To help! I’m obsessed with…this Sims version of the Spirited Away Bathhouse

people buy The Sims for many reasons. One of them could be that it’s the year 2000, the very first game that just launched on PC and you’ve heard that there is a cheat codes this will allow you to remove the shower while your Sim is in it, leaving them standing completely naked. Sexy. Another very good reason to invest in what broke Guinness World Records for ‘Most Expansion Packs’ and ‘Best Selling PC Game’ (it ranks 10th among the best-selling franchises of all time), is a global pandemic-induced lockdown.

Many of us have found ourselves indulging in the game with renewed vigor over the past 12 months, and what better game to have invested both time and energy than one of the most conscious? But what about those of us whose general apathy hasn’t quite allowed for the determination needed to persevere in building an entire house, let alone decorating, furnishing and managing the lives of those who live there? It’s time to say goodbye to your newly granted freedom.

YouTube creators love Improved (you’ll also find her and other build assistants livestreaming their work on Twitch and Discord) sharing captured footage of their best “quick builds” on their channels. Note: These are not ordinary neighborhood houses. “I’m Fry from Germany. I like to play The Simsreads the bio of Simproved, which has nearly 100,000 followers. “So I thought, why not film it and share the building process with you guys?” Cue hours spent watching her painstakingly create a Viking Mead Hallthe ultimate cottagecore fancy house, the public bath from Taken away as if by magicthe Convent from american horror story and the Spellman’s Mortuary from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The kind of stuff you could never build yourself, basically. This is real architect shit.

Many manufacturers, including Simproved, upload their creations to The Sims 4 Gallery, so you can download them and let your little humans explore these sacred lands. Let’s face it, ordering your Sim to feast in the bathhouse is probably the closest thing to experiencing the Studio Ghibli theme park in the near future; and hiding at Spellman is definitely something that will help us get over the fact that Netflix has failed to renew itself CAOS for season 5.

But these are not just fictional spaces that people build on The Sims. “Imagine how much fun it would be if you had the ability to have bands and concerts in TS4“said the Reddit user @rake-in-the-lake recently in an unofficial Sims subreddit with nearly half a million members. Nearly two thousand people agreed with the sentiment. Well, what if we told you that you did have this ability… sort of? London based live music photographer Nina Radel has, of course, had a quiet year. Finding herself without concerts to shoot, she adopted the game instead. “I spent a large part of the confinement playing The Sims 4 out of boredom,” she said. “I missed going to [East London DIY venue] Shacklewell’s Armsso i made a Sims Version… people loved it and asked me to do other places. And that’s what she’s done, creating 11 much-loved independent music venues across London, including The windmill in Brixton, owned by VICE old blue last in Shoreditch and the shining gold laden with streamers MOTH CLUB in Hackney.

Although Nina doesn’t share the process of building her rooms (“I lose track of time when I do them, but I’d say they usually take five hours”), she shoots short films going around the space as if you were attending a concert there – taking your Sim through the bar for a drink and then to the event space, where you’ll find Sim versions of real bands performing. Some of Nina’s extremely well-done Sim gigs are fiction — DFA never played Studio 9294, for example; but many, including Woman of your dreams at Peckham Audio, are Sim representations of his favorite shows from the past few years. “It was one of the few shows I got to see in 2020,” she says of the latter. “The show had a lot more moshing irl.”

But this voyeuristic Sim kingdom isn’t just made up of individual players sharing their awesome builds for fun. No, in 2020 EA and BuzzFeed decided there needed to be a lot more of us and so launched The Sims sparked, a reality show in which a group of 12 professional “Simmers” (including the aforementioned Simproved) design not just homes, but entire characters and scenarios in order to compete for the grand prize of $100,000. The four-episode series was hosted, for some reason, by american idol runner-up Rayvon Owen and presented challenges with “unique themes” like ‘supernatural stories‘, ‘Sell That Fixer-Upper’ and ‘Sex Not Required’. “The story is about a family bond that cannot be severed…even by death,” a contestant says in the show’s trailer, on the verge of tears as she pitches her script to the judges. Wonderful.

So what are you waiting for? Join us in living vicariously through the people who live vicariously through their Sims.

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