Entire neighborhoods of Sims are being mysteriously graced with eternal youth, while some characters are finding all their needs fulfilled by a single shot of magic espresso. Others no longer need to empty the toilet after potty training their toddler. Some Sims are being abducted by aliens when they glance through their telescope — every time, instead of just occasionally, which is normal.
All this mayhem is the work of a community of experimenters wielding hex editors, custom programs and reverse-engineering skills who began mastering their own Sims 2 worlds immediately after the game’s release last September. The hackers share their weird science with one another through public websites and forums.
The article also goes on about how the hackers have created a type of antivirus software to scan for and remove the hacks. That’s cool.
An odd thought struck me as I was reading about this: it must seem to people getting these hacks that their games (their Sims more specifically) are starting to exhibit emergent behavior. (You know, emergence. New patterns or behaviors from complex systems…) How spooky would that be? Just wait til the first hacked Sims figure out they’re merely simulations in someone’s computer…