|The McGregors have one huge family! Being crammed into one apartment causes some chaos though. Can they get through the ups and downs of large family life?|
|Game||The Sims 2|
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The McGregor family is a family in SimVille.
Original MTS postEdit
The McGregors — Large Families Galore!
Here we go, the last non-premade family in SimVille! The heat of the school semester is on and I'm battling with my schedule to find time to do the things I want to do. But between working, attending lectures, commuting, and wishing I wasn't procrastinating on work, perhaps I'll dabble with my SimVille fanon some more.
So, here comes a family that, like many others, initially started off with little to no background. The main purpose of this family was to see how I could manage a large 7 Sim family in an apartment. A noble challenge, yes, but I cheated a little too often by turning free will off. Okay, maybe I cheated a lot... maxMotives came in real handy here! Still, while I seem rarely inclined to play with the McGregors these days, when I do they remind me of the challenges that large families—both in the virtual and the real worlds—face.
The McGregors have one huge family! Being crammed into one apartment causes some chaos though. Can they get through the ups and downs of large family life?
Despite their large size, the McGregor matriarchs and patriarchs are both family Sims, and having a huge family is what they've always dreamed of. They also have one thing going for them: Sim kids don't spam their parents with nearly as many attention-seeking requests as real life kids do; that burden goes on you, the player! As someone who's worked with kids before, I can tell you that they sure can tire you out. With a family the size of the McGregors, most parents would probably reconsider even congratulating people with children, but the McGregors get along just fine... mostly because all of the tiring burden gets placed on me. But hey, "cast your burdens on the Lord", right?[n 1] If I'm the "God" of my Sims, then surely they rightfully depend on me!
So many kids, so little time. When Sherman's not dealing with children, he's sleeping.
It's not uncommon to see school teachers having kids of their own, and goodness, how tired they must be! Sherman works as a Teacher's Aide in the Education career, but he may as well be a classroom slave. Dodging spitballs, wiping the chalkboard between lessons, getting gum off the bottom of desks... surely this has nothing to do with teaching! But Sherman's eyeing a proper, permanent teaching position, and he's going to have to climb up the ladder from the bottom. And at least he gets access to the teacher's lounge, where there's almost always a supply of cookies and cakes for him to delight on, away from the prying eyes of the students. Bingo!
At home, Sherman doesn't have a luxurious lounge with a fridge filled with sweets for him to hide in, but he definitely prefers being around his own kids. Once he gets all of his young'uns to bed, he can hit the hay himself... something he's not allowed to do at work.
Alyssa's a member of the Parents For Better Children Council in SimVille. She advocates for more public playgrounds and parks, which is difficult given SimVille's geography.
Thought working with children was bad? How about adults that behave like children?! Alyssa currently works as a fast food shift manager, and boy oh boy, the rowdy teenagers driving a remote controlled car into the drive thru was nothing compared to the fifty year old thickhead that smashed the drive thru window with her car keys when she got pissed off over being unable to order a breakfast meal in the evening! Alyssa's eyeing a promotion to Prep Cook, though, which has the same hours as school hours. She hopes that this will let her spend more time with her kids instead of being stuck at work. As for her current position... hey, at least she gets free meals!
When she's not working, she's at home spending time with her family. Alyssa wants to take the McGregors out on a nice, well-deserved vacation from the humdrum of life. The slap dance, originally brought over to SimVille by the Urbans, has definitely been making its rounds around SimVille, and of course Alyssa picked up on it! She's planning a vacation to Three Lakes to see real mountain Sims do the real slap dance, and she hopes the rest of the family will share in the interest.
Andy wishes he didn't have to share a bedroom with his siblings sometimes. He wonders if there could be more spacious apartments in SimVille.
Andy may remind you of Alex Haider, where the unfortunate eldest child in the house is expected to scooch over to make room for their younger siblings. Andy's in a similar position, although he fares a lot better than Alex does. His apartment is much, much larger and more comfortable than the Haiders, and at least everyone's able to sleep in their own beds. Granted, Andy has to share a single bedroom with all of his younger brothers and sisters, and at this age he's starting to crave a little more privacy.
Andy also has something Alex can only dream about: a part-time job. Even though being a soccer team's waterboy isn't the best job in the world, it at least pays something, and Andy's happy to be able to make his own money.
Between his busy schedule, however, Andy really wishes he had more time for sports. Watching his younger siblings happily playing basketball while he struggles with his high school homework can be a drag. Andy's a night owl, however, so he doesn't seem to mind being out on the court at 11pm.
Marlene likes computer games, but her parents scold her a lot for playing them.
Games, games, games. The long-held stereotype that only boys play video games has seriously fallen apart at the seams in recent years, and Marlene's happy to game on the family computer for hours on end. If it weren't for her parents, her homework might not get done in a timely fashion. Still, she's an otherwise good student, with a B+ average.
