Selflessness

Alice gets to work late, but not too late.

When her shift at the supermarket ends that evening, she has 100 hard-earned simoleons, but she is as exhausted as it is possible to be. She wobbles slightly after walking out the door, and only just manages to stop herself from losing consciousness there and then.

But she doesn’t want to rest now. She’s just come up with a new wish. It’s a wish that would be easily fulfilled, but the idea scares and horrifies me. I don’t want to grant it to her.

But it’s her life, and her choice. I reluctantly let her do it.

She takes all of the money she has just earned, places it into an envelope, writes the name of a charity on the front, and puts it into a mailbox.

You might think that Alice has the worst life in the world, but she doesn’t believe that’s true. She will turn down the chance to improve her life in order to give others the opportunity to improve theirs.

What does it mean when a character you’ve created makes you re-examine your own life through their astonishing selflessness?

Next: Exhaustion

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176 Responses to “Selflessness”


  1. 1 Undecided Name June 16, 2009 at 8:34 am

    She is very unlucky… homeless people don’t need to be donating to charity.
    Unless maybe it’s for animals… Homeless animals.

    8/

  2. 6 MissVera June 16, 2009 at 8:38 am

    So glad you posted again! I’m absolutely hooked on your story concept. I feel for Alice like she was a real person. As an obsessed Sims fans, i wish i could find such humanity in my own game sessions. You show everyone a new side of the game.

    I don’t know what it means when your Sim makes you re-examine your own life… All i can say is, you’re doing a great job, and i can’t wait to see how Alice progresses.

    • 7 Jae June 24, 2009 at 10:40 pm

      I think it means that she thought about her life and even though her life was really bad there were still others out there going through worse things. a nice story though

  3. 8 Gawain June 16, 2009 at 8:44 am

    OMG! Amazing character.

    • 9 JMBailey July 11, 2009 at 1:11 pm

      that one brought tears to my eyes! you were right to allow it. It doesn’t make life easier for her but selflessness isnt about you is it? perhaps she was so grateful for the work that she felt compelled to make an offering in response to her gratitude. Karma-like.

  4. 10 Tracey June 16, 2009 at 8:47 am

    I freaking love Alice, she’s awesome. I’m sure somehow, someway that something good is coming for Alice. I have to believe that good things happen to good people…even Sim people.

    Looking forward to the next installment.

  5. 11 Ian June 16, 2009 at 9:04 am

    That is one of the saddest, most genuine things I’ve ever seen in a video game!

  6. 13 Jazmeister June 16, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Awesome! Way to stick it to the Credit Crunch!

  7. 14 John Smith June 16, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Oh wow…That’s just amazing

  8. 15 Danuab June 16, 2009 at 10:06 am

    It doesn’t mean anything. Alice has likely internalised her father’s distaste and abuse and developed a negative self-concept. She isn’t giving money away because she’s altruistic, she’s giving it away because she doesn’t think she’s worth it.

  9. 24 Steve O June 16, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Wow… Talk about making you examine your own life…

    Seeing a homeless person want to donate to charity when she herself has nothing… Then looking at myself… And all that I have… And still donating nothing… I’m pathetic…

    I wish I could be more like Alice.

  10. 26 Amazed June 16, 2009 at 10:25 am

    …My god. Who are we then to think of her life being absolutely horrid, when she gives the first instance she receives?

    Amazing story you have here.

  11. 27 Amikron June 16, 2009 at 10:28 am

    While its thoughtful and all that, she should have spent the money on a baseball bat to bludgeon her father with in his sleep.

    But, if she did that we wouldn’t get any more Alice and Kev, so I guess that isn’t such a good idea.

    This is a great project you have going here and I hope you keep it going till Alice becomes a young adult at least.

    I am curious though, what aging setting do you have it set to? Also, when Alice aged up, was that you using a cake or her actually aging up?

  12. 28 Robodude June 16, 2009 at 11:00 am

    wow, i guess sims can be more human than i thought

  13. 29 Putzy Von Putzingburg The Third June 16, 2009 at 11:03 am

    this is really good. I hope it continues through their whole lives.

