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The Sims 3 Real Life (proposed expansion pack)

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The Sims 3 in my Life

I have a proposition for a new Sims 3 expansion I would like to call Sims 3 Real Life. I love The Sims 3. In any given month, I “waste” hours upon hours creating families and the homes they live in, designing their clothes, and getting frustrated because my trusty laptop, now getting into its fifth year, is struggling to play it.

Along with all of the expansions from Electronic Arts, I play with the NRaas suite of mods, and almost never without Master Controller and Story Progression from that suite because it adds so much to the game.

I fiddle with the mods extensively. In my worlds, same sex couples can have babies the old fashioned way (through the Woohooer mod) and why not? If I can have characters that are Witches and Fairies and Vampires and Imaginary Friend Dolls and Genies, why can’t gay couples reproduce? And now that Sims 3 Seasons has come  out, how much more like real life can Sims 3 get?

In my worlds, having a certain skin tone (including variations of blue, green, red, and yellow in addition to human skin tones), or gender, or sexual preference does not confer any particular handicap or advantage in the game. If there’s a mod out there that does that, let me know. I’d love to have it.

The Sims 3 vs. Real Life

This is the thing. I love Sims 3 because it is fantasy, and I get frustrated with it because it is fantasy in places where that fantasy isn’t acknowledged. There are people who might object to gay men getting pregnant ‘because it’s not real life’, but see no problem with it being just as easy for a woman or a darker skinned person or a non-human person to get ahead in the business world as a white male human character.

They have no problem with the almost complete erasure of the issue of disability in peoples’ lives (the Generations expansion adds a cane, but it’s cosmetic vs. functional). Some have no problem with the fact that if your family is struggling financially, you simply hit Cntl+Shift+C and type ‘motherlode’ to get an instant 50,000 Simoleans. (you’re welcome to the tip).

The Sims 3 Real Life (proposed expansion pack)

But what if we had to play Sims 3 by real world rules? What would that look like?

Here are some ideas:

  • You don’t get to customize your viewpoint character. For simplicity’s sake, you start out as a young adult, but you could be any size, shape, gender or color.
  • You start out with a random number of Simoleans skewed toward lower income amounts in the same proportion as in real life. There is no ‘motherlode’ cheat.
  • You have a chance of rolling a character with a visible or invisible disability. You will find that many Sim houses and workplaces are not accessible for people with physical disabilities, and that when other Sims encounter the effects of your Sim’s invisible disability, they are not generally very helpful.
  • If your character is female or has a dark skin tone or a last name corresponding to a minority, its earn ‘experience’ and advances through careers at the same proportional rate as real life. Reserve over 90% of the top slots in businesses for white, male, able-bodied Sims.
  • Doctor bills should be proportionate to what they are in Real Life, as should disability and retirement payments. The first Sims game was created when it was possible to save for a decent retirement for most people working full time. This is no longer the case.
  • 25% of Sim 3 Real Life jobs and professions will now pay too little to support your Sim family on, just like in real life.
  • Just like in Real Life, when gay Sims 3 characters come out or are outted, they have a significant chance to permanently lose friendships and family members that cannot be restored.
  • Politics in Sims 3 Real Life matters. Which Sim, with which agenda, gets elected affects the infrastructure and the economy.
  • Sims 3 Real Life has involuntary unemployment, just like Real Life.
  • Random events can devastate a Sims 3 Real Life family or cause it to suddenly rise through the social and financial ranks of the game.

I could do this all day. Electronic Arts and Origin probably won’t ever create this game because it would almost certainly be too controversial and create a negative splashback that might harm their business… but surely someone out there could program a simulation as complicated and detailed as Sims 3, add some or all of these Real Life constrictions (and others I haven’t thought about yet), and design their own games. Surely.

Anyone want to make a go at it? What would your Sims 3 Real Life game expansion look like?

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  • Ryk Spoor

    EA won’t do it not because of controversy or anything. They won’t do it because the market for it would be somewhat smaller than the market for a fantasy RPG in which your character gets hit once by a sword, nearly dies, and then DOES die from the nasty gangrene which can’t be treated.

    I can easily see a modder doing this, but I doubt it would be a popular mod.