So apparently, SimCity came out with a new game, and I don’t know why I haven’t heard about it until today (at the time of writing this, it’s Friday and I’m waiting for my car to be done with changing its oil). SimCity is another favorite time-waster of mine. Though, considering how expensive games are, it’s probably more than I want to spend. Besides, I have other time-wasters in my life.
I only found out about new SimCity, though, because of complaints (through a post on Buzzfeed — another great time-waster). EA, I guess, had an option to play online or something along those lines. But, there were so many people who tried to log on, it crashed EA’s servers, so they got rid of the online play and decided to not offer a refund to those who were upset (or maybe bought the game because of that option).
Anyway, I don’t know exactly how old I was, when it comes to today’s confession. I want to say it happened in South Carolina, but that seems way too young (6th grade?). So it must’ve happen between 7th-10th grade which puts me in Santa Barbara, because I almost certain that this did not take place in Hawaii. And, I’m inclined to think that this was during jr. high, because — like all jr. high boys– I was a punk.
One day, I found myself in the school’s computer lab …hmm… maybe this was in high school… oh shoot… you know what? I don’t think I’d be too surprised if this actually took place at the University of Hawaii, which then makes me look really bad… but I digress. The point is, I was in the school’s computer lab and all the computers had games on them, one of them being SimCity. Somebody had saved a game on the computer that I was on, so I opened it to see what their creation looked like.
And, my oh my, this person had spent an enormous amount of time working on their city. It was really, really well built. I’ve never seen any SimCity like it. It almost looked like it was a default city that came with the game. But it wasn’t. It was more elaborate. More personal. There was sense to this city. A theme. Someone put their love into this. Trains. Airports. Bus stations. Sky scrapers. Buildings after buildings. It was as elaborate as New York City. I mean, I could’ve never had the patience to build such a city. There were no complaints from the citizens. Everything was running smoothly. It was a utopia. A futuristic utopia.
Now, one of the most fun parts of playing SimCity is the fact that you, as the creator of the city — as a god of some sort — can giveth and taketh away. And you taketh away through things like natural disasters and monsters and aliens. Earthquakes. Fires. Tornados. UFO attacks/invasions. And a Godzilla type of monster/dinosaur.
Can you tell where this is going?
I sat there looking at this person’s creation and I couldn’t help but think, “What would the people do if, let’s say, a UFO came down and started attacking them?”
The question did not remain rhetorical for long.
I sent a UFO invasion. And then another one. And then another. Then I sent Godzilla. Again. And again. Then there were tornados. And fires. And more UFO attacks. And more Godzilla. More tornados.
Until Every. Created. Thing. Was. Burnt. To. The. Ground.
In The Dark Knight, Alfred tells Bruce, “Some men just like to watch the world burn.”
I believe, on that day, I fell into that category.
It’s one thing to destroy the city you built and worked on. But, man oh man, was there a great, deep sense of satisfaction in destroying someone else’s work. With flying saucers and Godzillas.
I mean seriously. I was so giddy. So satisfied. It felt so good to be so wrong. So much so, I started looking at other computers in the lab to see if anyone else had a city saved on that computer. It was such a high, I wanted it to keep going.
No one else really did. I mean there were a few, but it wasn’t worth destroying. It was like one building. Or the start of a floor plan or something. No satisfaction in destroying something so little. It was unworthy of my attention.
But, hold on. The story doesn’t end there. It gets worse. How you say?
So I returned to the computer, looking at the great destruction that I had created (caused). That was a work of art too. It wasn’t easy sending attack after attack and natural disaster after natural disaster. It took a lot of mouse pointing and clicking. I mean, the entire city was destroyed. Burnt to the ground.
I could’ve simply walked away and called it a day. But. I had to let someone know what force of destruction I was. I had to send the message that I am some sort of destroyer; that I am Chaos. That I like to watch the world burn.
Sooooo…. I saved the game. Yea. Saved it, so that the next time this person went on this computer to continue working on his/her city, s/he would find, not the utopia they left behind, but their city in complete and utter ruin.
Only a smidgen of me felt bad. My Jiminy Cricket was on vacation that day, or something. The majority of me felt smug. And proud. And accomplished. “I wish I could see his face when he opens up his game,” I thought to myself as I was leaving the computer lab. (I don’t even know why I was there in the first place.)
I have no idea what came over me that day. It was a huge jerky thing to do.
And if I could, I would apologize to the person whose work I destroyed.
However… I cannot tell a lie… I think I would do the same thing if I found myself in a public computer like I did that day, years ago.
But, this time. I wouldn’t save the destruction. Or at least I don’t think I would…