It seems like The Sims has already done everything they can to echo reality. While you essentially live the life of someone else, you still wash the dishes, get morning sickness, repair appliances and work regular hours.
The life simulation game also teaches valuable lessons, like how new skills take time to learn, you need energy to make it through the day, and friendships require effort.
Of course life changes and society develops, and The Sims will soon reflect modern culture by introducing new career paths.
Electronic Arts and Maxis, the creators of the game, announced earlier this month that a new expansion pack will be released for players to experience the ultimate celebrity lifestyle in 2018.
In The Sims 4: Get Famous, Sims are given the ability to become an aspiring influencer, living the red carpet lifestyle with paparazzi, super fans and VIP parties. One can become famous through social media, video/music production or acting, where they work their way up to icon status.
Just like Hollywood celebrities, Sims can also adopt new quirks in the game, like a tendency for emotional outbursts, extreme vanity or a hatred of physical intimacy. They can also host Meet and Greet events, have their phone number leaked, receive hate mail, disguise themselves in public or have fans show up to their house. Also imitating real life, the Sims’ choices will have a strong effect on their reputation.
Lead producer Dave Miotke says that the most important thing when developing the game was that fame was presented in a variety of ways.
“There were a ton of existing skills, careers, and interactions already in the game that you’d expect to get famous from – writing, painting, singing, being an astronaut,” says Miotke.
“All of these things are real-world examples of gaining fame. We wanted to make sure that all of the content we’ve put out in the past hooked into this system.”
The career paths on The Sims currently include things like business, law, medicine, retail, and cooking.
In the 2016 expansion pack City Living, a social media career was added, which included the ability to update your status, post a viral video and share photos on ‘Simstagram’. Within this career path, they can either become an internet personality – writing clickbait, creating cat videos, making memes and going on reality TV – or work in public relations.
As well as this new expansion, The Sims’ development team announced on their livestream that a free update was coming soon which will include a ‘style influencer’ career.
The team explained on Twitch that these influencers can interview Sims about their style, write a fashion blog, and offer to give makeovers, which can create a fashion trend in the neighbourhood if successful. The career allows Sims to work from home and build up to become a fashion icon.
According to Maxis senior producer Grant Rodiek, fans have been demanding new career paths for a while, and they hope that these modern jobs attract the Gen Z audience. He says that these occupations are intended to be aspirational, aiming to reflect society as it is now.
“Really what we do in the game is generally lighthearted. We present this as a serious career, a real career, a real way to go about making a living,” says Rodiek.
Social media star and musician Baby Ariel, 17, appears in the latest expansion pack of The Sims, appearing around the city performing songs in the game’s native language, Simlish. Baby Ariel first gained a following on musical.ly (now known as TikTok), and now has over 9 million Instagram followers, 270 million views on YouTube, and was named one of Time’s most influential people on the internet.
While an ‘influencer’ or a social media star is a relatively new occupation, they hold a lot of power to persuade someone to make certain decisions. According to Marketwatch, just one endorsement from a celebrity can almost immediately increase a business’ sales by 4 per cent. Richard Saghian, founder and CEO of the viral brand ‘Fashion Nova’, says that when Kylie Jenner promotes their products on Instagram, they can gain around $50,000 in sales.
Sure, The Sims is a fun game where you can design houses, build a family and even torture your Sim, but now you can also achieve your Kardashian dreams in the new expansion pack.
The Sims 4: Get Famous, is released on Mac and PC on November 16th.