EA Maxis, IGDB

Ctrl-Alt-Escape: The Sims

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a range of video games in your repertoire. By all means go for the punishing stuff, the massive RPGs, and the crafty puzzle games, but sometimes you just want to settle down with something chilled and relaxing. The sort of game that doesn’t want to hurt you. That picks you up if you fail, gives you a comforting smile and sends you back on your way. There’s the real relax-athons like Stardew Valley and Endless Ocean, but for me, nothing quite beats the Sims. Unfortunately, the latest in the series I’ve played is the Sims 3, but for me, it’s enough. Want to become the doctor your parents always wanted you to become, go for it. Feel the need to raise a family with progressive lesbian mothers and adopted multi-racial children, live that dream. Kidnap the entire town, take their money, property, hopes and dreams, and subject all to a living nightmare, you can! Mask the ever-spiraling mix of deadlines, looming exams and decaying social life with the comforting sound of a babbling language.

Feel the need to raise a family with progressive lesbian mothers and adopted multi-racial children, live that dream.

Tired of somehow mastering the feat of burning pasta in a pot of water? (Seriously physics, what I did to you?) Become a master chef and throw together concoctions not even Gordon Ramsey could snark at. Travel to places your crippling debt will prevent you from ever seeing. And have a go at the ultimate student fantasy; home ownership! Commit a ceremony every generation, in which the old are ritualistically drowned to make way for the new, without any of the social baggage that would come with that in reality. In the Sims everything always works out, and hey, even if it doesn’t it doesn’t matter, this is just a game after all. Yes, you have to clean, repair broken things and go to work every day, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to do that in the virtual world than in your own house. Oh sorry, those dirty pans are just ‘ahem’ soaking overnight, got you. So take a break, relax and try out a little socially accepted murder in the world of the Sims during this exam season.

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