  14. 30 emily June 16, 2009 at 11:11 am

    So be more like Alice. I’m a little perplexed by everyone saying how sorry they feel for her. She’s not a real person, but there are many, many real people like her. We don’t feel sorry for them because they don’t have names and faces to us. Or it’s just too emotionally difficult to feel sorry for so many real people. Please, please use this story as motivation to give to your local food bank. We don’t have to give away our whole pay check, but I’m sure we all have cans in our cupboards that we don’t know how they got there and we’ll never use.

    • 31 Myranda June 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm

      I think Emily has made the strongest point of all.. While this story draws at heart and mind and possibly past experiences for some folks, you have to wonder if any of us will learn from it and put this to use in real life. How many of us will take the time to donate to charity? Or donate food or clothes? I know if i was in a situation to give, I would. And hope to be back in that position soon. Thanks for speakin up Emily.

    • 32 Edgar June 17, 2009 at 1:04 am

      Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought this was the whole point of this blog in the first place (besides getting to play video games). It is strange that more people can sympathize with a fictional video game character than with a real person, but really, it has more to do with the great storytelling than anything EA has done here, IMHO. If one person reading this blog does something, I think it will have been for the best. Besides, she makes it easy by posting charity links right at the bottom.

      Rather than be perplexed by it, you should be happy that this little story is opening up some peoples eyes.

    • 33 Sharris June 17, 2009 at 8:43 am

      Or maybe we do feel for all the people in need and that is why the story touches us. I work as an adocate for homeles and low income people and se “Alice and Kev” every day, but my heart still goes out to the sim story. You’re right, even though it’s only a game, it is playing out a scenario that is all to common. If playing voyeur to it helps everyone feel a twinge (or more ) of symapathy and wonder what they can do to help in the real world, well who can ask for any more than that. Our office yearly challenges city officials, business owners and anyone else interested to survive a month on minimum wage. At the end of the month participants have the option to donate 1/2 of what is left of their original wage to whatever they want. It is amazing how generous people become after “walking a mile”. This game scenario could be a fun alternative for us to use, maybe in classrooms, etc.

  15. 34 Worldweary June 16, 2009 at 11:15 am

    This for real or just an amazingly good viral for charity? Either way, bloody brilliant!

  16. 35 Mary June 16, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Is it possible that she just can’t cope with the empowerment but also the responsibility that having your own money confers?

    Alice knows how to cope with life on zero simoleans. It’s a struggle but she can do it. She understands about filling up on school dinners, has no social squeamishness about cadging a shower at someone else’s house, and views personal possessions as things that “other people” have. This is what she “knows”, indeed it’s all she’s ever known.

    Life with an income, no matter how low, is a different kettle of fish. There’s all sorts of new rules to learn, all sorts of new decisions to make, all sorts of new skills to develop and let’s be blunt, Kev is never going to be able to guide her in that. Change is scary at the best of times, never mind when you’re alone and struggling.

    Assuming a simolean is worth the same as it was in Sims 2, 100 simoleans isn’t enough to get a place of her own or buy her a bed or build a shower or get anything else that would make a long-term difference to her life. If she were to spend it on something short-term or frivolous – a pizza or a new t-shirt – she would regret having spent her money, so hard-earned, on something so unimportant. Plus, there’s a possibility that Kev might swipe and sell anything she buys.

    It’s a warped kind of sense, but I can see why she might think it’s a good idea to send the money to a charity, who will (she hopes) at least know how to use the money to best effect. She gets to feel like she’s done something good… and the responsibility and threat of change are eliminated.

    Or maybe there’s just a bit of code that assumes your Sims aren’t living on park benches and makes “nice” Sims want to give money to charity.

    • 36 Ross Presser June 16, 2009 at 6:06 pm

      It’s probably both. There’s a variable in Alice’s object code that counts how much she’s spent on life recently. When she earns her first paycheck, it tries to predict how much she’ll need in the near future, and puts the rest in the “fun” account. Then, since she’s got the “good” trait, giving to charity is her idea of fun.

      Remember, Alice-the-Sim isn’t one thousandth as introspective as a real human five year old. What looks to us like genuine saintly selflessness is just the working out of a computer program. You the writer are to be praised for seeing the selflessness — not the program nor the programmer.

