A couple months after the release of the The Sims 2, users of a forum created for the series were being harassed by an anonymous member who would message them privately. No one replied, thinking it was just a troll. Until, of course, I created an account and decided to respond.
After receiving the insult, I was offended and responded by asking “Why are you insulting me? I’m new to this.” The next day, I received a message that said “Just being a fan of this atrocity makes you a bad person. “ I was surprised and decided to ask for the users e-mail to discuss their reasoning. Instead, the user insisted I give mine, saying “I have something that will surely amaze you.” It took a while, but I gave in. Two days after, I received a strange message that said “I apologize for taking so long but here is the explanation to why I say The Sims is an abomination.”
In the message, there were two word documents that were labeled “Experiment One,” and “Experiment Two and Three.” The third document was labeled “Letter to my old colleague from the laboratory and his reply.”
I opened Experiment One.
Experimental Simulation of a Commoners Life: This experiment consists of obtaining various families and placing them in their individual houses to observe their behavior day-after-day.
When the experiment was first proposed, most didn’t want to partake, and I don’t blame them. Even though the simulation had working facilities and resources—there were even trees and plants, though I don’t know how they made this all possible—privacy was stripped from the subjects. Each house was filled with cameras and was to be under the surveillance of a scientist. There were speakers in every corner of the house to which the scientists could communicate. Microphones were placed in all spaces so that everything could be heard (some were even placed in plant decorations).
We had permission of the government, and we had various scientists on the job—one of them being me. I had no other option. The job paid well. I would have preferred to work with animal carcasses than on this experiment but, in the end, a job is a job.
We went from door to door, pitching the positions to families. They were hostile towards us. They would insult us or make obscene gestures. Clearly, we could see that no one wanted to participate in this absurd experiment. We figured that would convince them to quit, but the reaction was an extreme opposite.
By morning, five families were abducted and placed into their own simulation house. Upon waking in their assigned home, the families panicked and ran outside, trying to find an escape. Everything that seemed like a wall of plants was covering a metal barrier. The people tried to claw their way out, kicked and even threw stones. Suddenly, the supervisor of the experiment took a microphone and through the speakers around the enclosure, he said “Do not be afraid. You have been selected for this small experiment. All you have to do is live as you normally would.” He told them we would be in charge of their diets, education and house-hold services. Upon hearing this, the people began to insult and threaten him. After the scene, our boss told us to take a week off before we started the experiment. That “they would have calmed down by then.”
Our week was over. They had us sign a contract pledging silence about the experiment. I lied to my wife and said we were testing on animals. I’ve never lied to her, but I was afraid something would happen to my family. Now involved with these dangerous people, I had no other choice but to observe; do my job.
When we checked on the families—after having left them for the week—we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. The houses were a mess. All the furniture had been torn, and the families were accumulating tanks of gas on the metal barrier to cause an explosion and create an escape. When we alerted our boss, he flooded the enclosure with gas. It put the families to sleep.
Through the monitors, we watched as the gas cleared and a group of people walked in. They replaced the furniture and food and moved the people back into their homes. I asked my boss if we were going to do this every time they had worn their resources. He smiled at me and said “exactly.” I turned my attention to the monitors once more and saw the same group installing a metallic crystal to the ceiling of each home. On the roof, they installed a larger one. I turned to my boss and asked what they were. He said they were objects to ensure the obedience of the subjects if they were to refuse or be ungrateful of the wonderful life they were being offered. As I listened, I watched them install collars on them. Our boss explained that these apparatus would allow us to torture the subjects with an electric shock if they were to disobey. We were to do so until they complied or until their death—whichever happened first. After hearing this, I became furious and angrily said that this was inhumane. My boss said that the subjects brought this upon themselves by being ungrateful to the people who only ask one thing of them. He continued to say “It’s like with god. He gives us so much, and how do we repay him? We repay him by being hypocrites and bad people. I don’t want to make that same mistake.” After hearing this, I concluded that he believed himself to be a god. I was so close to quitting, but I was afraid of this maniac and what he would do to me and my family. I didn’t want us to fall to the same fate as these poor people.
We were each assigned a house to observe. We had to control them; tell them where to go, what to do and what not to do. If they resisted, we were to punish them or kill them. Hearing this in my division, I protested saying that this was not the initial project. We were supposed to observe them not control them as if they were animals or marionettes. Our supervisor said that if it didn’t sit well with me, I could leave but that I should consider the risks in opening my mouth. Luckily, I found a co-worker who thought like me and was afraid to quit. We were so different from the others who were fascinated by the new system. They enjoyed making the women dance in the nude, and though some subjects were obedient, they would torture them for fun.
We tried to reason with the family in our charge, so they would follow our orders. It broke my heart to watch the mother cry over the possibility that her children would be tortured next, fearing that the experimenters would torture them to death like they had done to a few others. I tried to convince the family in my charge to trust me, but their fear that I would be just like the other experimenters was greater. I still remember what one of the women told me. She said, “How can I trust somebody who holds me captive like an animal?”
Two months after that, they committed suicide. We left the monitor running as we took our break. When we returned, we played the footage back and saw that the woman had killed her son with a knife. She killed herself after and died with the knife in her hand. The husband was left standing in another room, crying, with a knife in his hands. This happened several times with the other families. In one home, the mother and father committed suicide and their child was left alone.
