11 Life Lessons We Learned from Playing The Sims

  1. Being an adult can be super boring

When you first start the Sims, the only thing your Sim does is go to work, eat, use the bathroom, and sleep. If this is not the most accurate portrayal of adulthood, I don’t know what is. Even when my Sim has the day off, they’ve have to spend it cleaning or repairing broken appliances or endlessly upping their skill levels to try and get a promotion.

It gets better as you level up, but essentially, the Sims prepared me to accept the impending boredom.

  1. Furniture is expensive

One of the most accurate parts of the Sims is how expensive everything is. You go into a new play through with $30,000 or so and that can be gone in an instant if you’re a bit too cavalier with your purchases.

It’s actually kind of rewarding to buy the cheapest stuff, or have very little furniture, and then get to replace it with shiny new things as you earn more money. It’s just like real life! The first time you buy a brand new couch is a joyous occasion.

  1. Actually, everything is expensive

You want hardwood floors throughout? Better be prepared to kill half your budget. Go out to the bar? Sure, if you can afford for your Sim to spend $24 on a single drink. Play video games when they’re stressed? If you didn’t blow all your money on furniture and you can afford a computer on $10 an hour. That’s on top of the weekly bills you have to pay to literally keep the lights on.

You either learn to save or your Sim will be a sad panda—a valuable lesson we could all learn.

  1. Started from the bottom, now we here

One of the great things about the Sims is that it really does promote having a good work ethic. You want to be a chef? Well, kiddo, you’ll start off as a dishwasher and if you work hard and put in the extra effort, you’ll get there someday. Plan to be a secret Agent? First you start off as an agency clerk.

Hate to break it to the millennials out there that think a college degree and a smile will land you your dream job right off the bat—that is not how the real world works. You have to start at the bottom in order to make it to the top. Nothing gets handed to you, so if you want to get that dream job, make sure you’re putting in the time to read all those logic books or paint six hours a Sim day.

  1. It’s never too late to change your mind about what you want to do

Play long enough and put in enough effort, your Sim will achieve their dreams or reach the highest level of their career path. And if that happens, you’re left with the option to pursue something else. Even if you’ve spent your whole life working toward a goal, if you get there and realize it’s not what you want—do something else! There’s no point in living an unhappy life, after all.

  1. You’re not going to be great at everything—at least at first

Unless you are some superhuman entity, we all know that practice makes perfect. Your Sim’s first painting might be awful, they might get booed during their first piano jam session, or they’ll probably totally bail on the treadmill their first time at the gym. That’s just life, man. The more you work at it, the better you’ll get.

  1. Exercise is good for you

Speaking of the gym, get your Sim there more than once if you want them to stay in shape. Just like in real life, if you spend all our time on your butt, you’re not going to win any marathons—or take the stairs without breathing hard. Not only will hitting the gym or getting a treadmill for your house keep your Sim looking trim, but it’ll also make them happy and confident. Same goes for you, girl.

  1. Love comes in all forms

Obviously, we all have our types. I typically play games pretty straight and go for male characters with qualities I like in real life. But in the Sims, the sky is the limit when it comes to finding love. Your Sim can romance men, women, the elderly, aliens, the Grim Reaper, a group of people, a married couple—you name it. That’s a pretty amazing concept for the young people playing this, especially when most games have such limited romance options.

  1. And that love takes work

Your Sims have to spend hours, nay days, romancing their chosen paramours. And if they connect with someone and don’t talk to them for a while, that connection fades. Same goes for friendships and familial bonds. What a crazy notion—relationships take work! Anyone in a relationship of any kind knows that to be true.

You can’t just leave someone you went on a date with hanging for two weeks without so much as a text and still expect them to still like you. Parents can’t ignore their children or spouse because they have a lot of stargazing to do. The hardest things are usually the most rewarding.

  1. Safety first

This doesn’t happen that often in the latest version so the Sims, but remember when burglars or weird clowns or strange people would just show up in your house if you didn’t have an alarm system? That’s like priority number one if you didn’t want your Sim’s TV to get stolen while they’re at work. Not all of us can afford an alarm system, of course, but at least lock your damn doors.

Same goes for having a working fire alarm. I lost two hours of play through when my stove caught on fire and burned my Sim alive—and the fire department didn’t save her because I forgot to install the necessary safety precautions.

  1. I want to believe

Aliens, vampires, ghosts, and dudes dressed up as llamas are all real so don’t be mean to people who say they’ve seen them.

For more Sim life lessons, check out my new Sims 4 series on YouTube.

Emily Kelley is a writer, cosplayer, crafter, and gamer with over 20 years of PC and console gaming experience. She is the co-founder of the Geekie Award-winning Wrong Button Blog and you may have seen her on Season 1 of “Geeks Who Drink.” You can follow her on Twitter & Instagram.
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Emily Kelley is a writer, cosplayer, crafter, and gamer with over 20 years of PC and console gaming experience. She is the co-founder of the Geekie Award-winning Wrong Button Blog and you may have seen her on Season 1 of "Geeks Who Drink." You can follow her on Twitter & Instagram.

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