      • 37 Edgar June 17, 2009 at 1:05 am

        Unless the ghost really is in the shell :-P

      • 38 Mary June 17, 2009 at 8:57 am

        Ooh, it didn’t occur to me that it could be expressed/coded that simply into a personal projected “normal expenses” budget and a slush fund (this would be why I’m not any kind of programmer, game designer, economist or engineer). But yeah, that was pretty much the direction I was driving in – Alice’s experience of life so far means she doesn’t know what to do with $100.

  17. 39 James Tao June 16, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Nicely done, Mr. Burkinshaw.

  18. 40 Pooka June 16, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    First time posting, long time reader…This is my morning “coffee.” I am in the EST, so you’re ahead of me in the world. I love to read this before going to work every morning. About 7 a.m. or so I’m getting my morning fix of your latest episode. It’s become a great way to start my day. Like this latest episode, it tends to make me reflect on what I have in life. It makes going to work not so bad! I realize how fortunate I am. Thank you for the quality entertainment!

  19. 41 Cat of Ulthar June 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Wow. I love this blog. Great concept, excellent pictures, moving and funny story telling. I’m hooked!

  20. 42 Nicole June 16, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    This is why The Sims 3 is awesome: you can create complex characters with actual personalities, that allow you to make these brilliant stories. Keep it coming!

  21. 43 Mike June 16, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    It probably means it’s time to put down the game, take a deep breath, and walk away.

  22. 44 Dolphin_girl_24 June 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Maybe she donated it to charity because she didnt want Kev to get his hands on it. Poor Alice. I sure hope once she becomes an adult and escapres Kev her life turns around. :)

  23. 45 KT June 16, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    This is a great story. I just found it yesterday and I’m hooked, keep up the good work. I will be tuning in and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  24. 46 Capn John June 16, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    There used to be a lady that rode the same bus as me, and every morning she’d be pouring through a magazine devoted to Soap Operas. She’d finish reading that magazine (it was a lengthy bus ride), put it away in her bag…and pull out a second Soap Opera Magazine! It boggled my mind that someone could be so caught up in a television show that they’d even read multiple magazines about their Soaps.

    Now I get it.

  25. 47 needlemouth June 16, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Unbelievable. I really enjoy reading your blog about Kev and Alice. Keep up the good work!

  26. 48 Yona96 June 16, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Here is some good news: at least Alice will outlive Kev. Hopefully.

  27. 49 Mel June 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    This is the most original and exciting thing I’ve read for such a long time, I’m completely hooked. Can’t believe Alice has given her money away like that, it’s just another thing that makes her seem so much more human. Top quality, thank you.

  28. 50 Shimarenda June 16, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Wow, that was a surprise. I wasn’t expecting to read about the “widow’s mite” this morning.

  29. 51 Lori G June 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I didn’t see this coming. I am stunned, mostly at how choked up this made me. Why aren’t my Sims games ever this interesting? I think it’s because I’m a control freak. I should let go more often.

  30. 52 Myranda June 16, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Great story. You are extremely talented. Hope to read more on Alice & Kev.

  31. 53 Dee June 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    The thing is, this is not particularly far-fetched in reality.

    I’ve worked in a homeless shelter, and know plenty of people who quite calmly will give up the only money in their wallet if they see someone who’s in even more distress than they are.

  32. 54 mrsnoobs June 16, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Wonderful as ever. I like how it is clear that the characters are acting apart from your direct control (for the most part) and it allows this kind of behaviour. I am an annoying perfectionist in The Sims and I can’t allow my sim to be late for work, or smelly so I miss this kind of emergent behaviour. I think I will allow Hieronymous Jeenyus to live freely and see what he does for a week. No guidance allowed!

  33. 56 Dawn Skye June 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    she…is…AMAZING!!! i..wish..my sims..coulddothat. THE ONLY CHARITIES MY HOMELESS DAD HAS DONATED TO WAS UNDERMINING, THATS RIGHT UNDERMINING, HOMELESS LLAMAS AND GEESE

  34. 58 Miranda June 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Wow, I love reading this story, it’s so entertaining! PLEASE continue writing!

