The Sims has long been one of the most popular computer games. The series has been inspiring gamers around the world – including children and teenagers – for about 20 years.
In the PC and console game you can create the life of the so-called Sims. As a single player you create different characters, determine their appearance, characteristics and social interaction. You build cities and houses for the Sims and decide what profession a Sim chooses, whether he or she will have a career and start a family. Much is the same as in the real world, except that you can influence more yourself. It is the simulation of life without a concrete game goal as in many other games. The player’s drive is to give the Sims a “good life”. So you can’t lose or win.
The Sims is a role-playing game in which you can create different characters. Many children like to slip into other roles to try out different personalities. They can try things that are not (yet) possible in real life because they are reserved for adults, for example. At the same time, the game feels very realistic, so they can discover familiar things and put themselves in different roles well.
The countless design possibilities do not let boredom arise and children can live out their creativity. It is pleasant that in the latest Sims version you can create people very freely, without serving prejudices. For example, no distinction is made between female and male. Female Sims can be muscular and earn the same salary in the same jobs as men, and male Sims can even get pregnant.
Playing with the Sims has no clear end. This may make it difficult for your child to stop playing. Immersing yourself in other worlds and different roles is tempting. But it also carries the risk of getting lost in it – precisely because the social aspect plays an important role. Your child can decide with whom the Sims make friends, spend time and much more. In real life, it’s not always that simple.
Players will also be confronted with the fact that people die – because that also happens in the Sims world. The way a Sim can die could be very distressing, especially for younger children: he or she can drown, burn to death, starve to death, or even be eaten by a carnivorous plant.
The mobile freeplay version of the game, which can be installed for free via the popular app stores, contains in-app purchases and advertisements. Not every child knows how to handle it. It can be tempting to buy certain package to achieve certain things faster.
Pay attention to the age recommendations and get to know the game yourself first to be able to assess whether it is right for your daughter or son. Then take the first steps together in setting up the game. Maybe you feel like creating some sims together?
In life simulation games, values such as community, trust and tolerance are of particular importance. The Sims in particular provide an opportunity for you to talk with your child about role models, values, and ideas and consider whether they fit with your ideas and those of your child.
Since the game could be played on continuously, you should agree together on rules for the duration of the game. Also discuss with your child how to deal with possible costs and in-app purchases. The mobile version of the game requires permanent Internet access and offers a chat function that allows communication with other players. Advise your child of the risks of contact with strangers or disable the chat function.