In my second year of uni, I took a video games course (yes, Arts is a ridiculous degree, and, yes, it was one of my favourite classes of my whole undergrad). As a novice gamer, I downloaded The Sims 4 so I would have some essay content. I had religiously playedThe Sims 2 on my Mum’s phone when I was young, so I figured I’d like the contemporary upgrade. The couple hours I intended to spend in digital suburbia turned into days, and my essay took a serious quality hit.
Right before the lockdown started, my email started to blow up with long lists of sales from Origin. Knowing that I would be insanely bored by Day 3 of the lockdown, I decided to skydive down the deep, dark hole I had discovered a few years ago. I splurged on three new game packs for The Sims and the rabbit hole reopened under my feet. I’ve been tumbling ever since. There’s this weird connotation that The Sims is not a real video game series, that it’s a casual, easy game, primarily for women. There is absolutely nothing casual about my relationship to the Sims.
Once I click play, nothing else in the world matters. The focus on pleasing aesthetics and huge realm of possibility within gameplay keeps me strapped in for hours at a time. I have started to bring a large bottle of water to my desk, because if it is not in front of me, I will not get up to stop myself from becoming dehydrated. If you miss the days of playing in the sandbox as a kid, it’s likely The Sims 4 is for you. If you’re looking to use lockdown time productively, it’s definitely not.