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January 2009
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Holy Sims: A Nativity Bug

I’m basically done playing The Sims 2 (website) not because I’ve stopped liking it (I could never stop liking it) but because I have a lot to do lately and I’m taking a break from this type of game until the release of The Sims 3 (website).  But just as I was preparing to quit the game and shut down Windows for a while, I found the strangest bug yet: virgin birth.

When I decided my sims were ready to reproduce and continue a very long legacy, the “Try for Baby” action got interrupted.  But I heard the chimes that always indicate a sim just got pregnant, while the sim-wife stood confused in her bedroom.  Her husband was in the garage painting.

For people less familiar (or not familiar) with The Sims, the only way to get pregnant is the “Try for Baby with…” interaction (or, get abducted by aliens).  You can “Try for Baby” while two sims are relaxing in bed, next to each other in a hot tub, in a car, on a park bench, or sitting in a sauna.  You can also “Try for Baby” by clicking on a hammock, elevator or closet.  For those three, the sims do not both already have to be interacting with the object, so it’s the easier way to do it (unlike real life).  When you choose this option, but sims get into the closet (or whatever), there’s some rattling and some sparks, and the sims come back out.

One difference I have noticed with the different places that sims can “Try for Baby” is that the success rate is much lower in the closet or elevator than in the bed.  The bed has maybe a 1-in-3 chance, and the closet might take a dozen tries.  These aren’t scientifically-researched numbers, but it always seems to go that way.  Still, the closet is the easy way because there’s no set-up to get the sims ready to try again if it fails.

So on this particular day, while the sim-husband was painting in the garage, I selected the wife-sim, clicked the closet, and clicked “Try for Baby”.  For the record, these sims live in an apartment.  I’m not sure if that’s related to the bug.  I also had the game speed turned up, which caused the actions to cancel quickly.  The “Try for Baby” action ended before I could stop the sim-husband painting.  The sim-wife never entered the closet.  In fact, she looked a little confused standing next to it.  I watched the “Try for Baby” action disappear from her action queue.

And then I heard the distinct chimes that indicate pregnancy.

Sure enough, the next day, her belly bulged out.  Four sim-days later, she had a new baby boy.

I was going to name him Jesus, but I hit another bug: I pressed enter instead of typing the name, and now his name is “Baby boy”.  You’d think they’d stop you from submitting the default value, since you can’t rename sims later.

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