The Sims made me realize that I’m ready for more in life


Then Minichiello moved to Seattle. After staying at an Airbnb for two weeks, he found a studio and moved in. “It was really hard for me to find the motivation to furnish it and start my life,” says Minichiello. “I was procrastinating like crazy. I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know where to start. So, rather than situate my life, I returned to The sims. “

But, returning to his game, Minichiello had a light bulb moment.

“It was there, sitting in my unfurnished studio with no pots, pans, plates, cutlery or furniture, that I realized how much time I was spending trying to recreate the ‘ideal’ life in my Sim’s world, when I should start treating my real life like a game.

The sims made “happiness” easy for me to understand. All I had to do was “gamify” my life and pretend that I also had energy meters and progress bars in my daily life. As long as I keep reading and studying, making sure all of my stats are in the green, then good things are inevitable. “

And, of course, they did. Minichiello says his mood changed (he was a lot more positive), he furnished his apartment (including buying kitchenware and utensils), he cooked healthy meals instead of ordering Chipotle from UberEats everyday he woke up earlier in the morning and started going. for shopping to explore the city.

“I was starting to feel inspired… it was a great domino effect that I had never really felt before.”

He spent more time outdoors reading which brought him more in touch with nature and led him to a new hobby: hiking. “I was so upset moving across the country on my own that I didn’t realize how close I was to getting back on track.

Minichiello is a “wonderful example” of how knowledge transfer can occur between our in-game play and our IRL lives, according to Rachel Kowert, research director at Take this, a non-profit organization that provides mental health resources to the gaming community, which also studies the relationship between gaming and cultural and social norms.

“It’s really cool,” Kowert said on a video call. “I don’t know if a lot of people do this, but gamification is very effective in changing behavior, so maybe The sims must create an app that helps people live together. “

As Kowert alluded to, not everyone will get the same attention from their game in The sims right away – make the connection between their actions in the game and what they want or need IRL, like Minichiello and myself.

“I think you have to be very self-aware and thoughtful,” she says. “The average person, I’m not sure they would make that connection… I think it would click if it was pointed out to them.”

This exact thing happened to Kowert herself during our call. When I asked her if there was a connection between the real hobbies or desires of the players and the skills they choose to focus on in the game, she noted that she always maximizes the fitness of her Sims. . “In my idealized version of myself, that’s what I would be,” she says, adding that she would love to be super fit and run a marathon, and that’s probably why she’s working to do it. in The sims.

“I had never thought of this before,” she said, before comparing the personalization of their Sims by players to a projective personality test – a psychological test in which the participant responds to ambiguous stimuli and thus reveals his hidden desires and emotions.

If so, what are our actions and choices really saying in the game?

No, killing your Sims doesn’t mean you’re a serial killer

Jeannie Schmidlapp loves to kill his Sims. Well, more specifically, she loves collecting ghosts. He “started innocently enough with a challenge inherited in The Sims 2,In which you would score one point for each color of ghost you had on your property, with different colors indicating different causes of death. Then it intensified. Does that mean she wants to be an IRL serial killer? Well, no, not really – but more on that in a moment.

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