Smart phones. Both a blessing and a curse, am I right? Maybe just a curse, depending on how you look at them. I simply mean there are a lot of conveniences that can be great for making out lives easier. And there are also a lot of things associated with those tiny pocket computers that are probably killing our brain cells.
Pretty sure they’re also changing our posture as a species. But that’s not what this is about…
Yes, of course, there are apps available for our smart phones, whether you utilize iOS or Android, that are helpful and push us to be more productive. But let’s be honest, most of the apps we download are games or social media or whatever the latest filter for Instagram is.
I’m guilty of it… So many filter apps.
Just kidding. I don’t have any filter apps. I don’t use Instagram enough to care about playing around with filters.
No, I have (probably) too many gaming apps on my phone. Some are classic time wasters, like Freecell or Minesweeper (I miss Windows 3.2). Others are newer and are produced by companies that really hope to sucker its customers into spending real money on fake currency that can be used only within the confines of their app.
A game that I discovered at some point last year is called BitLife. The simplest way I could describe the game is like a text version of The Sims. When you begin the game, you are randomly given the life of an infant. You are provided with basic information: parents’ names, ages, and occupations, as well as your place of birth and the circumstances that led to your conception. So, right away, it’s slightly less prudish than The Sims, since they blur everything when couples “woo-hoo.”
As your infant ages, you are given more and more options concerning his or her life. You decide how you will act toward your parents and any siblings or pets you may have. You decide how you will behave in school. You decide what you’ll study in college or what career path you’ll embark on. You can get married… have kids… adopt pets… visit casinos… take the family on vacation… visit the doctor… go to the gym.
It’s just like real life. Except that it’s BitLife.
And it’s literally all a text game.
I don’t play it a lot, but there are times when I’m waiting for something or someone and I forget that I could be passing the time by opening the Kindle app and reading an actual book and I decide to live vicariously through a fictitious person in the BitLife.
The other day I pulled up the game and was shocked by something that happened to my “Bitizen.” I don’t remember this guy’s name, so let’s just call him Frank.
Frank was married with three kids. His relationship with his wife was great. I knew this because the relationship bar for his wife was completely filled and colored green. Frank was also a faithful husband. No way would Frank find himself in a situation where he would cheat on his wife.
He was 15 years into his career as a TV Cameraman and was known as a good employee, also indicated by the green bar. It was at this point that his supervisor made a pass at him, trying to get Frank to sleep with her. Preferring to keep Frank faithful to his wife, I declined his supervisor’s advances. I could have had Frank report his supervisor to human resources, but I didn’t want to damage that work relationship more than was necessary, so I just went with declining the tryst.
Frank was immediately fired!
I was given the choice to beg the supervisor for Frank to keep his job, but the response was the supervisor claiming there was nothing she could do. And then, on top of this, Frank’s wife became angry with him for getting fired. Since this was clearly a case of wrongful termination, I attempted to have Frank sue his former employer. He lost his case. I then attempted to have Frank specifically sue his former supervisor. He lost that case, too. And it cost him an arm and a leg, losing both of those stupid lawsuits.
I will say, BitLife gives you a lot of specific options of things to do throughout the lives of these fake people. But it sure would have been nice to have the option to come clean with Frank’s wife about why he was fired. The only options you have when your spouse gets angry is to argue back, apologize, or file for divorce. She carried that grudge for several years, even after Frank managed to find another job. Would have been nice to have an option that was something along the lines of, “Sorry, hon, my supervisor tried to have sex with me and when I told her no she fired me. Would you rather me lose my job and remain faithful or cheat on you and keep filming the evening news?”
Although, as crazy as the AI in this game can get sometimes, it’s likely she’d have told me to keep the job no matter what.
It’s a weird game, y’all. I might pull it up once a weekish to play for a few minutes and that’s about it. It can be entertaining, though.
Do you have any good time wasting apps on your phone? What are your favorites? I’m saying that because I genuinely want you to share your responses in the comments. At the same time, I’m afraid to hear what else is good out there because then I’ll just be tempted to download new things to my phone… hmm… Let me know anyway!