A “Motherlode” of Psychology in Sims

If you’re anything like me, you’ve likely spent a majority of your quarantine looking for any possible way to cure the boredom that inevitably pops up. From single player games of Uno to that weird brownie-in-a-mug that TikTok told you would work (but really didn’t), I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to dive deep into the world of Sims along the way. There’s no shame in it, really. There’s something so engrossing about a world with little people that you can control for only $25, more or less ($5 around Black Friday!). Whichever version of Sims you decide to play, the feelings of triumph and interest remain the same across the board.

            Now, a bigger question remains: what does playing Sims really do to your brain? Well, this was discussed in a Healthline article titled, “Playing the Sims and Other Games for an Hour a Day Helps Train Your Brain,” in which the benefits of interactive games – like Sims – were given a much closer look. Research was published by Adam Chie-Ming Oei and Michael Donald Patterson of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, relating to the mental improvements that casual gaming can initiate. Sims alone has the capability to enhance cognitive and visual skills, and people that play those games may become more detail-oriented throughout their lifetime. This is unsurprising, since the major goal of Sims is designing the characters, while the rest is watching and controlling their interactions throughout their lifetime. The sheer amount of control that can be asserted in this game is very pleasurable for people, as the triumph of being in such a role of power can release a great deal of dopamine in the brain.

 If this alone isn’t a good enough reason to invest time into Sims, consider the fact that it has the potential to increase your overall self-confidence, as well. When thrust into social situations in the real world, it can be difficult to decide the appropriate response at any given time. For some, the creation of your own Sim to place in those situations in-game can be something of a test run for the real thing, a way to experience the situation and respond without the pressure of immediate failure. This can increase one’s confidence in his or her automatic responses to unplanned situations as well, which can be beneficial for manifesting positive social interactions. Whether you’ve indulged in Sims 1, 2, 3 or 4, there’s much to be gained from passing your time by shaping the lives of tiny people…Or ending them by trapping them in a swimming pool – who am I to judge?