COVID-19 and quarantine have ripped us from the grips of the world we were once accustomed to. It thrusted society into a new realm of virtual learning, remote working/interning, and reduced our access to activities. Those first months of quarantine left me focused on finishing off my spring semester, But once my freshman year was over, I found myself with little to do and stuck in the house with my family.
However, a few days into quarantine, I remembered about an expansive world that awaited me on my laptop. This world took me to a place with no COVID-19 and no quarantine, a world without masks or social distancing..
So, which place is this you ask?
This place, my friend, is the video game, Sims 4.
A place where children and teenagers could go back to school in the fall, where young adults who applied for college could go off to university for their fall semester, where adults could enjoy their summer by the pool, go to their favorite restaurants, or hit the bowling alley with their family and friends, where elders could enjoy nature and take walks in their neighborhood parks.
You may be asking: how can one video game help you escape the realities of COVID-19 and quarantine? Well as an avid "simmer" myself, allow me to explain.
Create Your Own Characters
One of the best things about the Sims 4 is the ability to create your own sims, or avatars. From “create-a-sim”, you get a starter sim. Right off the bat, the sim may not look the way you want them to look. This is what create-a-Sim is for.
During this part of the game, it enables you to pick out your sim’s clothes from their everyday clothes to their formal wear. There are many clothes to choose from in a host of colors and patterns. From the jeans and t-shirts to the skirts and the blouses, your sims can have their own styles based on your taste.
“Create-a-sim” doesn’t only limit you to picking out their clothes. Your sims need traits too!
You have the ability to choose their traits from personality, learning, hobby, and more. These traits would ultimately affect how they act around other sims, how they would perform certain tasks, and how fast they pick up skills. I have plenty of sims myself who are creatives, art lovers, foodies, and more. These traits are fun to witness when your sims are doing something they enjoy or just simply interacting with other new sims at their jobs, school, and on the street.
Expand, Expand, Expand!
After a while, you may grow tired of playing the Sims 4 at its base game level, which leads me to the discussion of expansion and game packs. These packs are used to make your gameplay in the Sims 4 ten times better.
Expansion packs can unlock new towns for your sims to explore in as well as new features such as pets, the ability to get famous, and the opportunity to move into apartments.
As of right now, I can share my experience of the “Discover University Pack.” It took me right back to my beginning college days as a freshman while attempting to get used to my new workload, looking into clubs and sports to join, and meeting my dormmates,
Game packs add new features as well. These features are not of the same extent as the expansion packs, but these packs unlock unique skills your sims can obtain such as knitting, parenting, and more.
Over quarantine, I bought the Parenthood Pack which enabled my young adult and adult sims to parent their children. My sim’s life is currently filled with messy toddlers and sassy teenagers. With this pack, my game comes to life and feels that much more realistic.
Mod Your Game Up
The last addition I made to my game this quarantine was the incorporation of “mods.” I began using mods more the longer I played the Sims 4.
Don’t get me wrong, the Sims is great with expansion and game packs, but mods improve gameplay even further. Creators who make these mods enable you to get your sims new traits, nicer clothes, and interactive experiences.
As of right now, I have many mods, from clothing to interactions, but there are two that are my favorites. The first one is “KawaiiStacie’s Slice of Life” mod. This mod more accurately reflects the realities of the teenage lifestyle. In this mod, teenagers have to deal with acne and other pressures, from homework stress to social status.
Though “Slice of Life brings” reality to the Sims, “Sacrificial’s Road to Fame” mod brings the world of the Instagram model and Soundloud singer to life. Your Sims have the ability to gain stardom under various jobs and can earn sponsorships and brand deals.
Though everything might not be back to normal just yet in real life, there is limitless potential of creating a new world in the Sims 4. From creating your own sims to the expansion and game packs, there is nothing you cannot do within the bounds of the Sims 4.