Our boss told us that he was going to attempt something new, with new people. I was overjoyed to hear the news, thinking he was going to release the families we still had captive, but suddenly, I heard the boss say “Kill all the subjects that still live.” I was furious but as I was about to speak, my colleague stood and said “It isn’t fair to kill the survivors! We should let them go—and if you’re afraid they’ll talk, a-at least let the children go. Put them in an orphanage! No one will believe them. With time, they’ll forget and never say anything.” The boss stood silent. I got closer to my colleague and thanked him for speaking up. Ten minutes after this, he went back to work and then I saw an armed group enter the enclosure. I rushed to my boss to try and convince him, but he wouldn’t listen. They went from house to house, shooting everyone on the head. The bodies were put into black bags. In that moment, I had the greatest urge to put a fucking collar on the boss and shock him.
After this incident, they gave us a three month break. I spent my time with my child and my wife. She noticed there was something wrong because there wasn’t a day she didn’t ask what had happened. I would answer with a kiss to her forehead and say “don’t worry.”
Our three months were over just as soon as they began. They called us back, and I felt such rage at the thought that they had abducted new people. I was a bit relieved to see my colleague again, though. He told me that he had a great time with his family.
Upon reaching the study, we realized that they had replaced all the scientists. Actually, it seemed as though we were the only returning group. The system had changed, too. They still had the huge crystals on the ceilings and roofs but the subject’s memories were erased and an apparatus was installed into their heads that would ensure a 90% obedience rate. On the contrary, if they were to resist, they would be shocked through the apparatus and die instantly. There were no more speakers. They weren’t necessary, because the subjects had a tiny speaker installed along with the apparatus through which we could communicate and give instructions to individually. Upon saying their name, immediately on our screen, we would see a smaller version of the crystal appear near the individual. This was so we would know who we were speaking to if we weren’t familiar with the subject.
When we would instruct them, they would react instantly. We could make them go to the restroom and even have sex. They were zombies…Sometimes, it would give me chills.
A month later, during break, my friend asked me to follow him. He was in a serious mood. I followed him to the control room (where everyone had their monitors and gave instructions to the families), and he walked me over to a co-worker’s screen and asked me to take a good look. I realized that he was controlling the family of a previous researcher we thought had resigned. All I could think was that I would meet the same fate if I wasn’t considered productive or I quit this investigation.
The next day, my colleague and I were called to our boss’s office. We were both scared and reluctantly went.
His office was impressive. There were screens everywhere, and in the middle of all this technology, he was sitting in his desk, with his eyes fixed on us. I asked, in a shaking voice, “Why have you called us?” He responded with “I saw that you were crowding over one of your co-worker’s monitor.” My colleague responded quickly.
"It was my fault. I couldn't help but notice, and I was surprised with what happened--"
"They deserved to be tortured in the same manner that they so enjoyed. That is their punishment. All of those who reveled in the suffering of others."
My colleague was furious.
"And? You're doing the same by holding them captive. Even worse! You've made them zombies!"
Our boss told us it was for the better of the investigation. I couldn't take it anymore and raised my voice and asked angrily "What investigation!?"
"The observation of a commoners life," he said.
I had the greatest urge to punch him right in the face but instead I resigned immediately. Instantly, our boss reminded me of my contract. Laughing, I said "Oh, don't worry. I won't say anything about your little empire of zombies and how you think you're their god."
"Say one word, and you'll regret it."
Since I left, I swear that I'm being watched. Regardless, I vowed to live a plain and happy life.
When I was finished reading those documents, I was speechless. I didn't know what to believe, so I decided to read the last document.
Letter to My Colleague and His Response:
"Hello. How much time has passed? It was difficult, finding your address, but I've finally got it! I'm sure you've heard of the new computer game The Sims. Please, I want you to buy it and try it out on your computer. Am I crazy, or is what I'm seeing true?"
My colleague's response:
“Yes, I have a copy of that game my kids are so obsessed with. And yes. You're not crazy. Everything is there. From the first families that were abducted to the very last. They are digitalized replicas. So many things happened when you left. A disaster occured in which one of the family members was instructed to cook dinner. Something went wrong in the process and the oven set fire. The flames engulfed the house and immediately set fire to the neighboring homes, and it spread throughout the enclosure. We were able to escape, but the families perished. Soon after, our boss disappeared after giving us a large sum of money for our jobs. Like you, he reminded us of the contract, using the exact same words.
You can bet he walked away with a fortune from his little experiment. Though it looks like an innocent game, you and I know the horrifying truth. But we won't be so cruel as to reveal it. Please, friend, don't ever make the mistake in doing so."
I realized he broke his promise by telling me. I tried contacting him through messages, but I got no replies. After a while, I searched for his profile. I found out that he had erased his account.
Years passed and they released The Sims 3. I purchased it immediately after its release and enjoyed it even though I had this knowledge. I soon received a message from an e-mail I didn't recognize. I was hesitant in opening it, because I was afraid of getting a virus (since it had happened before). It was from him.
"Hey, it's been a while. I'm sure you don't even remember me, but I had to tell you this. I don't have the same amount of time to explain this like before, so I'll leave it at this: Be very cautious of The Sims 3. You just can't be sure whether you're controlling or you're being controlled."
That was the last I heard of him.
It took me a while to figure out why he said that, but I got my answer...ha...And all I have to say are two things. One: Be very cautious of The Sims 3. You really don't know whether you're controlling, or it's controlling you.
And two: This will be my last post before I regroup with the first player of The Sims in this story...