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Have you ever been addicted to playing the Sims?

«1
Hi everyone, this is not gonna be a very nice topic but I think it's a very important one, especially in times like this.
I wasn't sure where or in which forum category I could write this, but if it's wrong please change it. I just hope this won't get closed.

So my question for you is: Have you ever been addicted to playing the Sims and if yes, how did you deal with that?
By addicted I don't mean only playing everyday or being very excited to play everyday. By addicted I mean for example:
- Not being satisfied by a game session of 1-3 hours, but having a need to play atleast 5+ hours everyday
- Having a fear of the outside world and knowing that the Sims is your only world where you can be yourself and escape the reality
- Neglecting your responsibilities, family and friends just to be able to play the game
- Having panic attacks or getting angry when you are not able to play for a day
- Not being able to sleep because you wanna play

Why do I want to know this? Actually because all of the things above is what I have experienced in the last two months and because:
1. I really feel alone in this because I never ever saw any other simmers talk about this
2. I want to prevent other simmers from getting addicted to the game, because it's very easy in the times we are in now.

The reason why I got addicted to the game is because I have high functioning anxiety and I know a lot of sims players have anxiety too. And I think this is exactly the reason why we love the Sims so much, because here we don't need to worry about what others think about us. This is the place where we can be 100% ourselves. The Sims is the perfect escape, the perfect way to calm down, BUT this can start being dangerous too.

I am very afraid a lot of other simmers are gonna end up in the same situation like me, because everyone is able to play a lot during the lockdowns and during the pandemic in general. What happens is:
- You have a lot time to play, so you do so.
- You start playing crazy amount of time but you think that's okay because now is the time to do so!
- You gonna get out of the lockdown, start going back to the "real" world and suddenly you forgot how to socialize and everything is gonna scare you.
- After a time you will finally realize where your behavior is coming from and all you gonna think about is playing the game and having some symptoms as I mentioned above.

I really don't want to scare anyone, because even if you have anxiety like me it doesn't mean you gonna get addicted to the game like me. But there is that possibility and I just want to remember everyone to still do things during the lockdowns outside of your computer. Read a book, paint, play instrument, go for walks (if you can!) or find something new to do. The virtual world is more addictive than we really realize.

It's a shame this can happen. The Sims is an amazing game who has helped a lot of us through our mental issues, but we need to remember to play it safe. I have been playing the game for 15+ years and I never ever have experienced this before. All of this happened because of the lockdown I have been in so I really want to warn you and ask you to take good care of yourself! And if you experienced this before or if you are experiencing it now, please let me know your how to deal with this situation.

Sorry if this was too long, but I really had to make sure I explained everything very carefully. Anyway, thanks for reading if you did <3

ps.: before people are gonna start answering "just go to a psychologist", I did. The waiting times are crazy in my country and I have two more months to wait! So at this moment, you're the only one I can count on!

Comments

  • izecsonizecson Posts: 2,722 Member
    I guess I have never been addicted in any game by your definition of addicts, because I always excited to play some games everyday and usually an hour or two per session already satisfy me.
    Behold! The Meatball!
  • SimburianSimburian Posts: 6,165 Member
    I'm addicted to buying Sims 4 I think, as someone who wants everything in it but no, I don't feel safer playing in a world of my own. There's too much to do even when self-isolating.
  • BabykittyjadeBabykittyjade Posts: 2,506 Member
    edited November 2020
    I totally understand you. I had social axiety and panic attacks that never let me enjoy all the things other people get to have fun with in life. But I get to experience it in the sims which is nice.
    I always found my true place in writing fiction stories and poetry, reading and video games and I'm happy there.

    🙂 I have been playing more since lockdown because well.... not much to do 😅 though I never went out much anyway.