  35. 60 Jacob June 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Wow, I’ve been following this story for a while now and it really has changed the way I look at Sims, and my own life.

    One question though. How do you make your Sims give money to charities? I haven’t once seen the choice to anywhere. Maybe my Sims are too greedy to give up money? Please help, I would love to give this a try.

    • 61 Tara June 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm

      They have to have the Good trait. Then if you click on the mailbox, an option comes up that says Donate To Charity.

    • 62 ratluvr June 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm

      @Jacob… I’m pretty sure you’re sim has to have the “good” trait to have the option come up on the mailbox. And you have to have the “evil” trait to have the option to donate to undermine a charity.

  36. 64 Tara June 16, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Oh, poor Alice. Always doing the right thing.

  37. 65 HB June 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I love this blog that you have created. It is amazing and I am hooked! The story line progresses so nicely and the small updates you give us keep us wanting more, so much more!! Thank you for this entertainment. And may I just say: Alice is one selfless sim-being!

    Also, this is a general question for anyone who is reading: Are there any other sites like this with great sim stories? I have yet to find any others and I love reading sim stories.

  38. 68 NapalmNacey June 16, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Heh. That “good” trait seemed to roll up a poignant want at the perfect time! The way the game plays out can be pretty damned spooky! Nice writing, it really brought out that little quirk of the game.

  39. 69 mrsphom June 16, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Wow… I’m absolutely hooked. I know she’s a sim and what have you, but I really can’t wait for the next installment. I have worked with homeless both here and in other countries, and Alice reminds me of a few young women I have met. Keep them coming. I love it

  40. 70 m4k2004 June 16, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Wow, I actually shed a tear. I can’t believe Alice would rather give to charity than to buy her some food. I am glad she is so selfless and it does make you rethink yourself, me included. But the girl needs to eat too!

  41. 71 laila June 16, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    this is the most interesting thing i have ever read about the sims3,2,or the original.

  42. 72 JJ June 16, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Aww thats so sweet. I wish my sims would do something cool. All they do is workout. Even my Elder!

  43. 73 Ashley June 16, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Awww…..that really touches my heart! You wouldn’t expect something like this coming from a video game.

    I have been truly hooked to this little story and will be promptly checking up again tomorrow.
    :)

  44. 74 Snowdog June 16, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    lol, just lol. maybe you all need to find a different hobby, seriously.

  45. 75 Warren June 16, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Thunderstruck!

  46. 76 cullnean June 16, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    i feel sorry for kev

    both mentally ill and homeless

    now thats harsh

  47. 77 En June 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    You know…you can get a free shower at the gym.

  48. 78 Smurfy June 16, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Alice is an idiot!

  49. 79 Wendy June 16, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    hello and well met,

    I just found you two days a go and I love it , the story is heartfelt and very different then other out there. I look forward to more.

    on a side note, as to needing food has Alice tired going to the park around 5 pm , it seem there a cook off going on at lest one time a week, she could find new friends there and free food.(not counting the baskets cuz there always there). Well that’s my half a penny for ya , keep the god story coming.

    Wendy

  50. 80 Ray June 16, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    How touching…

    I’m gonna rofl if this is like, made into a book or a movie or something. And I can just see it happening, too. :/ Keep up the good work!

  51. 81 Ryann June 16, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I’m absolutely hooked. This is such an interesting and beautiful story. You’ve inspired me to make similar characters, a mother and daughter, who are homeless. I will continue to follow this story as my characters shape their own.

  52. 82 AlexisNicole June 16, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    awwwww omg
    im in love with this story, i cant wait to read more

  53. 83 HAB June 16, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    That’s crazy! She is homeless donating to her charitable equivalent! Don’t give money to someone who has more money than you! But still, she is a very good person.

  54. 84 Michelle June 16, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    (sniff, sniff) If we could all be just half this good, the world would be one amazing place.

  55. 85 Eric Richardville June 16, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Simply beautiful. If only everyone was so selfless. A Very nice day, I just hope she will be able to manage. Surely karma will come back to her.

