Unlucky

Check In: Once again, it’s been a day over-run with complications. My previous effort to write was fruitless, and the day has been spent prepping for tonight’s Christmas party with quite a few last-minute course-corrections.

For an early run playing Sims 3* (2009) I tried to create someone similar to myself. I gave my avatar the characteristic unlucky which I’ve always regarding myself. As a result, everything he owned would break down rather often, but as a consequence, he got really good at repairing them, even to the point of mastery, so that once he repaired a thing, it would never break again. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to be unlucky. At least not in Sims 3

In the real world, I feel unlucky, but this doesn’t mean I really am. Put me at a craps table and I will toss sevens as often as anyone else (one in six rolls on average with a sufficient sampling). In my early Magic, the Gathering career, I experienced the same degree of beginners luck that others did. I was able to win more than I lost in both Poker Night At The Inventory games (2010 and 2013) by making good use of good hands, and discarding bad hands early. Occasionally I lost by the river, but sometimes I won by the river too.

I expect to be unlucky, though and thus I’m driven to play the averages, rather than to hope for an early break. Crappy loot chests in the Borderlands games won’t especially bother me, but if I am determined to get sweet gear, I would expect to fish through many chests for it. A current bad run means very little regarding the next chest, and nothing regarding the next dozen. At the same time, I would expect to fish a long time for a Borderlands 2 Cobra. (And no, I don’t have one.)

My experience of luck has been one of confirmation bias. When we feel lucky, we remember the breaks. When we feel unlucky we remember our misfortunes. When we arrange for the law of averages to play out, the more the curve starts looking bell-shaped.

Introspective: As this is after a long and very social business party (I’m rather introverted), I don’t have the energy to think about this much further, and this train-of-thought feels incomplete. I’ll probably come back to it at some point.

* A game with some good improvements to Sims 2 spoiled by some poor development choices, including miserliness on behalf of EA regarding clothes and furniture so they could enhance their revenues with massive microtransactions. Sims 2 is, in my opinion a much better game and truer to the Will Wright concept. Both are doll-house games that allow you to play a family engaging in a late-20th-century middle American lifestyle. And like real doll houses, the most popular activity is to get the principal characters to woohoo (have sex) with the rest of the community.

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