I Hate The Sims 4…But I Can’t Stop Playing It

The Sims 4 started off as a typical one. A lot of nostalgia and excitement in a dim-lit room 16 hours later because the PS4 servers are terrible. I wanted a guy and a girl in hopes that they would hit it off and have kiddies while also keeping each other company. It sort of worked out.

About an hour in, I had two characters I could play with. One on track to be a professional gamer and the other on a mixology career path. A sinking feeling came over me when I realized I had created my life in the form of a video game. I can’t escape life stresses even in my spare time.

My frustrations started almost as soon as the game began. I’ve always played The Sims on PC and I knew the controller would be a challenge. Moving the mouse around with a joystick was a lesson on dexterity itself. It got even more challenging as more people moved into the household. The lag between switching characters was something I didn’t expect to happen on my PlayStation, but it did. As more people entered my household, the time to switch between Sims became longer.

One of my biggest qualms was the amount of time it took to do an action. I haven’t played the Sims in years and maybe I wasn’t used to it. What didn’t make sense to me was the in-game time and how it coincided with the tasks the Sims were doing. Why did it take half an hour for my Sim to go to the bathroom? If there is to be a pseudo real-time clock, why wouldn’t it better reflect actual times to complete an activity?

I disliked the option to switch cursors. It caused canceling an action or checking stats to become a hassle. I often canceled the wrong action and had to queue everything again. Anything that was time sensitive turned into frantically trying to get the mouse to center on a tiny object. The only remedy was to get as close as possible which threw off the view of your house and precious seconds were spent trying to center on your Sim again.

At first, two people in the household seemed like enough. Nadine was on track to be a bartender and Anderson was working his way up to becoming a popular professional gamer. Their combined income allowed me to equip their house with video game systems and a bar for Nadine to practice her skills. Unfortunately, their schedules were completely opposite causing their romantic intentions to fall by the wayside. Anderson turned to someone else to fulfill his needs.

I tried throwing parties. You’d figure two charismatic Sims could easily entertain guests. Nope. To this day, I haven’t gotten any awards for my events. I can’t even get my Sims to keep talking to their guests. One usually wanders off and makes drinks for herself and the other plays video games in a dark room. Considering this is what I do in real life, I couldn’t blame them.

At some point, certain things in the house became neglected due to both Sims working so much. I tried hiring a maid, but they sucked. Why was I paying to have my house cleaned if the house was consistently not clean?

Enter Sierra.

I created Sierra with the intentions of her being a stay at home caretaker and child raiser. She was a tidy Sim with family values. I needed her to take over the duties of cooking, cleaning, and repairs in the house. I had hoped that she would do it automatically, but she still requires constant reminders. Sometimes, she’ll just refuse to do things or her priorities will mess up. I’m not sure if it was a bug, or if that’s just what I was supposed to deal with.

Moving Sierra in gave me the funds to expand the house. I had started building a nicer house in the next door lot, but I decided to expand this house first and build up a savings before I moved everyone.

Building turned out to be just as much of a hassle. If something didn’t fit, I had to completely back out of the building inventory before moving anything around. Combined with the natural lag of the game, this took some excitement out of expanding my house.

The actual building part was very intuitive. Walls snapped in place and it was easy to build separate bedrooms. What didn’t work for me was the furniture to room ratio. A bedroom that looked like it could fit many fun things barely held a bed and a bookcase.

Moving Sierra in required a Google search and some common sense. There may have been a tutorial on it, but the tutorials were long and boring and why was I wasting my time reading them – (things I said before accidentally deleting my kitchen). Turns out, it was as easy as just selecting the house and merging households.

Soon after she moved in, Sierra was ready to be a mother. $1,000 later, Isabella entered the picture: a screaming stinky bundle of joy. I may have been spoiled with Isabella. She rarely cried and she was an easy first child. In her toddler stage, she learned quickly and was soon wandering the house like a pro. The one thing that sucked was having to feed toddlers. They need to be in a high chair and navigating the child from where they were to the high chair took more time than necessary.

At this point, Anderson and Nadine had moved up swimmingly in their selected fields. Anderson was enjoying his relationship with a blonde named Summer and their sexual escapades at festivals were Penthouse Forum worthy. That’s when Anderson and Nadine started spending more time together as their schedules soon coincided.

I’ll admit, I wanted the drama. I’ll also admit that I was less than impressed with how each Sim handled the encounters. I was expecting Jersey Shore-esq hair pulling and name calling, but instead everyone just cried and walked around sad. Summer would go so far as to come over just to cry in Anderson’s bed. Oh no baby, what is you doing?

With Summer spending all her time crying, I decided that Anderson and Nadine should “WooHoo” in an attempt to make a baby. Anderson had just become an Elder and I wasn’t sure of his potency. Nothing mentioned a success or failure and I wanted another baby in the house.

Sierra adopted her second child, by the name of Mateo. Mateo was much more vocal than Isabella was and commanded a lot of Sierra’s time just to get him to shut up. On top of all that, Nadine unexpectedly started to get morning sickness. I didn’t have time to take care of one baby, how was I to take care of 2?

Perhaps the stress of always having Sierra’s tasks maxed out caused her to bug, but she stopped responding to half of the things I wanted her to do. This caused problems with the children as she was supposed to be responsible for taking care of them. The toddlers started annoying everyone else in the household for attention or food. I’m surprised child services didn’t come by and take the babies. Which would have been deserved because Sierra was a terrible mother.

The last child in the house, Jada, was born to Anderson and Nadine. Nadine went to the hospital to have the baby, but not before she made a drink and finished her conversation. Anderson did not come.

I’ve set Jada up in Mateo and Sierra’s room. Sierra gets no sleep because of all the crying and she’ll probably die of exhaustion first. Anderson and Nadine spend almost no time with their child and I feel bad for their bastard spawn.

Anderson will probably retire soon and get ready for the inevitable. I’m hoping that I can delay death until Isabella is old enough to work because I’ve spent all their money raising these stupid kids. Nadine has recently become an Elder herself so she will follow in the footsteps of Anderson. I’m going to have to get a man for Sierra because I need another adult in the house. I’ll soon have to prepare for a funeral and I’m not looking forward to it.

After all this, the questions remains: Why am I living a stressful life almost identical to the one I live now?

Why do I continue playing The Sims 4? The controls are a funky scheme that doesn’t make sense. The loading screens are long enough that I can leave and cook a bowl of Ramen before they’re done. Life achievements seem impossible to fulfill because you’re busy dealing with your fake life.

Because it doesn’t matter. If I make a mistake, it doesn’t matter. If I accidentally get knocked up by my roommate, it doesn’t matter. Went out the night before and was too tired to go to the work the next day? It doesn’t matter. The control I have and the ability to shape a life…it doesn’t matter. It just is.

I hate The Sims 4, but I can’t stop playing it.

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