If Alyssa wants her family to be on board with the whole vacation idea, Marlene sure isn't. She isn't too keen on parting ways from the computer for a few days (Oh, just you wait, Marlene; you'll be having so much fun, you'll forget that you even had a computer waiting at home!)[n 2] and would rather experience all of the fun her family has on the computer screen. Perhaps Marlene should just try putting that screen down for a day or two and do something else. Even I recognize that there's a lot that goes past you if you snuggle up at home with the computer and spend time on it. Maybe in this day and age we can't live without technology, but we can at least get out and visit places away from home. I can't exactly visit subway stations I never visit on my daily commute if I'm staring at my laptop screen! Marlene's young, and although most people would say "She'll grow out of it!", by that time childhood's over and it's a terrible loss.
If there's a plus I may say about Marlene, it's that she doesn't seem to really mind the lack of space in the apartment, not just that a computer desk and a chair don't take up that much room, but also that she likes it when things are more compact. "It's cozier," she says, and a big room can get icy cold and uncomfortable sometimes. Yeah, when you're just sitting there it'll feel cold.
Terry loves to play basketball, but the court in his apartment is mediocre at best. Terry wishes his mother would advocate for more (and larger) basketball courts in SimVille.
It's nice to be able to have space for sports and other activities, but SimVille's geography means that space is at a premium. As SimVille looks to see a growth in population, urban planners are busy thinking about how to increase the density of the town to accommodate the new arrivals. The solution? Apartments. Their apartment designs include locating entire communal areas onto rooftops to maximize the space available while still giving Sims the opportunities to play outdoors.
Unfortunately for the McGregors, their apartment was built long before the whole influx happened, so it doesn't exactly make good use of its communal space. The playground is squashed onto the north side of the lot, and while their apartments all technically have attics above them, they're completely inaccessible. At least they managed to build a basketball net here, which is a plus, but there's not an awful lot of space to play tag and all that.
Dominic wants to be an Olympic runner someday, but there aren't any good racetracks in SimVille, and his parents won't let him use the sidewalks due to "safety concerns".
Another rather restless child, Dominic is an avid sprinter and has brought home a good number of ribbons from school track and field. This school year he hopes to try for the track and field team and aspire to his ultimate goal: representing SimNation in the Summer Olympics!
There are a number of hurdles Dominic needs to get over, however. Firstly, his school is not known for its athletics program, and indeed it's frequently underfunded and understaffed. Secondly, while there's a small track at school, there aren't any in SimVille that Dominic can use to practice and train on his own, and his parents won't let him sprint on the sidewalks of the town. Still, Dominic's determined to find a way to make his dream a reality. Maybe his friend Justin Newbie can help him out a bit. Even with all of these shortcomings, his parents are totally fine with his dream. He hasn't met Jason Jocks yet, but when he does, maybe his parents will let him join them on their evening jogs. Sherman and Alyssa can't possibly say no if their child's being supervised by two good adults, right?
Lyndsay would rather live in the city and not SimVille, but she likes it fine here. Her hobbies include doing the smustle and pretending she's an actor.
Lyndsay has experienced what the youngest child of families usually experience: living in the shadows of all of her older siblings and watching them steal the spotlight, or be lavished with praise from her parents, or be better at her at everything, while she's stuck with the hand me downs. And like many young siblings, Lyndsay frequently does what she usually does best: getting attention, sometimes snatching it straight out of her older siblings' hands.
Lyndsay dreams of herself as being, oh I don't know, a musician or an actor, perhaps. A combination of the two. Someone famous and who gets a lot of attention. Such figures tend to flock to cities, where opportunities are brighter and where most of your fans are; it's probably easier to keep track of them if they're staying in hotels and not hiding out in the corn fields near your cottage! While she prefers big cities over the little town she lives in, she's liking SimVille so far, and is happy to see recent developments starting to take shape as more and more land is being appropriated for apartments. SimVille's turning into a nice little city, she figures, and that could be the training wheels that'll help her get to the big leagues in the metropolises of SimNation, like Lyndsay Falls, Bridgeport, and Downtown SimCity itself... where all the celebrities hang out in!
One thing you may have noticed is that the McGregors are not poor, and so their children have plenty of opportunities to achieve their dreams. This is in contrast to the poorer families in SimVille that have no opportunities simply because of their financial status. See the class divide I'm trying to create in this neighborhood?
The McGregors live in Seaspray Apartments, a modified version of the "Seaspray Apartments" lot found in the lot bin (and in Belladonna Cove). It is the only apartment lot in SimVille to feature usable garages for its tenants.
The McGregors live just to the left of the little communal room. Their first floor is primarily occupied by the garage, which has an exercise machine and a punching bag. A rather unimpressive corridor leads to the spiral staircase.
The second floor contains their living room, their kitchen, and their dining room, along with a small bathroom for guests to use.
Third floor contains their bedrooms and a bathroom with a showertub.
Big families in close quarters means lots of love... and lots of arguing over who gets to use the bathroom first. Fortunately, the lot has some amenities in the communal area. There's a room with a TV and a stereo for neighbourly gatherings.
