It’s all about emotions. That’s what EA tells us. Our sims not only have free will and personality, they also have the ability to experience a variety of emotional states.
Our sims might get angry, or embarrassed. They can be gloomy and sad, playful, energetic, or downright flirty.
In reality, our sims aren’t feeling anything. Despite our beliefs to the contrary, they’re not real people, only collections of pixels and computer code. It’s much more fun to pretend otherwise, of course.
But what about US, the players? We are very human, and our emotions are quite real. Not only are we capable of experiencing genuine feelings as we watch our sims live their lives, we also bring many different emotions with us each time we come to the game.
Sometimes things that happen in my game do have a noticeable effect on my moods and emotions. When I see one of my married sims having a not-so-innocent flirtation behind a spouse’s back, it might upset me. When one of my sims gets up the nerve to propose, only to be rejected, of course I feel his pain. Unlike the sims themselves, I am very human.
What I’ve observed over nearly fifteen years of “simming”, is that not only do my sims affect my state of mind, but also my moods can have a definite effect on the lives of my little pixelated people.
If I’m feeling frustrated with a project or if I’ve had a disagreement with someone, I might well turn to my sims for a bit of escape from the real world fun. Fun? For me, yes. For my sims, not so much. If I’m in a bad mood, I might just let awful things happen to my poor, unsuspecting sims.
When my mood goes sour, I’m more apt to:
- Force my sims into relationships that aren’t really right for them
- Let little disputes turn into major confrontations between sims
- Cause separations or divorces
- Allow married sims to embark on affairs
- Cause “accidental” pregnancies
- Make sims quit their jobs
- Create illnesses or accidents
- Let sims suffer and die prematurely
Yep. When I’m feeling bleak, I take it out on my sims. My storylines take unhappy twists and turns as my families struggle against sudden, unexpected challenges. Later, as my mood improves, I can work with my sims to help them find ways out of the problems I’ve created for them.
During my happier times, I give my sims moments to remember:
- I let them fall in love
- I give them beautiful weddings
- Couples wanting children get their wish
- I help them move into bigger and better homes
- I find cures for illnesses
- Court cases are happily resolved
- I give them accolades on their jobs and occasionally cash bonuses to go along with it
- I let them indulge in whims — new swimming pools, artwork, whatever their hearts desire
So, it works both ways. Bad moods create bad moments in my stories, but then good moods create good moments and often serve to counter the havoc and unhappiness I’ve created.
How do YOUR personal emotions affect your game and the lives of your sims?