Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's like asking a Xeriscaper how to grow Kentucky Bluegrass

The wife and I agreed a long time ago, after I had been given some sage advice from a teacher way before we had kids, not to allow video games in the house. They can play them at friends' houses, but not at home.

The few exceptions have all been games you can play on a computer, don't cost over $30, and specifically games that require something other than shooting things. Of the few allowed, "The Sims" has been a perennial favorite of the older MPC1. What's even more cool is that she enjoys creating the world and the houses as much or more than creating the simulated people that populate these worlds. She spent a week building an apartment complex once.

Often, she'll start regaling my lovely wife and me with something that has transpired in the Sim world, and I'm always amused because it's often so … nerdy. Not what she says, mind you, but what happened in the game.

Then it dawned on me: here's a game where the primary goal is social interaction created by a group renowned for being the biggest social maladroits ever to plod the face of the planet - COMPUTER GEEKS!

I've been in IT for almost 20 years now and of the hundreds of IT people I've known and worked with, I can think of exactly two who are good at talking to girls; I include myself in that number and I'm not one of the two. Now, let me qualify that IT geeks are some of my favorite people in the world. They're usually intelligent, kind (once you know what they consider kind), fun to talk to, and the list goes on. But, the vast majority are not the people you'd tap for relationship advice, whether it's friendship or romance.

Yet, here's this whole game created by these very people about that very thing.

One of her buddies got Sims 3 recently, and we don't have a computer powerful enough to play it (nor do we want to re-invest all the money on the new games and extension packs), so she's been limited to playing at her friends. She was belaboring the differences between Sims 2 and 3 in secret hopes I'd be so moved as to buy a new computer for her just so she could play version 3, and she says, "But, even though you can visit other Sims and more places in 3, it's still really hard to make friends."

After I'd pulled myself up from laughing my ass off and rolling on the floor, wiping my eyes and getting my breath back, she said, "You're going to blog this, aren't you?"

Yes, my dear. Yes I am.


Anonymous said...

yahm wrote: "I've been in IT for almost 20 years now and of the hundreds of IT people I've known and worked with, I can think of exactly two who are good at talking to girls"

But a fairly high percentage of IT geeks ARE girls - a higher percentage than you find in most other tech disciplines. At my last job the IT dep't was probably 1/3 female, including the director.


yahmdallah said...

True. But in my experience IT girls are often as geeky as the guys. If you don't count project managers, I can think of only 1 IT gal I've worked with who had good social skills. Most female project managers I've known, however, have been very slick.

Sya said...

My parents didn't get video games either so I only got to play the old school stuff like Frogger or Pong or a couple of text adventures. My parents also didn't get cable so popular culture-wise I was (and probably still am) fairly unsophisticated. On the other hand, I'd like to think that the resulting hobbies I've developed are a little more productive.