  56. 86 Clint June 16, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I like your stories… I’m getting the sims 3 collector’s edition tommorow(Atleast I hope.) I was so surprised when she wanted to donate it all for charity! Anyways nice story.

  57. 87 Howden June 16, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Great story, i’m really enjoying it. Keep making more! I hope Alice succeeds in her life!

  58. 88 Sean June 16, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Robin. New reader.

    I love this story. You’re doing an amazing job of drawing out their characters.

    The only thing which saddens me is how many people are beginning to see Kev as a villain of the story; he’s just as much a victim as she is.

    I’m really, really hoping this story ends with Alice able to somehow find a place to live. (Which could happen in a few ways in The Sims 3, even within your self-imposed rules. Hard, but doable.)

  59. 89 Mackenzie June 16, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    That’s deep.

  60. 90 Parallax June 16, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Poor Alice get up !

    Your blog its very very nice.

    Congratulations !

  61. 91 Abbie June 17, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I love how you are letting the game take your characters in all of these amazing directions. I’m so impressed.

  62. 92 frida June 17, 2009 at 1:13 am

    gahhhh! why does it have to be over noww!!!! haha, i was just getting started! well, i’m definately putting this on my rss feed :D good writing, i cant stop reading it
    ´:/

  63. 93 Payton June 17, 2009 at 1:40 am

    This is an excellent story. I am hooked. I just can’t wait to see what happens next. I am definitely going to stay tuned.

  64. 94 pandascandles June 17, 2009 at 2:23 am

    This is a super awesome story, and it EA were to pulish sims story picture books I would buy yours first!! Keep writing! Your awesome!!

  65. 95 Karlaboo, June 17, 2009 at 3:01 am

    OMG, Thats so sad.
    Or… is it happy?
    I cant decide.. (:

  66. 96 jazzs3quence June 17, 2009 at 3:15 am

    truly phenomenal.

    i’ve been following the story of alice and kev silently, and have been astounded at the characters’ depth and realism, but this completely blows me away. i hope the devs are watching this blog, it’s a testament to the incredible work they have done and i hang on the edge of my seat waiting for each new installment to hit my rss reader.

  67. 97 Noelle June 17, 2009 at 4:00 am

    I’m not too familiar with The Sims, but I’m wondering, where else could she have spent the money. She doesnt have any bills. Are there places to buy food or toys nearby?

  68. 98 Emma June 17, 2009 at 4:22 am

    Incredible story you have written…I’m bookmarking this and checking for updates whenever I can! I just bought the Sims 3, but I haven’t installed it yet. This makes me excited :D
    Good job, again, thanks for this :)

  69. 99 Safia June 17, 2009 at 4:28 am

    Oh my God. Oh my God. I started crying after reading this last entry. You had better not be yanking my chain. This is amazing. Amazing amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  70. 100 knitpicky June 17, 2009 at 4:53 am

    Are you serious?? I’ve just read the whole story and i just cannot believe how amazing this new sims3 is. I am so mad that i dont have a desktop comp. right now! Instead of improving mine or other people’s lives with my little bit of hard earned cash, i wanna spend it all on a computer and this game and feed my obsession of the sims instead of paying bills XD XD XD XD

    awesome story by the way, following their lives like that without much intervention. i’m excited to see what comes next!

  71. 101 charlied June 17, 2009 at 5:01 am

    such a deep touching story. i can’t believe how touching a character from a video game can be.

  72. 102 Ptah70 June 17, 2009 at 5:34 am

    I think I’m about to cry.

  73. 103 lilynny June 17, 2009 at 5:45 am

    that was really sad and i can’t w8 for more simness ^^ I LOVE SIM!!!

  74. 104 Suzanne June 17, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Whenever I’m finished reading one of your blog entries, I have this strong urge to go hug my baby and tell her I love her.
    I think what’s so heartbreaking about your experiment is that there’s someone out there like this, this story is entirely possible outside of CGI.

