Remember playing “The Sims”?
What a game that was.
You got to build your very own characters and live their lives etc.
It was an insanely popular game and as a kid I’d talk about it with friends who also played it.
Years later, I still keep in touch with these friends and made an interesting observation about them.
The way they played “The Sims” says a lot about who they are today.
And this kind of makes sense. After all, by creating Sims you’re projecting your own life on to these characters.
I’ll talk about my two close friends Jane and John who played the game a certain way and how their style gave a lot of signs about their interests and future occupations.
Jane the Architect
How Jane would play “The Sims” always amused me.
The moment she started playing she’d put in cheat codes to get as much money as she wanted so that she could put it to good use to built the most aesthetically pleasing house possible.
She’d be very detailed in how she designed the house and had a knack for designing a chic interior.
Jane would love to build these houses.
And once she’d finish her house – she was done.
She didn’t care about being the puppeteer to her own Sim-minions. She didn’t want to play the actual game.
“The Sims”, for her, was just about building houses. That was it.
As a young teenager, this is how she’d play the game.
Many years later, she enrolled at university as a student in Architecture and finished her degree three years after that.
John the Psychologist
John, on the other hand, didn’t really care about houses.
In fact, he wanted to start with as little as possible, so that he could work his way up and build the house of his dreams.
His very first house in “The Sims” was basically a square which had only the most essential things – a fridge, a few beds, a shower, and a toilet (there wasn’t enough room for the toilet to go inside so it was placed outside, against a single wall).
The interesting thing about John was that he’d choose to play with as many “Sims” as possible (I think at the time you could have a max. of 6 people in your family).
Not only did he love building relationships within the family, but also enjoyed building relationships with other Sims.
He was always fascinated about the dynamics and interactions between these people.
But also, he enjoyed the ‘rags to riches’ journey and investing in oneself to maximize their potential in all areas of life – social life, career, love, you name it.
And once he reached the top, he simply stopped playing altogether.
Years later, things clicked for me about John.
In real life, John was always social and built strong meaningful relationships with many people over the years that I’ve known him for.
Always caring and a great listener, he was always considerate of other people and I can imagine this was why he was so liked and popular with many.
Though he had many friends, a lot of these friends were very different from each other and hailed from different walks of life. He managed to get along with a wide range of people.
John actually went on to study Psychology at university which is quite curious when we piece all of these things together.
Is “The Sims” a sophisticated personality test?
Growing up as a teenager, you don’t know who you are or who you want to become.
It’s natural to feel a bit lost as a teenager because you’re just trying to figure things out.
It’s funny how some of those answers for Jane and John were hidden in the way they played “The Sims.”
After all, the Sims is a proto-life.
A projection of your current values and life as you know it onto these proto-characters.
So maybe The Sims is one big personality test.
By playing The Sims you will learn interesting things about yourself that you’ll only be able to make sense of in hindsight.
Only over time have I managed to meaningfully connect these dots about some of my closest friends. And this makes sense, especially when we consider Steve Jobs’ words:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
– Steve Jobs
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