The Cosmic Significance of the ‘Rosebud;!’ Cheat Code

The short-sightedness of wanting more.

Taylor Foreman

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My brother and I played The Sims on a computer running Windows 95.

We built fancy houses, installed fire alarms, and laughed at the foibles of the babbling virtual people. When he went to bed, I even dared to flirt with the ridiculously seductive Bella Goth:

One day, he taught me the “Rosebud;!” cheat code like it was a drug deal. “This will get you unlimited money, man. There’s no catch, I swear.”

Of course, the catch was that it drained the game of all meaning.

Unlimited resources transform complex virtual lives into pointless colored pixels. Realizing this at the age of 12 gave me PTSD.

Unfortunately, fun in The Sims does not correspond with how many simoleons you have in the bank. Although your explicit goal is accumulating more money, status, and fuller “spirit bars,” the good time is in the upward struggle. Or… well, not.

This cosmic wisdom has been around (at least) since the ’90s. Despite that, if real life had a “Rosebud;!” cheat code, you would smash it without blinking an eye. I know I would.

Why?

To answer that, let’s return to a time even before the ’90s. The Ancient Romans used to tell a creation story that was remarkably similar to The Sims. Let’s make a pretentious comparison, shall we?

At the dawn of time, a girl named “Sorge” (which translates to “Concern” in German, from Heidegger’s translation of the original Latin) skipped along a river. She squatted at the bank to make a figurine out of clay. She cackled with delight at her creation, posing the legs and using her own voice to make it talk. After a while, she wished it had its own spirit. Maybe then it would do something surprising…. She called for Jupiter. Jupiter, God of Spirit, imbued the doll with life. However, he demanded the

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Taylor Foreman

Essays bridging mythic meaning and the modern world. Click here to have them appear in your inbox some Saturday mornings --> https://www.taylorforeman.com/