  75. 105 Stoopidtallkid June 17, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I’m really, really hoping this story ends with Alice able to somehow find a place to live. (Which could happen in a few ways in The Sims 3, even within your self-imposed rules. Hard, but doable.)-Sean

    Maybe not that hard. 100 simoleans a day isn’t much(especially if she insists on beeing nice and all), but she can survive on nothing so far, so she should be able to save up a bit for things to make her life easier. Especially once she graduates and doesn’t have to worry about school. The fact that she can’t increase her income easily beyond that is the real issue.

  76. 108 CoolHandNuke June 17, 2009 at 7:02 am

    It means you’re reading WAY too much into this game. Though I do like the idea of using your living plot as something other than a house, I might explore that myself when I start a new game.

  77. 109 Kurgan Nazzir June 17, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Still a great story to read. I blogged about it and posted a link so my family and friends could read it also. Your story made my eldest brother, who got me addicted to the original Sims, buy Sims 3 and now he’s addicted all over again. I wish I was good at storytelling for my Sims characters. Keep up the great work!

  78. 110 crma June 17, 2009 at 7:58 am

    What is wrong with reading into the sims3 and making a story out of it? I’m sure they didn’t go through all of the trouble of programming angles, video, snapshots, etc if they didn’t expect people to enjoy & share it.

    Please keep going with this!

    It is great that you can let your Sims go with out direction or control and they can take care of them selves. Sims3 is a wonderful game with endless play styles.

    Awesome job!

  79. 111 shaun June 17, 2009 at 8:15 am

    holy crap, that post

  80. 112 ThinkPink June 17, 2009 at 8:53 am

    WOW! I honestly didn’t see that coming… Alice is my hero!

  81. 113 HAB June 17, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Alice is amazing. The only thing she has, just given away…

  82. 114 Will June 17, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    This… Is one of the most touching things I’ve ever seen. Wow…. I’ve never given Sims much credit, but this was a truly deep moment….
    *is reevaluating his own life now as well*
    *~t3h C.

  83. 115 cyrozap June 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Nigerian money scam?!?!

  84. 116 Nick June 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    omg that is just amazing!

  85. 117 Suzanne June 17, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    WOW! This story is awesome. I think that Alice is going to become a wonderful ?person?, becuase of her strugles.

  86. 118 scum2k1 June 17, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Absolutely gut-wrenching update. Quite an amazing twist too. Please keep up the great material!

  87. 119 Caroline June 17, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Heartbreaking. I’m so inspired.

  88. 121 Lyndse June 18, 2009 at 5:27 am

    This is my favorite post so far. :)

  89. 122 E. Weiskott June 18, 2009 at 6:25 am

    This is such an imaginative inter-genre! Go team go.

  90. 123 Eddie June 18, 2009 at 6:31 am

    Wow, awesome story. The selflessness wish is incredible, I’m very glad you let her do it. I hope she gets some good karma from it in the future.

    I was going to suggest a future for her, but I’d rather read the one that she finds for herself. :)

  91. 124 knatchwa June 18, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Throughout reading this tale and reading through the comments I am surely impressed with it’s impact and putting it together in easy to digest bites makes it all that much better, and the wonder of letting the game play itself in a sense. Makes me wonder if the AI or the lines of code has been improved.

    The story continues to build and takes some interesting spins making it all that much more interesting to share. In taking the time to write this out, it will be forever available for how many generations to come … keep up the good work, this is a good story and to see some of the graphical differences and the narration of a sort improves it immensely.

  92. 125 AspirinBee June 18, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Having been homeless myself in the past, I can definitely attest to the need to turn around and do something amazing when I have nothing.

    Even if you’re not intrinsically GOOD, you get to a point in such a situation where you feel that you need to do something, for someone, ANYONE, be it an avenue for your guilt or restlessness, a hope that karma will smile on your choice and reward you, or simply because you have no need for what you give and know that someone in the world DOES need it. It’s an admirable thing to do regardless of your motive, and your motive is between you and whoever you feel is judging you. Alice knows she can get by, and has accepted her job only to achieve her wish for an A-grade. A paycheck has no real place in her living situation or her aspirations, but she knows it is much needed elsewhere.

