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!
My lullaby is her soft breathing as she soundly sleeps..I cocoon myself tightly in the bed sheets, wishing she was here taco-ed in my bed with me. I close my eyes and imagine how’d she lay..her body would be sprawled on top of me, with my chest used as a pillow for her soft right cheek…
Through the line, I hear her breathing stop for a moment..the sound of the line crackling bursts in my ears. I hold my breath for a minute…and then finally her breathing is all I hear.
I release the breath I’ve been holding, and meditate to her quick, quiet breaths. It’s late, I should also be sleeping…it’s late, I should also be dreaming.
But it’s hard to sleep when there’s a painful dagger in your chest, the same chest on which the beautiful angel rests. I close my eyes, fighting the urge to cry.
It’s late, I should really just go to sleep…it’s late, I should just turn off my mind and let my subconscious overtake me.
My consciousness, however, remains..it replays the nightmarish events from earlier that day. The disappointment, the mistakes..the misunderstandings…and although it all feels scary, my greatest fear is of me pushing her away…the thought of her leaving restarts the pain.
Instead of counting sheep, I count the breaths she takes while she sleeps…it helps numb the pain from the dagger that is stuck in me.
It’s late, and eventually my eyes flutter close..it’s late, and eventually my dreams take control..but it’s too late to undo the nightmare I’ve created in my home.
© 2014 Vic Romero
I’m the only one awake in this undesirable reality while she is dreaming peacefully sleeping I wish I could go there easily but I can rarely sleep I’m an insomniac maybe I’m negative maybe I’m depressed maybe and she constantly tells me I’m insane a pain for her brain and so she sleeps to rid herself of the fucked up reality I always mention I always speak and it’s okay I guess, it’s expected because she’s Sleeping fucking Beauty and one day maybe the princess will be (preferably consensually) kissed on her perfect fucking pink lips by some piece of shit prince and awoken from her beautiful dreams of an ideal reality, permanently…maybe but hopefully not.
© 2014 Vic Romero
*image from Google