Recently I decided to purchase The Sims 4 as a fun activity for my family to enjoy together. I used to play the game back in my youth and, despite the game’s simplicity, I was frequently charmed by its simulation concept.
The first thing we did was recreate our family in the game. I was immediately surprised at how far the series had come since I last played it well over a decade ago. We noticed that the traits we chose for our characters actually did a remarkable job at portraying each of us in real life.
Using the in-game’s features, we were able to create a stunningly close approximation of our actual lifestyle.
You see, in real life neither my wife nor I have jobs to go to. We both stay home all day. That’s just the way we decided to live. And it took us many years of living that way before we could do it in exactly the way that we wanted to do it.
My wife wanted a lifestyle in which she gets to spend her day keeping up the household and fixing things, which is her greatest passion in life. I wanted a lifestyle where I make money in a self-employed fashion from the comfort of my home office. And we both wanted to stay home with our child all day. Seems like an overly idealistic goal, but the truth is that we’ve already attained it. It’s already done.
So it was only natural that we would attempt to recreate this lifestyle in The Sims. However, we didn’t even know if it was possible within the game to work from home. And even if you technically could earn money from home, would it be enough to make a living in the game?
We didn’t know.
Rather than look it up online, we decided just to play the game and find out for ourselves…which led us to a great discovery about real life.
You can do anything you set your mind to…even if you can’t clearly see the path of how to get there.
So we committed to our idea of simulating our real lifestyle within the game. We bought a desk and a computer for my character, while my wife’s character focused on fixing things, maintaining the household, and doing creative things all day. Just like in real life, our daughter goes to school for as long as she wants to…and when she doesn’t want to anymore then she’ll just go back to staying home with us.
It’s really quite a fantastic and inspirational lifestyle…so it’s only natural that we would attempt to achieve the same thing within the game.
Day-in and day-out, my character focused on practicing programming from the computer while my wife’s character practiced fixing and creating things, like meals and art paintings.
We didn’t know if we could make it work. Or even if the game supported such a unique lifestyle of freedom and solitude.
Eventually a new option appeared on the computer, and I was able to do freelancing work. Shortly after that, my character was able to program plugins, apps, and video games. In no time at all he got to the point where he was making enough to support the household and move us into a bigger house. My wife’s paintings also skyrocketed in value. Between the two of us, we were actually doing it…we were making a really fantastic income from home, doing what we wanted to do.
We had to live very modestly for a long time. But it’s the same story in our real lives as well. There’s a famous quote that illustrates this:
“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” — Anonymous
The game confirmed this concept to me. And just because it’s a “simulation” doesn’t really mean it’s any more of a simulation than “real” life. There are lessons just the same.
Having this experience made me realize that there are accomplishments out there waiting for me to achieve them…and that if I put my mind to it, there’s really no reason why I can’t eventually achieve them…
…even if I can’t yet see the path.