    To those of you saying “it’s just a game and a programmed character response,” you’re forgetting a key element of human nature that differentiates us from most other living species: willful suspension of disbelief. It’s what makes your favorite movies enjoyable, your favorite music inspiring or energizing, and what made your childhoods a completely different set of worlds that you’re probably now convinced you can never get back to. Video game creators rely on that trait to bolster their programming and turn a set of pixels into a person we can admire, desire, or even relate to. Please allow those of us with compassion and/or imaginations to glean what we want from this blog without ridicule.

    Never let go of what makes you a thinking, evolving being. We have too much potential to let ourselves be caught in an acceptable routine where imagining the best in something like this is frowned upon.

    • 126 Jen June 18, 2009 at 2:37 pm

      Very well said, AspirinBee. Robin’s story may be inspired by a computer game, but it’s still a story, and what’s wrong with a story making people think?

    • 127 Alana June 20, 2009 at 4:14 am

      I agree with you, AspirinBee. Obviously, the Sims is not capable of simulating all the depth of humanity. Games, even more than other forms of entertainment, allow you to imagine being part of another world. It’s another way we can be part of telling a story. The lessons learned could be powerful, regardless of why they happen, because of our own interaction with those stories. It’s the connections we form that make us human.

  93. 128 Max June 18, 2009 at 11:48 am

    I must say, this is simply amazing. I just had to commend you on your work on this blog. Games these days have an unexpected but welcome depth to them.

  94. 129 Whitney June 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    That’s so sad. Even though she is a Sim, you can’t help but feel bad for her. All through this story, it’s so easy to relate to Alice. She is an amazingly kind-hearted girl. She’s more human than some people in the world. It’s so sad :'(

  95. 130 Bhazor June 18, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    That’s just great.

    Another digital woman giving me an inferiority complex.

  96. 131 cowboy June 18, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I did not cry after reading this. But I came so very damn close :(

  97. 132 Prokofy Neva June 18, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    I think it means that didacticism woven into social media and new games is still didacticism and still not art?

  98. 133 jen500x June 19, 2009 at 6:42 am

    wow this is the first time after following ur story
    that i was so shock to leave a reply

    wooahh unbelievable

    i played sim city and a weebit of sim family or party thats why ur story caught my attention

  99. 134 The_Void June 19, 2009 at 10:35 am

    I think this entry made me cry a little.

  100. 135 E. Weiskott June 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    This is absurdly moving. AspirinBee said it well. Tearing up here!

  101. 136 Hollis June 19, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    I actually cried a little.

  102. 137 jprinceab June 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    The ending half seriously sounded like a sollege essay… seriously

  103. 139 Devin June 20, 2009 at 1:38 am

    This. This right here made me go and buy Sims 3.

  104. 141 sims3obsessed June 20, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Wow, this is amazing! Donating money to charity is a great thing, and she is an awesome character to do so, even though she herself could probably use some money for a home and food. I love this, and I was just sent the link on facebook. Please write more, and I’m thinking of making a sims 3 blog now! Well, I have to go, but please make more!

  105. 142 Ernest June 21, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Terrific Post!

  106. 143 Sims3_Fan_27 June 22, 2009 at 3:37 am

    That was awesome – Alice is so nice …. are you sure she doesn’t have that trait?

  107. 144 Renee June 24, 2009 at 7:57 am

    That is amazing, despite a life that would make many bitter and angry Alice takes the first money she has ever earned and gives it to those less fortunate than her. I’m stunned!!!!!!!! Way to make You think about your own choices.

  108. 145 Nicci June 24, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I cried when I read this. One can make all of the excuses for “why” she did it all day long: game design, unlucky trait, fictional character, etc. But at the end of the day, charity is charity. I think that this kind of selflessness is something humans need to exhibit on a more daily basis.

  109. 146 jomedina June 25, 2009 at 2:56 am

    nawww wow…

  110. 147 Nny June 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Haha, you’re bloody brilliant, I’ve never done anything for charity in my life, But i’m starting now.

  111. 148 Panther00567 June 25, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Woot Alice! :)

  112. 149 haleY June 26, 2009 at 3:51 am

    that’s sweet of her :) still, people in her situation need to be less altruistic and more oppurtunistic.