The playground features swings, a slide, a monkey bars set, and a roundabout. There's also a basketball net for more sports-oriented Sims.
A brief glimpse of life in the McGregor family
Just before 5am this morning, a thunderstorm ignited a tree in the communal area.
The smoke detector promptly summoned the fire department... and woke everyone up. The rain extinguished the fire before they arrived, however.
Well there's not much point in going back to bed, so they decide to prepare breakfast. It's flapjacks today!
Sherman needs to be at work by 8am. Yes, a wonderful time to have to leave the house and go somewhere that's not your comfy bed. At least he gets paid for it, unlike most students, right?
All the kids start school at 9am sharp, so the bus swoops in to pick them up at 8am. With so many kids in the household, they really can't leave boarding the bus to the last minute, lest they risk having the bus drive off without half the party.
Alyssa doesn't work until 5pm... which is probably less of a blessing than it seems. At that hour, the mind's energy has largely been drained and most people just want to sit down, eat, play, and sleep. To keep her energy levels up, Alyssa sips some hot coffee or hot chocolate during the day.
The McGregors are one of the few families in SimVille that have a daily maid service. Today only the showertub needed serious attention.[n 3]
"Why is this sink so clean?!"
There is no lovely rooftop communal area like the one in The Grey Lofts or Council Flats, but on the plus side, at least the stereo's located indoors, so it's sheltered from the weather. Alyssa plays some World music and continues to think about the vacation to Three Lakes.
Andy gets home at 1pm. Luckily for him, he has the day off, which is great, considering how the SimVille Cheetahs aren't known for their kindness, especially towards their waterboys and watergirls. Those jerks! It's a Friday as well, so he doesn't have to worry about his homework just yet. He spends the better part of the afternoon shooting hoops and working on his body skill. Alyssa joins him. Why not? It's family time, even if it's just one child.
3pm strikes and the rest of the kids come home with their father.
It's a Friday, so homework's not a concern—and not an excuse the parents can use easily. For the two hours between their homecoming and the start of Alyssa's shift, they head out to the nearby park.
Six person water balloon fight!
Andy runs into Chase, and the two fish together for a bit. Perhaps Chase caught all the good fish, because the only thing Andy managed to reel in was a dirty old boot.
After Alyssa leaves for work, Sherman takes the kids back home for dinner.
Can I go out for a run? No son, I'm afraid it's too dangerous. I'll be careful dad, I promise! No son, please do something else today. Can I just go? I can ask Andy to come with me. No you're not going, Dominic. Your mother and I both agreed on this. Please, PRETTY PLEASE dad I'll be super good out there! Have you done your homework yet?
Fine then. If dad's not going to let me go out for a run, then I'm going to get my footprints all over the living room couch!
Dominic!!! Stop it!!! You're dirtying the cushions!
Terry and Lyndsay made use of the basketball net rather than complaining about things.
Marlene, obviously, heads for the family 'puter. As long as she has access to that, she's not going to whine.
When it's time for bed, though, getting the kids to bed is a chore. The girls head off obediently, but the boys kept their sisters awake by jumping on their beds.
Sherman reprimands Dominic and Terry, and they both go to bed. Well, not after several minutes of whispering to each other, but eventually they nod off.
Exhausted, Sherman plops down onto the couch with his eldest son and the two watch TV together.
Alyssa's home by 10pm. She joins the two on the couch.
Alyssa and Sherman retire to their bed not long after. Parenthood is exhausting, and late bedtimes don't help that at all.
Andy's chatting over the Internet. Carly Firebaum seems interested in him, maybe they should meet up someday?
Well, maybe later.
Alyssa's a member of the Parents For Better Children Council, and she frequently petitions for more open space, parks, and playgrounds for kids in the neighbourhood to use. It's a significant challenge, given how building space in SimVille is at a premium and most developers are probably interested in building apartments to house the growing population rather than building space-consuming parks. However, Alyssa knows the challenges of managing a large family in an apartment, and she's sure that many other large families in SimVille feel the same. Kids need a lot of space... and if they don't have it, they'll just make use of existing space; hence, if you want kids to stop playing hide and seek in the alleyway behind the convenience store, maybe you should build a park instead of chasing them off with a broom. The McGregors should consider themselves lucky, however; out of all the large families living in SimVille, they are probably the best off.
Thanks for reading. I'll hopefully cover more lots now, and perhaps I'll start filling in the pages for all the premade, family bin Sims that have moved into SimVille, and how they have made themselves at home.
The following images were processed but cut from the final version of the forum post.
- ↑ Psalm 55:22; Proverbs 16:3; 1 Peter 5:7.
- ↑ Too bad there are no laptops in The Sims 2.
- ↑ According to Cyjon's Debugger, the maid, "Solveig Barakat", has 0 neat points, so she won't recognize objects that most other Sims find dirty enough to clean.