The Sims: escaping reality or just a way of handling your darkest desires

By Lotte van Dijck - 16 February 2021

February 4th in 2000 was the day that the world was introduced to The Sims. A game so impactful that throughout the 21 years that it has been around it has influenced lives all around the world. It was the perfect opportunity for people like me but also defined as people with low motor skills who find gaming consoles a huge challenge, to finally play a game that can be played with the simplicity of a mouse. This new way of entertainment also opened an entirely new view on the humanity of people. It was so much more than a game as it became a way of expressing your darkest desires.

Personally, I was always busy with taking care of my little family and building the craziest houses I could think of in my narrow creative mind. As my innocence and probably ignorance did not realize there was also another aspect to this game. Throughout the years I discovered that people liked a way more morbid way of playing this game. As you were able to control your Sims’ life without any rules or hurdles, you were able to do anything, dare I say ANYTHING, with these little creatures. Thinking of new and creative ways to torture or kill off your Sims became the goal for each new version of the game and this life-simulator game expanded from just death by fire or old age to being ashamed to death or to be eaten alive by cow plants (See pictures). If you’ve read Meie’s article about Rollercoaster Tycoon you might know that not only this particular game is able to cherish your darkest desires and that this manner of taking control of other people’s lives is something that is enjoyed by many.

I couldn’t say I haven’t locked my Sims up in a small room without any facilities so they would die out of complete embarrassment as they pied their pants, but most of the time I put all my time into getting the fulfillment of completely organizing my Sims’s life while my own was a complete mess. I think this is the reason most people enjoy this game and if you want to escape from your own reality maybe you can try it out and see if you are able to have just one piece of your chaotic life into shape.

Watch out for the new Intermania video coming out in the next month, in which Meike will do a scientific experiment on the Sims. Have any suggestions for experiments you want to see, send an email to


Intermate is the study association of the bachelor Technical Innovation Sciences, the majors Sustainable Innovation and Psychology & Technology and the masters Human Technology Interaction and Innovation Sciences.


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