    There are times I have became addicted but not to the extreme degree you describe. I personlly don't think you need a psychiatrist I believe addiction is more will power and mental control than anything. Lifting your spiritual energy is more helpful than a psychiatrist in my humble opinion.
    In the past when I got really addicted I gave it up for 30 days. 30 days is the sacred number to get rid of any addictions. Replace it with other positive things you like, (I prefer spiritual prayer and books)
    Once you get over that 30 day hump you feel like you don't even need it.

    Problem is once you go back you risk addiction again and that's where will power comes in. Only you can control your mind and set a timer for yourself. Once your timer rings save and turn the game off. Go do something else rather you want to or not.

    But don't put the timer next to you, put it in the next room so that it is loud and annoying and don't get up and turn the timer off until you turn the game off.
    And use faith certitude and determination to stick to this routine. Not easy but possible.
    Zombies, oh please oh please give us zombies!! :'(
  • CinebarCinebar Posts: 32,565 Member
    edited November 2020
    Of course, or we wouldn't all still be here after twenty years. But admitting we have a problem is the first step to recovery.
    It used to be a joke on older forums and some of us would say we were Sim addicts but some of us knew it was the truth and not really a joke.

    We sometimes said it was because we couldn't get out as much as we used to do or do the things we used to do either due to aging or health problems that kept us at home and or seated etc. But it started long before any of that for some of us.

    Years ago I have missed work (had to call in) because I played for too long into the wee hours. I have missed dinner often and started eating at my desk. I have skipped a shower because there was something I wanted to get done in the games. When I was worried and or troubled by something I would play the game and ignore the problem and or say it helped me think, maybe so, but it was actually just escaping putting off whatever I didn't want to decide. I have let down my pets before by not taking them for a walk, or played for so long they got older (short life spans) while I was too busy playing. I have become secluded before and no longer talked and or called friends or family. A virus had nothing to do with how long this things have happened to people.

    But what does anyone expect when games are built to make sure you become addicted? In TS4's case it's advertised as 'your safespace', that Maxis has your back...then act surprised when people actually believe it and become addicted.

    In other cases games are built to make sure you release endorphins, which we all release and get addicted to and just at the right time or place in a game that release keeps players returning for more. In other cases manipulation of young minds who don't know how marketing works keeps them addicted and why they may be disappointed when what was promised doesn't pan out.

    It's not exactly people's own fault not all of it, not when developers of games admit and it's documented their games are built to make sure you release those endorphins and stay addicted. But if we let it happen too often then yes, we have to eventually admit we are Sim addicts.

    Years can go by and when you are closer to the end of your life than the beginning maybe it's a good time to ask ourselves what do we regret that we could have been doing while we were too busy playing a game. It can be an awakening when we actually ponder that. I no longer play games like before since I finally snapped out of it. TS4 helped me to snap out of it, perhaps because of something someone said over at Maxis, that we would buy anyway, no matter what, whether it was later on sale, and or a few months etc. They didn't have to worry about the core buying, you know that was like a shock to me, I had to admit sometimes this was true, and it made be strong enough (thanks Maxis) to break my addictions. The first sign of addiction is (denial) defensiveness and excuses.
    "Games Are Not The Place To Tell Stories, Games Are Meant To Let People Tell Their Own Stories"...Will Wright.

    https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/958714/cinebar-custom-content-clothes-updating-links/p1


  • SimburianSimburian Posts: 6,165 Member
    edited November 2020
    Cinebar wrote: »
    Of course, or we wouldn't all still be here after twenty years. But admitting we have a problem is the first step to recovery.
    It used to be a joke on older forums and some of us would say we were Sim addicts but some of us knew it was the truth and not really a joke.

    We sometimes said it was because we couldn't get out as much as we used to do or do the things we used to do either due to aging or health problems that kept us at home and or seated etc. But it started long before any of that for some of us.

    Years ago I have missed work (had to call in) because I played for too long into the wee hours. I have missed dinner often and started eating at my desk. I have skipped a shower because there was something I wanted to get done in the games. When I was worried and or troubled by something I would play the game and ignore the problem and or say it helped me think, maybe so, but it was actually just escaping putting off whatever I didn't want to decide. I have let down my pets before by not taking them for a walk, or played for so long they got older (short life spans) while I was too busy playing. I have become secluded before and no longer talked and or called friends or family. A virus had nothing to do with how long this things have happened to people.

