11 People On Valuable Real Life Lessons Learned From The Sims


We all played The Sims. If you didn’t, you know someone that’s played it. The Sims marked a momentous change in how simulation life games were developed. It taught us consumerism, it taught us how to design a house, however crazy and grandiose it might’ve been. You played as a god, you had the power to kill, power to create, power to destroy. Here are some unforgettable lessons that The Sims taught people and you. From Quora: What are some lessons learned through playing The Sims that are useful in other parts of life?

1. Elaine C. Smith


1. Upgrading some household goods can improve your quality of life dramatically.

The Sims is supposed to be anti-consumerist and teach you that the most valuable resource is time. However, one of the things I learned was that by spending some money to upgrade things in the home, you can buy more time.

The most obviously important household item any Sims player learns to upgrade is the bed. Beds range in price from §100-§1,000 and increase energy and comfort. Cheap beds generally have a lower Energy status, meaning they require Sims to sleep for a longer period of time before they are fully rested. You can try to save money by buying a cheaper bed, but by spending more money on a bed of higher quality, you can gain in time and energy.

When my husband and I were in the market for a new bed a couple of years ago, we decided not to skimp on a quality mattress. Also, appliances that are well-made and smartly-designed can save you headache and hassle.

2. “Friendships are like plants. If you don’t care for them, they wither and die.”

Repeated interactions between Sim acquaintances tends to increase their relationship level. Over time the relationship level decreases. In the Sims, if you have a relationship that is decreasing to a low level, your Sim receives a phone call reminder with the above quote.

The Sim can maintain an ailing friendship by calling up or emailing the friend. If the friendship is too weak, they may decline an invitation to come over or hang out. However, regular communication can nurse the friendship back to health, after which point your Sim can try inviting them over or out some time again.

Real life friendships are not as straightforward, of course, but the general principle still applies. Maintaining a friendship requires at least one of the participants to put forth some effort and both participants to give of their time.

Since most of us don’t get automated reminders in real life when we are starting to lose touch with friends, it’s important to make note of the ones you’d like to keep and be sure to check in with them from time to time.

3. Certain activities fulfill only one need; others fulfill multiple needs at once. By engaging in the latter type of activities, you can get more out of the limited number of hours in the day.

For example, eating alone remedies hunger. However, eating with other people around remedies both Hunger and Social needs. The more needs an activity or situation fulfills, the better the use of your time. By this standard, for Sims, soaking in a hot tub with friends is the crème de la crème of need fulfillment and therefore time use. This activity satisfies four needs at once!! Fun, Hygiene, Social, and Comfort.

Similarly, some activities both fulfill a need and allow you to develop a skill. Or fulfill a need, build skills, and allow you to earn money! Sims example: drawing or painting on the easel. It fulfills the need for Fun, increases one’s Creativity or Painting skill, and completed paintings can be sold for Simoleans (the in-game currency).

Your mileage may vary on which activities are best for you, but once you figure out what they are, you should feel free to spend a good chunk of your time on them. For me, it’s tennis — fulfills Fun and Social, improves Body. (Unfortunately, it decreases Hygiene.)

Some other random observations/lessons:

  • People are motivated by different things. Some people are motivated primarily by relationships, whereas others are primarily motivated by the pursuit of knowledge, or a wish to make money. These different motives can drive a lot of day-to-day wants and desires.
  • Having a baby destroys your sleep schedule and can really ruin your work life. I have since learned this lesson from observing friends who have become new parents, but I saw it first in The Sims.
  • Needing to use the bathroom badly (“bladder urgency” in The Sims) is really not fun for anyone.


2. Mike Sellers

Will Wright once said that the real lesson of the game was supposed to be anti-consumerist: it teaches you that the most precious resource you have is time. You can acquire more and more stuff until the need to go from thing to thing, keeping them in working order, rules your life and your time. You become owned by your things.

