The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Sypha presents … My Great Gay Moments in Gaming #1: The Sims 3 *

* (restored)




Like many people of my generation, I’m a big-time gamer. Some of my earliest childhood memories revolve around me watching my father playing games on his Intellivision or Commodore 64 computer. I was playing games myself by the time I was 5. When I was around 6 or 7, my parents got my brothers and I a Nintendo Entertainment System, and as the years went by I also played Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 64. Then, in 1998, I got my first computer and made the switch to computer gaming. Aside from the Nintendo DS, I pretty much just play computer games these days, and I have lots of favorites.

This current day I’ve put together is the first in a series, that focuses mainly on games that let you take part in homosexual relationships, among other things. Unlike my other days, which have been mostly textual, these days devoted to computer games I like will consist mostly of visuals (after all, such games are, by their very nature, visual). And by visuals I mean screenshots and videos taken by myself.

The first entry in this series revolves around The Sims 3, which first came out in the summer of 2009 (though an number of expansion packs have also been released for it every few months or so). The game lets you build houses, and also create people/families to inhabit said houses. Like most of the Sims games, there are no real goals: it’s more like playing with a giant digital doll house. As you can imagine, I’ve had quite a bit of fun with this game. Maybe too much fun, as the screenshots below will show.

Sypha & James


One of the first characters I created was Sypha Nadon. In this variation of the character, I gave him a kind of Gothic wardrobe, along with an Adam Lambert-styled hairdo. Not to mention heart-warming puppy eyes.

Next I decided that Sypha needed a house. So I built him one. In this screenshot, it’s in the lower left hand corner, the one with the trees with the pink leaves in the front yard.

Of course, it would be boring for poor Sypha to live by himself. So I decided to give him a roommate (and potential love interest). In other words, I created a version of myself and placed him into the game. Here you can see me reading a book on a somewhat flashy-looking sofa.

Over time, the two men bonded. Above we see Sypha offering James a drink. James would apparently rather stare into the distance and brood.

Finally, one day in the park, they revealed their feelings to each other.

One thing led to another, and before you knew it…

Watch the video here

They eventually consummated their relationship.

When I first started playing as Sypha and James, I used a money cheat so they could buy all the stuff they wanted without having to worry about getting jobs. Eventually I decided to put them to work though. James gets some money by writing books, while Sypha works as a stylist and fashion designer. Not all his makeovers are a success, though, as the above screenshot proves.

Whenever Sypha’s not working (or having sex with James) he can often be found designing fashion outfits at his work desk.

Sypha demonstrates the gayest way to throw a football. Though to be fair all the characters in the game throw footballs like that.

I kind of like this tranquil screenshot of Sypha reading at the beach at sunset.

When you create a character in The Sims 3, aside from deciding on their appearance and what clothes they wear you can also assign them favorite foods, favorite colors, favorite music, an astrological sign, and three traits: the three traits I gave Sypha were neat, flirty, and over-emotional, as the above and below screenshots portrays (Sypha going into a hissy fit at the park about something or other).

Sypha Nadon in his underwear. Not really a whole lot more to say.

And what the hell, here’s a picture of Sypha in the buff. Sadly, the game digitally blurs the genitals. So it’s kind of like Japanese porn I guess.

Sypha and James’ Wedding


Recently, I decided the time had come for James and Sypha to get married (yes, in The Sims 3 sims engaged in same-sex relationships can get married just like heterosexual ones).

Watch the video here

After Sypha proposed and James accepted, they held a wedding party. A number of guests were invited, and rings were exchanged, making them officially husband and husband. After the guests had left, the two celebrated by skinny dipping in the pool behind their house. But I’ll let you use your imaginations for that.

The Sims 3 is set in an idyllic town known as Sunset Valley. When you first start the game, this town consists of both empty houses, or houses populated by computer-created characters. Therefore, it’s up to the player to populate the town with his or her own creations (though I guess if they were lazy, they could just play as the computer characters). One of the great things about The Sims 3 is that the characters have free will and can live out their lives without your direction or control needed. For example, if you switch from playing one household to another, the household you were just playing as will still continue going on with their lives. As a result, it can be surprising when you go back to a household you previously played as and see what they’ve gotten up to outside of your supervision.

Sypha & James were the first household I created, but not the only one. As the years have gone by I’ve slowly built up my town’s population. One of my other favorite households to play as is the “Brant household.”