    But what does anyone expect when games are built to make sure you become addicted? In TS4's case it's advertised as 'your safespace', that Maxis has your back...then act surprised when people actually believe it and become addicted.

    In other cases games are built to make sure you release endorphins, which we all release and get addicted to and just at the right time or place in a game that release keeps players returning for more. In other cases manipulation of young minds who don't know how marketing works keeps them addicted and why they may be disappointed when what was promised doesn't pan out.

    It's not exactly people's own fault not all of it, not when developers of games admit and it's documented their games are built to make sure you release those endorphins and stay addicted. But if we let it happen too often then yes, we have to eventually admit we are Sim addicts.

    Years can go by and when you are closer to the end of your life than the beginning maybe it's a good time to ask ourselves what do we regret that we could have been doing while we were too busy playing a game. It can be an awakening when we actually ponder that. I no longer play games like before since I finally snapped out of it. TS4 helped me to snap out of it, perhaps because of something someone said over at Maxis, that we would buy anyway, no matter what, whether it was later on sale, and or a few months etc. They didn't have to worry about the core buying, you know that was like a shock to me, I had to admit sometimes this was true, and it made be strong enough (thanks Maxis) to break my addictions. The first sign of addiction is (denial) defensiveness and excuses.

    I agree with you as I spent a lot of my time and money too on these games from the start and now don't play as much as I used to. I'm in self-isolation though and feel as if I need to keep in touch with the outside world and my family hundreds of miles away rather than playing in an immersing type of way.

    I have sound off, the TV on in the background, mobile phone at my side, a Kindle and a copy of the Fortean Times which just came this morning in the post and reducing the game by pressing the Windows key once in a while to do something else whilst playing. It's getting that sort of game with me as I'm getting older. It's difficult to obsess about anything now when you can't remember what you did a couple of minutes ago!

    I don't regret what I could have done instead though. I've done all I wanted to do. Being alone was good training for the current situation.
    Post edited by Simburian on
  • bella_gothbella_goth Posts: 1,735 Member
    edited November 2020
    your post and all the comments are very appreciated as this mentality of the safe space and escape from reality has been getting more and more common. it's really scary how ea is encouraging it as well just to promote their products, and many company do the same, entertainment needs to get people addicted and hooked, create unnecessary needs.

    playing games is not a bad thing but if your happiness depends on them, then it's where the issue begins. videogames can become addictive and unhealthy and shouldn't be underestimated, and if you see yourself avoiding responsibilities or if you spend almost entire days playing then it's a red flag.

    once you realize you have an addiction, you must become strong and let it go. if your reason of addiction is something else then you should consult a professional or if you can, try to understand the reason and solve it if you can. sometimes people get addictions to fill a void in their life, sometimes is food, sometimes are drugs, sometimes are videogames, etc.

    in these times of lockdown, instead of only playing games take a breath and rest, read, paint, exercise, finish up your homework/duties, clean, learn something new! aren't we tired of seeing our sims go to their computer or take out the phone? then it's the same with us! learn from this and be strong, you can. <3
  • RedShoe7RedShoe7 Posts: 224 Member
    I can relate to your post and I have high-functioning depression and anxiety, but I see this game as a coping mechanism rather than an addiction. I enjoy it and while I probably do play it too much and ignore other things, enjoyment these days is hard to come by. It gives me control of something when everything else is out of control.
  • MovottiMovotti Posts: 7,703 Member
    Have you ever been addicted to playing the Sims and if yes, how did you deal with that?
    Yes, both ts2 and ts3, but my addiction only ever lasted for a couple of weeks. In both cases it was a new shinny game that I would play until the early hours of the morning.
    I never got angry or had panic attacks when I had to go and deal with real life.
    I played rather than sleeping, but when I went to bed, I would sleep.

