Video games are more egalitarian than life
During a recent conversation with a friend, we started (for some reason) to talk about how much we missed playing that surprisingly addictive and often strangely surreal computer game, The Sims.
We both lamented that the combined efforts of work and university had kept us from it for so long- oh, how we missed the indescribable catharsis of imaginatively killing off characters (admit it, if only to yourself, that this was your favourite part of the game), the sense of altruism when marriages were made.
I think that The Sims has a lot to teach us. Not in terms of money handling (if only life came equipped with a cheats button that would allow you to instantly inflate your bank balance!), and certainly not in terms of safety (killing Sims off was entirely too easy in my opinion) but in terms of equality….well, the land of The Sims, compared to our own, is far superior.
It could even be called a utopia for everything is really astoundingly simple. Your Sims propose, marry and cohabit based on mutual interests and suited personalities, rather than the unarguably less romantic equation (one penis + one vagina=one perfect marriage) that proponents of “godly marriage” prefer.
A same sex couple can be given a child or children as easily as a straight couple and the child’s level of wellbeing is based on the quality of care and attention it receives from its parents, rather than the gender of said parents (spookily similar to real life, since most children, if given the choice would rather be taken to the park by their two mothers or two fathers than be left alone to rejoice that their parents are of the opposite gender).
While the sad clown visits Sims who are depressed, same sex couples in the Sims don’t trigger anything out of the normal- there are no Sim protestors to gather at your Sims door with tiny signs and jabbered outrage. There is no religion in Sim Land and therefore no unsavoury pop up options- hug/kiss/talk to/preach against homosexuality.
Even if the most homophobic bigot were to play the Sims and I’m sure some do, while they may not choose to create same sex couples, there is always the option to do so if they change their minds. There is no way to change the game to make it impossible for other players to create same-sex couples if they desire to because, as the game creators understood, it would be grossly unfair to limit the options of all simply because not everybody wants a same sex family, in the same way that I can’t try to legislate for that fourth note to be removed from Guitar Hero just because I can’t play it?
Isn’t it funny that put like that, it seems so simple?
Isn’t it at the same time heartbreakingly sad that it is only in the field of human rights, human lives, human relationships and human happiness that is it feasible that the tastes of one can be allowed to determine the options of all?
Maybe this article sounds like I’m being flippant, relating such a serious topic to something as trivial as a computer game: I’m not.
I’m just puzzled- honestly puzzled, and more than a little disgusted- that the only land entirely free of homophobia, that treats gay marriage simply as marriage and same sex couples as people