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The Sims

13 life lessons we learnt from The Sims

The Sims has been around for 17 years, and the popular life simulation video game franchise shows no sign of stopping (The Sims 5 is rumoured to be coming out in 2019). It has let players become gods in their own way, allowing them to create virtual beings from scratch and, admittedly, to put their Sims through less-than- nice scenarios (*cough* placing them in empty rooms without doors, for one).

After playing the four instalments for hours on end, we’ve picked up a few lessons from the series that we, as humans, have learnt — and could still learn — from our pixellated counterparts.

1. Take care of your needs

It’s the player’s main task to maintain the needs of their Sims. If their Energy bar is low, you know your Sim is tired and must go to bed. Showering or brushing their teeth improves their Hygiene, and if their Bladder bar is in the red… well, that one is obvious (and a bit messy, if it’s not sorted out in time).

It seems basic, but in real life we often forgo our most basic needs when we pull all-nighters or skip showers for a day or two. Taking care of yourself should be one of your main priorities. Addressing your needs allow you to be at your best and not passed out in the middle of the floor.

2. Practise, practise, practise!

Unless you have the power to enable Sim cheat codes in real life, there’s no way you’ll become a star guitarist in the matter of minutes. The same goes for cooking, drawing or becoming a master technician. In the games, it takes a long while to maximise your Sim’s skills. Sure, it probably takes a minute for your Sim to gain their first skill point, but from that moment on, it takes longer to attain more points.

The same can be said for us — it’s only by putting in the work each day that will slowly but surely get you to the level you want to be.

3. Keep an extinguisher in your home

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And where there’s a fire, chances are your Sims — unless directed to phone the fire department or actually possessing common sense to get away — will run to it and panic. That’s a no-no. Luckily, they’re equipped with fire extinguishers if they feel brave enough to douse the flames themselves.

Fire safety can save lives, including your own, so it’s in your best interests to keep an extinguisher at home before a small fire becomes a big problem.

4. Relationships take time to build

It takes more than a couple of “Admire… Compliment” actions to win over somebody. Normally, the player uses the same interaction multiple times in a row to improve their relations with friends, family or potential partners. Sometimes it works (your Sims can go from being acquaintances to best friends in a few minutes), but other times… not so much (you can only “Entertain… Tell a joke” so much before the other Sim might get fed up).

When you’re out and about in real life, don’t overdo it with the same routine. Getting to know other means switching it up and taking the time to learning about the other person’s interests, personality and goals. Unless that person loves getting compliments all the time, then go right ahead and admire them.

5. Always reticulate your splines

It’s as the title says: always reticulate your splines. From the loading screens of virtually all the Sims games, we’re told that splines are being reticulated. We don’t exactly know what it means, but shouldn’t we follow through with it anyway?

6. Getting the dream job

There are days when we wish that the Slacker career was a real one! In the world of Sims, your Sim can enter any career field from Business to Paranormal. Each field requires certain skills, so it’s up to you to help your Sims meet these requirements to gain jobs easily and to earn promotions quicker.

Realistically, we’re often told that some jobs are unattainable or lack money, but hey, if those are the careers that make you happy, then nothing or nobody should stop you from striving towards your goals.

7. Clean your dishes

Seriously, clean your dishes after you’ve finished eating or cooking. You’ll attract flies if you don’t. Your Sims can be eaten alive by these flies. No one wants to be eaten alive by flies.

8. Stay afloat

No, this isn’t a reference to how players purposefully drown their Sims. We know living on a budget can be tough, and again, without cheat codes, you’re forced to save your money and stay away from luxuries. Your Sims can make do in small households if you’re careful with their purchases and if they have a steady income.

Neglecting to pay the bills can end up with the Repo-man coming over to repossess your belongings. Stick within your price range, pay your bills on time and save your extra coins — in the end, it all pays off.

9. The series’ music is the best

How many of you have feel the nostalgia rush every time you hear The Sims shopping mode music? Feel like humming when the ear-worm-worthy tunes from Create-a-Sim mode in The Sims 2 come on? Scared witless and have to switch off the speakers when you hear the burglar’s sting?

The franchise’s music is simply the best; hearing the likes of Nelly Furtado and Jason Derulo singing their songs in Simlish, the language of the Sims, is either hilarious or great — or both! One day, music from the franchise should be played over the phone when you’re being put on hold…

10. Set your goals

Are you driven by relationships? Money? The pursuit of knowledge? These goals drive your needs and wants — same as the Lifetime Aspirations of your Sims. Everyone has a different idea as to what they want, and that’s fine. It wouldn’t be fun if we all had the same motivations. Set your eyes on a specific goal, and they won’t be out of reach if you work hard towards them.

11. Love yourself and others

The customisation options in The Sims are incredible. From genetics to clothing, almost everything can be customised. In that virtual world, no one is shamed for being different. If you make your Sim into a goth, a nerd or plain in appearance, they have the same chance at happiness like any other Sim.

Marriages between Sims of different skin-tones can occur, and the same goes for Sims of the same sex. They don’t have to worry about prejudice or outrageous laws that discriminates against gender and sexualities. In our world, we’re still learning this lesson, and it starts with learning to love yourself for the way you are (it’s cheesy, but oh so true).

12. Aliens exist — they just don’t like being spied on

If the games are anything to go by, then yes, intelligent life in space does exist. But it’s probably irksome for them every time they’re being watched through a telescope. It’s advisable to leave them alone unless you’re into the paranormal. Besides, alien babies, like their human equivalents, are just as hard to look after.

13. Time is precious

Times goes fast in The Sims. Each life stage comprises of three to 28 Sim days at the most. Before you know it, your Sim goes from a baby to an elder. Everything that happens in-between is up to you. You want your Sim to live its life to the fullest – therefore, you should the same with your life as well. Live every day like it’s going to be your last, but balance it out by doing things at your own pace. In the end, maybe you’ll get the chance to come back as a ghost and haunt people.

  • SumYungGai

    All except for number 12 are true. I did not like when they added transvestites or homos and we shouldn’t support them. It’s why nearly every person in America (Liberal or Conservative) hates SJWs.