire day of character customization only. For me, Spawn not being bored with a game and griping at me to do something about it was enough for me.

Of course, we are close, when we’re not at school and at work, we even share a desk. So watching Spawn play The Sims became some of my biggest sources of entertainment. The game will generate random people for you to interact with, alongside the ones you create and your sim is driven by their own will based on the personality traits you create, so you really don’t have to constantly oversee them.

Watching my kid get pulled into a fist fight… hilarious. Watching as Spawn mastered building their first epic house, very cool. First time I had to define what “woohoo” meant (yes, they actually call it that), also hilarious. I scoffed when having a baby was just a sparkle & twirl and “voila,” screaming baby maggot thing (they have them bundled, they look like pink and blue maggots). Watching my kid bawl over the death of the first sim they made was heartbreaking.

So I tried it. I wanted to see what they would do. I made an avatar that looked much like mother, gave her a hot-headed and romantic personality (I forget what else) and sent her off. I watched as she chased a kid down the street so she could wail on his ass for something they said. I wasn’t paying attention to what was said though. I’m pretty sure I was doing other stuff, but what I did observe was this:

Sims do not care about another sim’s color, gender, age (within reason) or size. They will fight like crazy with another sim who conflicts with their personality and not give two shits about making enemies. In contrast, they will flirt like crazy with a sim who has traits that align with their own regardless of the size, color or more surface considerations. I noticed it didn’t have to be identical, but complementary certainly causes much excitement. The Sims 3 randomized gender preferences as well, which meant that a perfectly symmetrical, fit, rich sim would never make it out of the friend zone if the sim they flirted with had a strong preference for the other gender, no matter how much their personalities were in tune.

It made me wonder… why do we as a species not work more like these guys do? You can pretty much assume that every single introduction you come across will be met with at least a quick and subtle lookover. You’re being gauged, and you’re most certainly being judged. “Gossip” may be an interaction you can do in The Sims, but it sure as hell does ruin the lives of other sims with soured relationships from heresay.

Unless modded or hacked, a sim born of a certain personality is not going to align themselves with someone who is vastly different than themselves, personality-wise and only personality-wise. Just because one is “hotter” than another, if they are completely wrong inside, they are skipped. Of course, like likes like. Two evil sims get on quite well. But if left to their own, you will end up with pairings where one is thin, dark, fit, and rich and the other is so large as to be considered round, much older, pale, and unemployed and they will be two peas in a pod. They also stay in a happy mood more often (an ongoing goal in the sims).

Novel idea isn’t it? Like people who are more like you, make firm enemies with those you don’t like, it wastes less time for both of you. If it’s not your fight, walk past it. If it is your fight, own it. It they are everything you wanted on the inside, maybe what’s on the outside needs a really close look with some inner sight instead. For fuck’s sake, why force yourself to be with them just because they’re pretty? Or why spend so much effort try to be friends with them and/or competing with them, when they don’t really like you either?

“they” do not exist (g2)

I hate talking about sexism and racism. Hate it. Why? Because it stirs up a range of shit that really should not be an issue at this point in time. We should have grown the fuck up by now and move on. Let’s deal with the hungry, our addiction to fossil fuels, accessible education for everyone, or getting our planet into better condition. ANYTHING other than trying to shit on one another because of where or how we were born.

I’m all for learning from past mistakes, but don’t browbeat people under the assumption they still think this way. Nitpicking the shit out of someone else’s terminology because they’re trying to communicate a thought, also an irritation. Did you know that “hispanic” is considered less PR than “latino”? Well, according to a college class on cultural diversity I took some time ago, it is… but it depends on where you go, and then the person… until basically you have no way to communicate a damn thing without pissing someone off. What’s the point of communicating at all then?

I happen to live in one of those states where segregation wasn’t so long ago and for some, it still weighs very heavily on their memories. I consider myself lucky that I did not come up in that time period, but I see the aftermath everywhere. Where I went to school, the ethnic minority was actually the majority of the students attending. Spawn has the same type of ratio at their school. Race just didn’t become an issue until our prior generations starting putting in their two cents. You had past generations that were used to or pissed off about things being the way “it used to be” and both wanted nothing more than to bitch about it constantly.

Now understand, even reading about happenings of the heavily racist periods of the American South makes me sick to my stomach to even be part of the human race. We should NEVER have been this way and considered ourselves anything above savages that should have been put down.

However, I also think that dwelling on the shitty parts not only elongates the healing process, but pretty much makes all chances of recovery worse, if not impossible. Fully understand it, mourn it, pick up the pieces and do fucking better, but let it go. Harping on this shit is doing nothing but making all of us anxious, depressed, withdrawn, medicated and venomous.

Is anyone else tired of the fucking annual events that people seem hell bent on having every September 11th? Isn’t 13 years enough to stop sensationalizing the shit and move on? It sucked, it really really sucked. Why are we continuing to harp on it though? That doesn’t honor them, that just enables a pity party for those left.

With that said, I was in a mixed group of people once and one in particular… I guess felt his “good ol’ boy” mentality would fall on a few supportive ears. He ran a management company that generally catered to lower income residents. Lower income in the South is still predominantly ethnic. His comments centered around drug use, criminal activity, monetary and domestic issues “they” caused.

“Whose “they?,” I ask.

He’s uncomfortable. With some dancing around the subject, he finally comes to say that usually it is the ethnic groups, specifically black, who cause him the most amount of issues. I point out that even though segregation is no longer an issue, a vast majority of all minorities are still in the lowest portion in terms of income, residence, access to medical care, etc so it really would not be odd that that would be higher than average, statistically speaking, but doubtful they were the only ones to have those issues.

He grasps on the one thing I hear come from just about every white racist mouth here… “exploitation of the welfare system,” “government assistance,” “living on the taxpayer’s dime” etc. I retorted that it was complete bullshit if he thought the welfare system was so robust anyone could live large on it. Generally speaking, even with the most assistance given, no one could pay any amount of rent with it, let alone any other expenses and there was a time limit on how long you could remain on it, let alone getting on it in the first place. I cited some places he could read more about it. He scoffed.

He then diverts to the hostilities that come from the more unproductive sides of the ethnic group, the pitiful few loudmouth douchebags who unfortunately get pinned as the “stereotype” of blacks in the south. Those in gangs, or wish to be, drug dealing, etc (you know, the ones that exist in just about every race, but that just doesn’t register).

I asked him if he wanted things to change. He said “of course.”

I told him “then stop using the word ‘they’.” “They” do not exist.

The minute he separates himself from those around them, he becomes part of the problem. He counters that “they” should be the ones to improve since “they” made him think this way. I asked him why he would give any unnamed, blank, ambiguous group of people the power to wire how he thought about anything or anyone.

If everyone goes around thinking that everyone else just needs to be nicer to them first, then nothing will ever change. If you want to live in a neighborhood where everyone waves to one another, then raise your fucking arm and wave first.

By the same token, the minute we judge people on a completely irrelevant point, we lose. Assholes and saints come as varied as a 64 box of crayons and then some and the true assholes are the ones who let a very narrow view of society embitter their judgement so much, they feel righteous in using “they.”