The Student News Site of Trinity University


The Student News Site of Trinity University


The Student News Site of Trinity University


Live like a Sim: Lessons from a sandbox game

Photo credit: Andrea Nebhut

Illustration by Andrea Nebhut

The very first Sims game, created by Will Wright, made its debut on Feb. 4, 2000, as a sandbox PC game. Little did Wright know that a whopping 19 years later, people, like myself, would still be playing games within the ever-growing Sims franchise.

Within all four main Sims PC games, the player acts as an all-seeing creator to game characters called Sims. Sims must have their basic needs met. Depending on the game, this includes (but is not limited to) hygiene, bladder, hunger, social, energy and fun. Sims also carry out daily tasks such as going to work, eating dinner, going grocery shopping, etc. The Sims universe is complete with its own currency, Simoleons. Sims live their lives under the player’s command, and the player may take a variety of routes with their Sims, including killing them by removing a pool ladder.

Due to my ungodly amount of hours playing various games within the Sims franchise as well as having dressed as a Sim for Halloween for two years now (and counting), I have compiled a short list of life lessons taught by The Sims that we can all live by.


Now, if you too are well-seasoned in playing The Sims, you may remember getting absorbed in having your main Sim go to work on time, raise their child correctly, keep kitchen fires to a minimum and use the bathroom before they have an accident and die of embarrassment — literally. Completing necessary daily tasks can be draining for both your Sim and yourself. The same way your Sims’ relationship levels fall when they have not seen their friends in a while, your relationship levels may fall, too.

As hectic as life may get, remember to make time for the ones who care about you; your loved ones only want to see you succeed. If Sims can manage a full workday and do all of the above, you can, too.


Playing The Sims is very much like stepping out into the real world: when you look around, diversity is everywhere — not just physical diversity but diversity in thought. Due to a Sim’s traits and skill levels, every Sim will have a different idea of fun. A neat Sim’s fun meter will increase when they are scrubbing down the toilet. On the other hand, a Sim with the Slob trait will enjoy it when their surroundings are filthy.

The point is, people are meant to be different. These differences help us contribute to the grand, interconnected web we call life. Find what makes you happy and run with it. Some Sims enjoy being mean to others if they have the Mean or Evil traits, but that doesn’t mean you should do the same.

What I actually mean is that you should find something that makes you happy AND doesn’t hurt other people. Be your best self, and have fun doing it because we’re all in the same boat trying to figure out life one day at a time.


Every Sim can die — even if they’re an immortal vampire. Sims can die from electrocution, drowning, fires, old age, etc. This, however, doesn’t stop your Sim from living their best life. All our lives we’ve been told to slow down, to appreciate the little things. I am here to tell you the exact same thing. One day, you’ll only be a memory in the minds of people you’ve touched. Just as a Sim can die in these different ways, you can, too.

While there’s no way to combat this, you can ensure you live your best possible life. Do more of what you love, try new hobbies, and — don’t tell your mom I said this — talk to strangers. Bottom-line, make sure you live a life you’ll be proud to look back on.

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