In testing times when living day-to-day is a struggle and things just pile up and become too much to cope with video games are my escape. This week has been a particularly difficult one for me and so one night after an exceptionally stressful day I spent the evening simulating a better world in The Sims 4. I’ll admit its not a game I usually turn to anymore.
For the past year I have had little to no desire to play with only a few spells here and there where I played actively. I usually boot up Overwatch and take to healing my allies with my favourite character Moira. If I wanna get comfy I’ll snuggle up in bed with my switch and farm my troubles away in Stardew Valley.
My Current Household
So, I decided to go back to an old save I had created the last time I played. I do not usually do this, whenever I come back to the game I almost always start a new family. Not this time though! I clicked on my previous family and started playing because I had barely started! Having only created my Sims and built their house before I dropped the game again.
My Sim Eva was working as a detective in her small house with her cat, Pumpkin. Her favourite colour is blue and she loves nature, especially flowers. I decided that she should quit her detective job and take up her dream job as a florist. The game offers a gardening career but I prefer to do the work myself by playing. I registered my Sim as self-employed and got to work exploring the world for all the flowers I could find to plant in Eva’s garden.
If you would like to have your Sims work for themselves you can register them as self-employed by selecting the new “Register with Ministry of Labor” interaction on the Sims mobile phone. Fill in the blanks on the pop up that appears and it will allow your Sims to “freelance” and not be labelled unemployed.
With the sprinklers it made being a florist so much easier to play as you no longer have to waste so much time watering each individual plant. I purchased the flower arranging table and started using the flowers I was growing in the garden to put together vases of flowers for Eva to sell.
Meanwhile we also tended to our bees, tackled with household chores and repairs and Pumpkin enjoyed using the living room as an obstacle course!
How on earth does this help you escape?
I know what you’re probably thinking, this all sound very ordinary and not very exciting. But it helps me escape the stress on my mind because, for the duration of my time playing, my brain is on autopilot for the game. I am concentrating entirely on whatever I am trying to achieve in my game. This means my brain has no room to worry about all my problems. Its almost like I get to switch my brain off for a few hours from everything going on around me, it is a really welcome relief at times.
But It is important to note that this is often how people develop a video game addiction or strong procrastination tendencies. Be mindful of how much time you send playing and remember that your problems won’t go away on their own. After a few hours close the game and remember to take a break, eat something and drink some water. You might find that you have a clearer mind after some mental rest from over-thinking.
I will be sure to update you guys on Eva and Pumpkins adventures as I play more. What games do you enjoy to unwind or escape?
If any of you have been playing The Sims 4 yourselves share your current households with me on Twitter! I’d love to see how your own stories unfold.