The Relationship Observation
June 6, 2009, 05:47 pm
After careful perusal and appraisal, Sheldon finally decides to purchase The Sims 3.
Those half-trained goblins on GameSpot had given the game a nine-point-seven rating, and though he doesn't often deign to consult plebian opinions, he has to admit that the graphics have significantly improved over the previous installment. Apparently even monkeys masquerading as programmers have a smidgen of talent.
After noting the addition of a "genius" trait (and snorting at the soon-to-be too-oft application of the term), Sheldon frees the requisite $49.99 plus tax from his cleverly labeled Can of Worms, and triple-knocks Penny's door for a ride to the nearest available vendor en route to pick up her Little Thai take-out.
Still June 6, 07:59 pm
The food still pleasantly tingly on the tip of his tongue, Sheldon methodically slits open the box, takes out the instruction manual for the game, and begins to read. Penny's already relieved him of the actual CD and case, and is babbling on about how excited she is to see new crazy Sim antics (she had the original and OMG LOVED IT), and whether he'll keep to the canon 'ships of Battlestar, or whether he'd like to expand his horizons with her preferred pairings Of Awesome. He looks up from calculating the amount of space left on his laptop and deciding which RPGs to uninstall; she's smiling at his incredulity of her spirit-of-the-canon approach to fandom. Amateur.
And as if "pairings" and "'ships" weren't just distractions.
He tells her no, that the subject of his experimentations would be real human relationships, though admittedly they would be simplistic versions limited by the parameters of the game—
"Real human relationships? As in, us?" She gestures at the slouching Leonard, the leering Wolowitz, the mute Koothrappali.
"Of course. We have a relationship, do we not?"
"Uh…yes. Of course."
He resumes reading this inane booklet. He already knows most of the information it contains, but it's the consumer's responsibility to read all enclosed information, just in case. And it's a habit.
She's quiet as he finishes the warranty information and the three others start a two-sided conversation.
"Sheldon," she whispers.
"Can I make my own Sim?"
"I believe you are fully capable of performing such a task, Penny, however, if you feel underqualified I have the booklet here."
"May I make my own Sim?"
He looks at the others.
"Yes, but do not let the others see. They may become envious of my preferential treatment. Of course, they did not present me with a napkin signed by Leonard Nemoy for Saturnalia, but—"
She rolls her eyes but smiles brilliantly and gives him an awkward pat on the arm as a thank you.
He smiles back unconsciously, then returns to his invisible calculations.
Adieu for now, KotOR II.
June 7, 10:02 am
Penny's so excited that she breaks her own eleven o'clock rule, then apologizes for barging in so early. (He's been up since 6:30.)
Leonard's out of the apartment for some inconsequential reason, so the timing is ideal. She crafts herself expertly, and has a surprisingly balanced self-perception; she chooses "ambitious", "good", "slob", "great sense of humor", and "friendly" for her personality. He snorts at the latter, remembering shrieks and split lips and dead hookers, and changes it to "flirty." She acquiesces, remembering her black eye, and then thinks better of "great sense of humor." She's now a "hopeless romantic."
She sits back, proud of her blonde, green-eyed virtual self (product of a good ten minutes of effort—if only creating actual people was this easy).
"Congratulations, Penny", he says. "Your Sim appears humanoid."
She shoots a look at him from her perch next to his Spot, but he seems sincere.
He then meticulously creates himself, Leonard, Raj, and Howard, and places all five Sims in the same large building. (For ease of interaction, he says.)
She's surprised to see that he listed each of the four as "genius."
He's about to move on with setting up their Simulated lives, when she laughs, grabs the laptop over his protests, and adds a fifth trait to his Sim: "good kisser." She saves, is given a strike. She doesn't care—it's partially a joke, because, um, it's Sheldon, but for some reason she has this strange inkling that, given his intensity in everything else in his life, he's an amazing kisser. Okay, it's still mostly a joke, but whatever.
Still June 7, 12 noon
She's allowed to stay and watch as he creates a near-exact replica of each real-life person's apartment/room so each has his or her own suite in their pseudo-apartment building. Okay, so intense is a bit of an understatement. Penny thinks these Sims people went a bit overboard with the ability to customize nearly everything. Still, it makes Sheldon happy (is that the right word?) and she must admit, she hasn't seen her room that clean in a while. Or ever.
Anyway, what diverts her next is that Sheldon turns on the Free Will after completing everything to his OCD's content, and then just watches. He pauses the game for a minute, but that's just to get a spiral and a pen. Then he takes notes.
"What are you doing? The whole point is to play and make them do crazy stuff! I mean, they'll do crazy stuff on their own, but—"
"Penny, Penny, Penny."
"What, what, what."
"How can I observe (admittedly simplistic) human behavior properly if I'm controlling it? The mere thought breaks the most basic principle of the scientific method!"
"Yes, Stu the Cockatoo is New at the Zoo was woefully inadequate. I'm attempting to discover human patterns…"
He blathers on.
Learning from The Sims? She just liked Sim intrigue and funny, random pictures in speech bubbles and making them go swimming, then removing the ladders!
June 10, 6:24 pm
Of course Sim!Penny and Sim!Leonard get along famously. He's already in love with her, though she just as this slight inclination. Sim!Penny is surprising RealLife!Sheldon. She's obtained the most intermediate goals (second only to himself), but that's because he actually plays the game sometimes, though Penny doesn't know this. He weighs Sim!Penny's decisions carefully, and he's on the verge of amazement at what she's accomplished on her way to becoming a Renaissance Sim. It almost makes him want to show her this virtual life, say, here, look at what you can do.
June 21, 5:59 pm
He's neglected the Cooper Household Sims for a while now, instead focusing on crossovers.
He checks back on wunderkind Sim!Penny, and sees her very, very pregnant.
They're in love.
He looks above his screen, scanning the empty apartment as if looking for answers that, suddenly, his own wunderkind brain cannot procure.
Outside, Penny knocks triple-Sheldons on the door.