So I’ve become addicted to a ridiculous phone game my sister introduced me to called BitLife. It’s like Sims, except you don’t see your character, or any characters, for that matter. There are no images in the game; it’s all driven by words that end up looking like an essay you wrote. The game progresses by taking actions in the form of buttons and by reacting to prompts the game throws at you, and the results of your actions are written down on the screen.
It sounds kind of weird, right? It is different, but it’s also been thought-provoking for several reasons.
I find it unique to the gaming world that you are unable to choose your character when you are “born.” Instead, your character is assigned to you. Your character includes your nationality, measure of attractiveness, intelligence, health, and happiness. You are also assigned parents with their own sets of these qualities as well as occupations, money, and generosity levels.
Sometimes my character is not born with the “easiest” circumstances. One time, one parent died when my character was a child, and the other parent was working a menial job and thus couldn’t support my character through college. Another time my character wasn’t “smart enough” to attend a University right away, despite how much they studied.
Then, with these inherent qualities, you make choices. You also have to react to opportunities that are presented to you, akin to reality.
For the most part, I want my characters to lead a successful life, but I don’t always make the “right” choices. One character came across a suitcase full of cannabis, and I decided that my character would sell it. My character gained a couple of grand by doing that without any repercussions. Another time though, when I was trying to find a different character a better job, my character got fired for applying to other companies.
The most successful character I had was surprisingly a professional pornstar and porn director. She had a graduate degree in computer science but pursued porn anyway. She had five kids, one of them from a hookup or a boyfriend, and the rest were from her husband of over twenty years. Her net worth was well over $62 million (the porn company paid quite well and she invested her money well). When her husband died, she remarried at 94. She had three grandkids when she died at 98 from old- age.
My least successful character went to business school but was imprisoned for 34 years in total from drug trafficking. When she got out, she was only able to work as a roadkill remover due to her criminal record. She ended up being reimprisoned and dying in prison at the age of 82, and no one attended her funeral.
Ultimately, this game has inspired me to look a little deeper at the choices that I’ve made thus far while considering the qualities and circumstances that I am born with and born into. Life is not perfect for me, but it is good, so what am I going to do about it? What decisions am I going to make to move forward and to grow? Life is a game just like BitLife, but it takes a little longer than an hour to reach the end.
Do you play BitLife? Let me know your thoughts about it!