This is a like a video game version of The DaVinci Code. The more you read, the more it makes sense. And the sadder you’ll become.
Then read this and get really sad. (Note that there are multiple chapters):
The idea, here, is that The Sims Social is rife with sticky walls and mental fly-paper, trying to keep you staring at the world until you become so accustomed to its face itâ€™s the same as being in love: youâ€™re staring at your guy making nachos, or writing blog posts, because the game has attached this mammoth importance to making more money, to moving up in the world, to buying new furniture, and here it is giving you a fifty-percent bonus. Youâ€™re trapped, whether youâ€™re actively â€œenjoyingâ€ yourself or not. Youâ€™re â€œdoing it correctlyâ€, and the game is rewarding you, and itâ€™s easier than pressing the right buttons with the right timing in Rock Band, and all it required was a little sleight-of-brain. You feel good about yourself. You look at this cartoon world long enough, and something of an Inverse Pavlov happens. Your brain begins to know that you are â€œenjoyingâ€ yourself, even if you hate this insipid thing. In spite of a love-shaped hole in the center of your spirit re: this electronic monster, you will not turn away.
The game is a Chinese finger trap of the mind: soon you realize that inspiration is free, which, in economics terms, means that the inflated value of single-energy-point actions when â€œinspiredâ€ is not a â€œbonusâ€ or a â€œmaximumâ€ value â€” itâ€™s the baseline; itâ€™s the â€œminimumâ€. Once you grasp that your character can be made inspired with a little flick of the gameâ€™s mechanics, youâ€™ll never want to do money-earning actions without being inspired â€” and if you do (and this is the important part!) youâ€™ll feel lazy.