James Brant & Friends


The picture above is that of James Brant, another character I created. He lives in a big house a few blocks away from James and Sypha. He works in the medical field, hoping to become a doctor. He’s kind of a hipster, as you can tell by his stupid glasses.

Brant lives with three other roommates. Here they can be seen in the living room/kitchen of their house, playing video games. From left to right is Steve Hunter, Daryl White, and Max Steiner, with Brant himself on the far right. Steve, Daryl and Max work as firemen. These four also have a band, named simply “The Firemen,” with Brant playing guitar, Steve on bass, Max on drums, and Daryl on keyboards. They kind of suck though.

This is Veronica Akita. She’s kind of a goth-punk girl, as you can tell. Brant’s in love with her, but they have yet to start up a relationship.

In the above screenshot, we can see Max in the park, chatting up Daphne Moon (from the TV show Frasier). Daphne is Steve’s girlfriend (though Steve also has a crush on Sypha Nadon).

The Brant household is well-known for throwing big parties. In the foreground we can see Sypha and Daphne playing video games, while Veronica sits in between them, clearly intrigued.

Daryl isn’t the brightest bulb in the box. Here we see him deciding to take a shower with his clothes still on.

This is another hipster-ish character, Anthony Nido, here seen conversing with Max and James Brant. I don’t play as him very often, though. I think he’s kind of cute.

I eventually started to populate the city with the casts of TV shows I like, such as Frasier and, in the screenshot above, Friends. Maybe I should make the cast of Glee one day.

Here’s Steve Urkel from Family Matters.

Above, we can see American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman relaxing in his expensive penthouse apartment, no doubt planning on what to do that evening: try to get into one of the city’s exclusive new night clubs, perhaps?

Here’s Luigi, Mario, and Princess Toadstool outside of their house.

What’s a town without a monster? Here’s a character I created named Mr. Monster, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the Incredible Hulk.

I even created Peter Sotos. Here we see him hard at work on his newest book.

Here we see Sotos entering the park on a beautiful and sunny day, enjoying a pleasant stroll.

Sotos is one of those households that I don’t play as all that often. So it can be surprising for me when I take control of him again to see what’s he been up to. Apparently, at one point where I wasn’t controlling him, he got a job with the fire department. In the above photo, we can see him clowning around with Max at the fire station.

Sotos makes a dashing entrance (literally) into James & Sypha’s wedding.

Like all computer games, The Sims 3 has bugs and glitches. Here’s a character I created where all you can see of him is the head and feet. This can lead to some amusing animations, such as when he pours himself a drink and the glass appears to float of its own accord, or when he eats, as can be seen in the below video.

Watch the video here

Speaking of glitches, here’s another one: the game decided to clone Anthony Nido at one point (I had the same problem with Mario).

I didn’t create this character. He’s a computer-controlled non-player character who appears in the game’s China world. I thought he was pretty cute though so I took a screenshot of him.

That’s an unusual spot to keep a baby.

Nice parking job!

Two More Sypha & James videos


Watch the video here

Sypha tried his hand at snake charming while vacationing in Egypt.

Watch the video here

Sypha and James making out.


Next up: Dragon Age!



p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Ha ha. ** Dominik, Hi!!! Factrix are bizarrely under-known. Krumpli is a much better word than potato, at least when you’re unfamiliar with it. It also has a slight tinge of Krampus in it, which doesn’t hurt. Anyway, an immortal puppy sounds like the cure for my woes, thank you. Love giving you an immortal potato that makes happy puppy sounds every time you eat it, G. ** Misanthrope, He’s the ‘or maybe’ kid. He sounds like the kind of kid who could turn the chillest adult into an army recruiter. I guess one should never underestimate shot #2, but, yeah, looking good. ** Bill, Ah, of course you would know Factrix. Were you in SF when they were extant and playing? I don’t know Joel, I just met him once when we were doing a reading together in London and had a conversation with him that I barely remember, so unfortunately I don’t have a Joel memoir in me. Wish I did. Me too re: the NJ box, alas. ** john christopher, Hi, john christopher! My enormous pleasure, sir, and I hope it fogs up your place in the most insinuating manner. Good to see you. You good? ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. I knew their work probably in large part due to being on the West Coast where I think most of their buzz and live activity happened. I met Cole Palme once, but I don’t really know him. I had a thing about him in an issue of Little Caesar. I only saw Factrix once very early on at a LAFMS-related festival when I’m not entirely sure they were even called Factrix yet. The new NJ is incredible, which doesn’t differentiate it from his others, but it’s maybe more ambitious, and it incorporates visuals in a more important and integrated way than his books have in a while. A must get, I think. I know Pitchfork is not a monolith, but it’s just bizarre that every time they ‘deign’ to review a GbV/Pollard record it’s the same nostalgia-addled, party line, inattentive claptrap. Pitchfork has a stuck in the ’90s problem in general. That review was useless, but it’s shame that it was fastened onto such a great record. ** Sypha, Hi. Factrix might just cause your particular boat to float, yes. Nope, you guessed wrong, but you were in the right ballpark, ha ha. Thank you again from the future, James. ** Okay. Guest-post masterpiecer James ‘Sypha’ Champagne made this charmer of a post for the blog years ago, and it seemed pointless to just leave it there in the graveyard of the ruined blog for which it was intended, and so you get the pleasure. Be pleasured, please. See you tomorrow.