I’m pretty sure most people didn’t get this message from the game. 🙂

3. Heidi McDonald

  1. Things learned from The Sims that have turned out to be totally true in life:
  2. Clowns annoy or scare pretty much everyone.
  3. If you don’t lock your front door, you could have anything from burglars to people dressed as llamas, to random crazy old ladies going through your fridge.
  4. You can get a greater appreciation of things and sometimes have deep thoughts by just pausing to view random objects.
  5. Lightning actually can strike the same place twice.
  6. Having a fire extinguisher contains the damage and staves off those pesky firefighters.
  7. Every home should have a disco ball somewhere.
  8. If you live with others, odds are you’ll have to re-tune your stereo settings each time you turn it on.
  9. There really are people out there, maybe not actually named Goopy, who have equally ridiculous, unlikely names.
  10. Plumbers are expensive, but convenient.
  11. Labor hurts like hell and things will go a lot better for everyone if you get your ass to the hospital, tout suite.
  12. If you leave food and dirty dishes around for long enough, you’ll attract flies.
  13. Some people really do sound like they’re talking in gibberish every time they open their mouths.
  14. If a plant releases milk, chances are it’s gonna be gross.
  15. At first, people will boo you when you play music. But stick with it, and you’ll get more confident and skilled, and people will eventually appreciate it.
  16. If someone claims to have been abducted by aliens, how can you really be sure they’re lying?
  17. The longer you sit on your ass, the fatter it gets.
  18. Bloodsuckers aren’t always obvious.
  19. Stomping grapes can relieve a lot of frustration.
  20. If you don’t personally sit there and make sure your kids do their homework, they totally won’t.
  21. Some fish really will actually respond to a piece of potato on a hook.
  22. If you ever actually find drywall for $10 a panel, or attractive flooring for $2 per square foot, installed…BUY IT IMMEDIATELY.
  23. Lawn flamingoes are seriously fun to kick.
  24. Getting laid takes a lot of time and schmooze.
  25. Some people really do cheat death. Just not using rock, paper, scissors.
  26. If the phone rings at an incredibly inconvenient time, it’s OK to say you’re not available to talk. If the person was worth talking to, they’ll call back.
  27. You seriously can learn useful things from TV.
  28. Birthday parties are important.
  29. If you don’t take pictures and videos of those you love while they’re alive, you’ll miss them worse when they’re gone.
  30. Line dances look ridiculous from every angle.
  31. You actually can, in real life, eventually get a job as a video game designer by initially starting as a playtester!

4. Adam Mordecai

Relationships are complicated and Jerry Springer is a showman.

Do not neglect your children, pay attention to them and care for them.

Go to the bathroom or you will wet your pants.

Remember to sleep, otherwise you will pass out in random locations.

People are obsessed with owning stuff, and can be slightly narcissistic.


5. Alex K. Chen

It’s complicated to give gifts.

In The Sims, it’s quite common for someone to reject a gift that you give them, even if you have the best of intentions. While this does not explicitly happen as often in real life, the fact is – that somehow – giving gifts often doesn’t have the effect that you intend them to have. Sometimes, you might give a gift that tells them that you don’t really understand them. Or alternatively, you might learn that they didn’t like it that much, and get hurt. Whatever it is, it’s something that’s pretty complicated to dissect (I’m not sure what it is – but I’d be happy if someone can give ideas).

6. Craig Ting

Always reticulate your splines!

7. Karolyn Chowning

A few more good gems:

  1. Multi- generational households are ideal for working parents. Elders and teens are good with children.
  2. Showers are faster than tubs. You only really need a tub to wash your flea-bitten dog.
  3. You only need friends and charisma, not skills, to succeed in politics.
  4. If your primary goal is to increase lifetime happiness, spend as much as you can afford at the spa every week.
  5. Even with a hamper in every room, there’s usually dirty laundry on the floor.
  6. Brushing your teeth increases your mood more than your hygiene.
  7. Everything gets better with practice.
  8. There are many lifetime goals that aren’t career-based.
  9. Compatibility is related to personality, not horoscope (sorry, my beloved Sims 2… This is a major Sims 3 improvement).
  10. And less true: Just go over to celebrities’ houses unannounced and you will become famous if you have money, skill, or a good job.
  11. Getting promoted is easier than getting on the honor roll in school.
  12. Listening to kids’ music while pregnant increases likelihood of multiples.
  13. One of the first things every new teenager wants is to get a part-time job.
  14. Left unattended, about 30% of your town will become vampires (?!?!?)

8. Peter Clark

That it is actually incredibly dangerous to be in water if there is no ladder to use to get out.


9. Martin Gradwell

  1. Always flush the toilet after use.
  2. Never sit in an outdoor hot tub during a thunderstorm

10. Jule DeAnne

The Sims have taught me that if you have not built up the right skills, it can lead to disaster and waste a lot of time.

11. Ansh Nivesatyan

Don’t sleep with the maid while your wife is at home.