or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Constant readers may recall that back in July I wrote about a typo in The Sims 2, an addictive computer game which lets you run the lives of realistic little simulated people. I hadn't played it for a while, but the new expansion pack came out, and of course I bought it, and now I'm playing more than ever. (Days off: they provide far too many opportunities to spend money.) And wouldn't you know it: I found another typo!

The character I'm playing right now has the new Pleasure life aspiration (you choose one when you create the character--others include Family, Romance, and Wealth); his highest imaginable goal is to reach the top of the Slacker career track. Yes, I know "slacker" sounds like the opposite of a career track, but this one lets you work you way up from golf caddy to professional party guest. One of the many goals you have to strive for (no matter your career path) is a high Aspiration level, which gives you the wherewithal to buy cool things such as a counterfeiting money-press or a thinking cap that lets you learn skills more quickly. If your Aspiration level dips too low, you can't use these devices--they'll fail or backfire in some dramatic manner. (The thinking cap will overheat your brain until you pass out.) Each level of each life aspiration has a label, and I somehow let my current Sim's level drop well into the red zone, at which point I was informed that my pleasure-seeking slacker is, and I quote, a "Narcissisitic Knucklehead".

How did "narcissisitic" happen? Was someone just whaling away at the keyboard and let the rhythm of all those consonants and "-i-"s get the better of them? Were they thinking of the last half of "parasitic"? And why didn't someone at Maxis catch this?

Perhaps it's too much to ask that commercial software be thoroughly proof-read and free of errors; nobody seems to care much any more, so it's probably a waste of time. But these things take months if not years to produce, and many, many people see each element of the software before it hits the market. Wouldn't you think someone would have noticed?


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