A few years back I went to a theme park in the UK – I think it was Thorpe Park – and at lunchtime we had a burger at a jungle themed food stand. I think it may even have been I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! themed, somehow. The point is that for whatever reason, each meal came with a portion of dried and cooked insects, of various size. A bunch of worms, a few crickets, and one jumbo sized cricket for everyone. I am in no doubt that the majority of the insects go to waste. They serve mostly as a thing for young men to dare each other to eat, I think. I would not eat the bugs. But ohhhh, I will make a Sim eat bugs.
Up to now, I haven’t played The Sims 4. I just build stuff in it. My Sims game is a perpetual limbo. What hell must it be to exist there, where suddenly huge houses or weird one room experiments spring up but no one ever experiences life. But the new Eco Lifestyle pack, an expansion to allow your Sim to live lean and green, might actually get me to play again, because it looks like it will make it a much more interesting game to play.
One of the new things is that apparently you can make your Sims fuck in dumpsters now, which is a pretty weird addition to the game. I would have really loved to have been at that meeting, although it isn’t the main draw for me.
Playing a life through in the Sims always got boring because for the most part you just do what you have to do in real life. You wake up, go to work, make money, come home and eat something, maybe read or play on the computer in your spare time, and then go to bed. Even the expansion packs that added vampires and tropical islands and magic didn’t really mix it up that much. You still need money. And if you cheat to add loads to your bank account, suddenly it’s too easy (not that I wouldn’t take that option in real life, obviously…).
But in Eco Lifestyle I can live in a more interesting way! In real life I’m not able to put up a wind turbine or solar panels because I don’t own this building and I live on the third floor of four. I can’t install a vertical garden, or a bug farm as an eco-friendly protein replacement. But I can do that in Eco Lifestyle. I want to see if I can live a comfortable Sim life whilst living truly carbon neutral and off the grid! I want to upcycle bits of furniture!
And yeah, I know people have pointed out the cynicism of a giant company like EA putting out a DLC about living off the grid and being ethical, using renewable energy and so on. It costs £35, when in the spirit of the Eco Lifestyle pack itself I should probably go and try and make my own DLC out of spit and twigs. But get away, I’ve already bought loads of the Sims DLC, I’m already vegetarian and I’m trying to cut down on dairy over here. We live in a society, and so on.
And I am realy excited to build a cute lil’ house out of an old shipping container, and make my own furniture, and stuff my Sim face with salad made of locusts. Omg, did I mention it’s adding garden roofing now, like, officially? I have spent so long looking for some nice grassy roofing in mods, and now they just release it. I’m not touching the candle-making, though. That’s too middle-class bougie eco-warrior even for me.