10 Essential Life Lessons We Learnt From The Sims
When I was growing up, my addiction to The Sims became one of those running family jokes, ready to be brought up again at a moments notice if I was ever seen found to be playing The Sims for days at a time or when I was meant to be doing something more productive.
My brothers predicted my future to be something like this:
"MUM! DAD! I GOT A JOB... on sims"
"MUM! DAD! I'M GETTING MARRIED... on sims"
But while it's been the butt of family jokes for as long as I can remember, those hours spent playing Sims were not wasted. You see, I've learned a lot of valuable life lessons from the Sims.
1. EVERYBODY HAS BAD DAYS
Sometimes in life you’ll have a full queue of tasks to complete and you will be wildly productive. You’ll clean the house, read a novel or two, and manage to up your cooking skill all in one day. But other days you’ll just wander around aimlessly, waving your arms and spewing gibberish. And that’s okay. Not every day is going to be a day where you could cure cancer, or write a novel, or even get all of your washing done. You just have to take each day as it is, and not stress out too much about the days where you’re less than your best. Even real life has a fast forward button and it’s the reminder that tomorrow is a brand new day.
2. LIFE NECESSITIES
If you build a room, you’re going to need a door lest you end up with a trapped Sim. If you build a pool, you’re going to need a ladder so no one ends up splashing themselves to death. If you add an oven, you need a smoke detector to be on the safe side or everyone will die in a fire.
You can’t just run around in life doing things without intent. Doing things without intent and without specificity will lead to bad work and a messy life that you won’t want to stand behind. You cannot build a life without doors, pool ladders, and smoke detectors because eventually those will be what you need and you’ll be spewing gibberish for not buying them earlier. Also, contrary to popular Sim folklore, running towards and screaming gibberish at a fire will not make it go out, only fire extinguishers do that.
3. SOMETIMES LIFE GLITCHES AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO
Sometimes for absolutely no reason at all your head will be on backwards, your hands will go on backwards, or your baby will all of sudden become invisible. You won’t know why; you’ll just have to restart and hope that you can fix it.
Okay so maybe the laws of physics won't be why your life gets a little crazy, but we all go through times where our life feels like it’s constantly lagging or running out of space. What you have to remember during these times that are less than smooth sailing is that it will pass, and that it’s not the end of the world. Eventually everything will be okay.
4. “FRIENDSHIPS ARE LIKE PLANTS. IF YOU DON'T CARE FOR THEM, THEY WITHER AND DIE.”
Repeated interactions between Sim acquaintances tends to increase their relationship level. Over time the relationship level decreases. In the Sims, if you have a relationship that is decreasing to a low level, your Sim receives a reminder with the above quote.
Real life friendships are not as straightforward, of course, but the general principle still applies. Maintaining a friendship requires at least one of the participants to put forth some effort and both participants to give of their time. Since most of us don’t get automated reminders in real life when we are starting to lose touch with friends, it’s important to make time to keep up with the people who matter most.
5. EVERY PROBLEM HAS A SOLUTION
Oh crap. Someone peed on the floor or the dishwasher broke? Well the game isn’t over and there is way to fix what’s broken or messy. You just have to look for it.Also, if you leave food and dirty dishes around for long enough, you’ll attract flies.
The only way to REALLY fail is to not try to remedy something when it goes wrong.
6. LOCK YOUR FRONT DOOR
If you don’t lock your front door, you could have anything from burglars to people dressed as llamas, to random old ladies going through your fridge, most often while you sleep. So also get a burglar alarm. Also, don't bury people in your backyard because they will haunt your house for the rest of eternity.
7. LOOK AFTER YOUR CHILDREN
It's not okay to leave your children in the house alone for days, but you can hire a babysitter. It is okay to send them to their room and delete the door when they won't listen or behave.
8. EVEN "MOTHERLODE" CAN'T BUY YOU HAPPINESS
Here’s the thing. To a certain extent the idea that money doesn’t buy happiness is ludicrous. Because money keeps you clothed, fed, homed, and comfortable and that’s just the reality of the world we live in. But there’s nothing you can buy with and endless amount of money that will ACTUALLY make you happier. Because happiness comes from people, experiences, and feelings. Not a simeloen sign or an extra zero in your bank account.
9. LIFE IS WAY BETTER WITH EXPANSION PACKS.
Didn’t your Sims time get WAY better when you started having Nightlife, University , Pets, Seasons, and more? There is only one answer to this: Yes. Yes it did.
In the same way that your Sims life got more fun when you had the ability to have new virtual experiences, your REAL life is so much better, brighter, and more fulfilling when you allow yourself to have new experiences. Take that spontaneous holiday, volunteer on the weekends, even just break up your routine once in a while. Basically, just say yes more.
10. AS FUN AS SOMETHING IS YOU CAN'T DO IT FOREVER
Eventually you’ll realise you’ve been staring at your phone for two hours or been in your apartment on your laptop all weekend and it’s time to get it together. There’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. Maybe it’s chocolate, maybe it’s Netflix, or maybe it’s a simulated little world full of fake families. But no matter what your “too much” is, you need to be able to recognise it and step away for a while. You can’t live your life monotonously or without moderation. You’ll be happier if you break things up, because you always get to come back.