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The Sims Addiction

Many video games, especially online simulation (sim) or roleplaying games (RPGs) give people a feeling of godlike power and progress rapidly from a diverting hobby into a serious addiction. Addiction to a game like The Sims can start as innocuously as downloading a free trial of the game, but addicts can see their lives spiral out of control as their gaming fix becomes the single most controlling influence in their lives.

The Sims is an enormously successful series of simulation/building games which has captured the imaginations of many millions of players worldwide. Set in an everyday version of our world inhabited by people called Sims, the game acts as a virtual dollhouse which lets people build and play with their Sims’ lives. As well as on PC, where it started, The Sims is also available on Xbox 360, on mobile phones and even on Facebook. There are three core games – Sims 3 is the most recent – with many expansion packs that add new items and gameplay, and also an extensive “modding” community creating their own custom content for games online. Many people will sit alone in their rooms for many hours at a time, leaving rarely – if at all – to eat, drink or take care of other bodily functions. Sleep deprivation is common.

Symptoms of The Sims Addiction

If you are concerned about the behaviour of someone you care about who may be suffering from an addiction to The Sims?

  • Do they seem happy or content while playing The Sims but become angry or upset if they have to stop?
  • Are they constantly talking about or distracted by The Sims even during other things like work or family time?
  • Do they seem to spend every free moment they have loading up and playing The Sims?
  • If you ask what they have been doing recently do they change the subject or try to “laugh off” their time spend playing The Sims?
  • Have you ever seen them getting up or still playing The Sims at odd hours of the day, even in the middle of the night?

The Sims is often viewed as a creative toy rather than a video game as its cartoonish graphics and innovative gameplay make it highly accessible for “non gamers” and creative people of all ages. The self-governing nature of the game (which is largely devoid of enforced goals) also makes it extremely addictive, and the setup of more recent versions encourages microtransactions to purchase new items and clothing for Sims in the game which also makes it an ongoing monetary drain. While it is possible for people to enjoy The Sims without developing an addiction there is a significant risk amongst those who spend many hours playing. Although the monthly cost of the game is low when compared to many others, addiction to The Sims can destroy a person’s work and family life by consuming enormous volumes of their time and cause them to neglect more important aspects of their everyday life, even up to such basic necessities as eating and bathing.

If you or someone you care about is having trouble breaking out of an addictive playing pattern with video games that you used to control but which now seem to control you, call our free advice line today on 08000 886 686 in complete confidence to see how we can help you get back on track.

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