  1. David Ehrenstein

    May 5, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    Today is very remindful of the visual landscape of “Permanent Green Light”

  2. Dennis, I always remember this day because of that random stray baby lying in the middle of the floor for no apparent reason. Actually have thought of it many times. Kayla plays Sims all the time and I think of that baby when she mentions it.

    Yeah, David’s a mess, to say the least. So hard getting through to him. He did tell my mom that he needs a man in his life as a role model to show him how to do things and get things done. I’m like, what am I, chopped liver? Kinda weird. You’d think years of him seeing me work every day and trying to do the right thing would’ve helped somewhat, but I guess not.

    Onward and upward with your vax. Seems younger people have a rougher time with the vax re: side effects because they generally have a much more robust immune system and response. That makes sense. They saw it in the trials and now. I’m thinking you won’t even know you’ve had your second one.

  3. Dennis, I almost said “I wonder if it’ll be one of the gay gaming ones” ha ha… though to be honest there are more LGTBQ whatever characters in games now than there were back in the mid-to-late 2000’s (when I first did this one). I haven’t played THE SIMS 3 in ages though, not even sure if my old save files for it still exist… that city of mine was pretty insane though now that I think about it… I was probably the only player of that game to create a world that somehow encapsulated Peter Sotos, Patrick Bateman, the cast of FRIENDS/FRASIER/FAMILY MATTERS, and so on and so forth!

  4. Hi!!

    Haha, I’m so glad you revived this post! Do you ever have the feeling that we’re also just characters someone created in Sims?

    Here’s a new SCAB baby!!

    Yeah, krumpli does have a nice sound to it, right? And what could be better than an immortal puppy? Except for an immortal potato making happy puppy sounds every time I eat it, hahaha.

    Love combing the lice out of his partner’s hair and moving them all into an exact replica of NYC he built in his living room just for them, Od.

  5. I reviewed Ulrike Ottinger’s PARIS CALLIGRAMMES: https://www.gaycitynews.com/paris-calligrammes-review-ulrike-ottinger/ and I wrote a new song, “Phantom in a Lab Coat,” which mixes samples taken from opera and classical music with electronic instrumentation (https://callinamagician.bandcamp.com/track/phantom-in-a-lab-coat).

    Sypha, I’d love to see an animated machinima film about the lives of these gay Sims characters. Peter Sotos should have made a guest appearance on FRASIER, discussing Myra Hindley with Niles and Daphne!

    Factrix had a really grey, bleak sound that seemed drained of life. The songs I liked best weren’t as dissonant as Throbbing Gristle, but they felt even more depressive.

  6. Dear Dennis,

    How are you, my friend? I posted a message last weekend just when you where updating the blog, I think, and you didn’t see it. So I’m pasting it here.

    Please forgive me for this long absence. I think of you all the time, but never get to send you a message. I just read you got vaccinated. Great news!! Hope the lockdown is not wearing you down. We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of restrictions here. I think this might be the first time that I can’t wait for the summer to start and doing things outdoors. Also, I’m so looking forward to ‘I Wished’!

    Much love to you and Zac xxxxx


  7. Oh man this takes me back- I definitely played this game like smashing two barbies together. My boyfriend told me that he did the same thing. There’s something interesting about the ability to act out queer fantasies in video games. Sims was really ahead of the curve on all that.

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