  113. 150 airman June 27, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I would have preferred that she keep the money. It would be interesting to see what Alice would be like once she grows up to be a (more) successful adult, you know?

  114. 151 YanYan June 28, 2009 at 4:54 am

    Did she really come up with that wish on her own? You made me cry again. Maybe I;m just having an emotional day? But this is rare.

  115. 152 video games June 28, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Wow. That is so amazing. I think you get more meaning out of the Sims if you play it this way as opposed to the actual getting a job BS..

  116. 153 Azalea_Sway June 30, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Now THAT moved me. Even though she’s practically penniless, she was willing enough to donate to charity. I say, she is a great role model.

  117. 154 Koumamo July 10, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Woah, she really make you see your life in a new light.

  118. 155 Sanzel July 11, 2009 at 2:26 am

    What a wonderful young lady Alice is!

  119. 157 Nata July 16, 2009 at 4:00 am

    Great storytelling, Robert. This is the best part of Alice’s journey.

  120. 158 Raine July 21, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh.
    I’m speechless.

  121. 159 Pink Urinal July 22, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Aww awesome. I can’t stop reading!
    Alice have a pure heart, and it’s really awesome.

  122. 160 cartoonfansparadise August 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Aww! Alice’s good trait is kicking in [:

  123. 161 Meshakhad August 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    …you know what? That fits my definition of a hero – taking great personal risk to help others. That money could have assured Alice that she would have something to eat next weekend. She is putting herself at risk of starvation in order to help others.

  124. 162 Dan August 13, 2009 at 12:38 am

    I don’t believe this part lol

  125. 163 Lennina August 19, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Maybe she believed in karma :3

    she’s so cute *-*

  126. 164 Mingus August 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    This is incredible.
    Poor people, I totally agree re being hesitant about money to charity, great cause but isn’t life bad enough for those on the bottom?
    These characters feel so real, your brilliant.
    Recommend you read a tiny bit about descriptive writing and characterisation none the less, that’ll help :)
    Loving the pictures

  127. 165 ShelbyLynne October 13, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Wow… I really almost started crying…

  128. 166 Carson November 21, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Ahw! Three cheers for Alice! Good for her for helping other people ^-^ Very proud of her, hahaha.

  129. 167 Anonymous December 1, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Having been homeless and at the end of my rope before — me and my parents working late, long, hard shifts for barely enough money for food, constantly being exhausted and feeling shunned by everyone, only to come back to a home that is nothing more than a small tent in a park — this story really touches me. Even though it’s from “just a game”, it still makes me misty-eyed and I feel a great deal of empathy for the characters (I think a lot of this is also the enhanced, expressive graphics of the game over the previous two, as well as the good writing to go along with it, of course).

    This passage in particular, of Alice taking that hard-earned money and giving to charity…

    I don’t know. It makes me want to cry, it’s just so unbelievably sweet and moving.

  130. 168 Asmaa December 30, 2009 at 5:57 am

    This really made me tear somehow..

  131. 169 Sam April 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I just hope Kev doesn’t catch wind of this! O_O

  132. 170 Jess May 8, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Awww, Alice is such a sweet girl. =-(

  133. 171 Kevin September 1, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Wow… that is quite the lesson, taught to us by a computer game. No matter how bad we may think we are, we can always give, and it will always make both parties better off.

  134. 172 Katie October 26, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Blessed is he that considerth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. – Psalm 41:1, 2

  135. 173 Rachel December 14, 2010 at 12:35 am

    To think that a Sim could be more human than many actual human beings and even myself. This is powerful.

  136. 174 vic February 12, 2011 at 9:05 am

    man, you really made me think for a second that Alice was becoming bitter, or evil, and that she wanted to do something nasty. you’re such a good writer like that! i love this story

  137. 175 Bob April 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    You know, for a few lines of code and save states, Alice’s story is very heart-wrenching. Props to you for managing to do that. Rarely do I actually get caught up in these sorts of things.

  138. 176 Kayla May 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Wow. I’m at a lost of words :'( *sniffles*


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About Me

My name is Robin Burkinshaw, and I am a student of games design in the UK. I am also known in some places as roBurky.
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© 2009 Robin Burkinshaw

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