Whether they’re creating picture-perfect houses resembling the Love Island villa, having werewolf graduation ceremonies or assembling a family of Keanu Reeves clones, Sims players are very good at finding new ways to make the game as interesting as it can be.
However, it seems that for some, these weird and wacky hijinks are just a small part of what appeals to them about the game, with even the most mundane of its functions providing a means for them to improve their mental health.
This is certainly the case for one player, who’s taken to Reddit to share the important role The Sims plays in their difficult daily life.
Building Your Dream Family and Home Can Be Therapeutic
The thread in the subreddit r/thesims discussing this began with a post from user BigLeaf12, which kicked off with them asking: “Does anyone else love playing The Sims because their life sucks?”
They then went on to give a bit of insight into why this is the case for them, saying: “I'm gay, close to my 30s, but live in a homophobic country that doesn't even remotely protect or acknowledge gay people. At least being gay is legal, I'm grateful for that I guess. I usually play my game by making happy gay couples.”
BigLeaf12 also added that problems with their country’s economy make it difficult for them to afford the kind of housing or possessions that they aspire for, whereas in the game, they can afford and appreciate these things, ending the post by explaining: “The Sims gives me things that life never has. The Sims makes me feel normalcy.”
Fellow Sims players responded with supporting comments and shared a number of similar experiences and sentiments, with user raiderwithshotgun saying: “I'm sorry for the way the things are for you” and LargeSeaworthiness1 adding: “I often play when I am really depressed as I can often hyper-focus & forget about how (bad) I feel.”
Meanwhile, user EntireAbbreviations got expanded the notion to all simulation games, saying: “I think the main reason I play video games of a sim or roleplay nature is to find joy in fictional lives that feel less worthless than my own and play the roles of characters who aren't as miserable as myself” and adding: “I'm also in my 30s, queer (bi woman), and play as characters who get to openly and happily be themselves while I have to be super careful in real life due to local prejudice.”
A number of US-based players agreed that playing The Sims has helped them greatly over the past few years as issues like the repealing of Roe v Wade have made it a worrying time for many women and LGBTQ+ people.