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

The short-sightedness of wanting more.

James 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.

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James 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/