    After a couple of weeks, the new-ness wore off, and I'd play a little less, I'd be more likely to pause the game, and go and do other things.
    Simmivie wrote: »
    I am very afraid a lot of other simmers are gonna end up in the same situation like me, because everyone is able to play a lot during the lockdowns and during the pandemic in general.
    Excessive playing during lockdowns is a great idea.
    Personally, I didn't play during the lockdown we had here, I was too agitated to focus on anything. I went outside and dug a garden bed instead, and communed with my neighbours cats.

    You gonna get out of the lockdown, start going back to the "real" world and suddenly you forgot how to socialize and everything is gonna scare you.
    That shouldn't happen, because while playing, you're mentally socialising. Not playing is more likely to cause you to forget how to socialise. I've come out of lockdown more able to talk to cats, than people. :/

    It's a shame this can happen. The Sims is an amazing game who has helped a lot of us through our mental issues, but we need to remember to play it safe. I have been playing the game for 15+ years and I never ever have experienced this before. All of this happened because of the lockdown I have been in so I really want to warn you and ask you to take good care of yourself! And if you experienced this before or if you are experiencing it now, please let me know your how to deal with this situation.

    The sims is a great tool for escape, just ask anyone who has chronic health problems that keep them at home a lot. When my health has been poor, I've lived vicariously through my sims, I've played at having a social life when I've not been able to have a real one.

    The lockdowns are teaching healthy people what it's like to be housebound with a chronic health problem. You can't go out and socialise, you're stuck at home with limited things to do. The sims can ease some of the negative mental health issues that come with spending so much time alone. There's nothing wrong with playing for 5 or so hours per day, when you can't go anywhere, and can't socialise with real people.

    Unlike real people, you can just pause your sims, and go and take care of other things, without offending them. Pause the game, go wash some dishes, or comb your hair. Play in 20 minute bursts, then go do something else for 20 minutes (just not what I do... I go and argue with people on facebook, for an hour or so, before resuming play)

    AmusingExhaustedArchaeopteryx-max-1mb.gif
  • teamjenteamjen Posts: 50 Member
    I when I was younger 9-12 I had a phase when I would play for almost 24 hours or I would play. Let’s say it’s the weekend I wake up at 11:00 I would play sims 3 all the way to 4 in the morning rinse and repeat. I remember doing this for atleast a week. I missed my cousin wedding and other family events because all I wanted to was play the game. As I got older and started to experience actual life I just started to drift from it. Then I stopped playing for like a whole year once. As you know we all say how we can play the game for a week straight but then don’t touch it for months. That’s what I was doing more. Now that I’m 20 I play whenever I have time which is a lot now because of the pandemic and I don’t mind it.
  • SepiaSepia Posts: 74 Member
    Yes, I had a period of Sim addiction right when Covid hit the US and we first went on lockdown. I played Sims nonstop, to the point where I was neglecting sleep and playing in a sort of daze. I couldn’t find a stopping point like I could for my other video games. There was no level or boss to beat, just something else mundane for my Sim to do, like take a shower or level up a skill. It was a very odd, dreamlike existence that worried me.

    It got ridiculous. After like a month, I made myself stop and didn’t play at all for several months. I only resumed playing in October, I think. Now, I can entertain myself for a couple of hours and stop playing, or go for a few days or weeks without playing.
  • texxx78texxx78 Posts: 4,457 Member
    One of the things i like more about sims 4 is that i can load the game in 2 minutes and have just 15/30 minutes of fun and go back to my life. I remember when i had to plan an entire day or afternoon to play the game cause it took so long to load it that it wouldn't make sense to play it for just a few minutes...
    But answering op's question, no, i don't think i've ever been addicted.
  • ACruelButLovingGodACruelButLovingGod Posts: 100 Member
    I don't think I'm "addicted" to The Sims (or any game I play for a high volume of hours), because that implies impairment of function outside of the game world.

    I don't have much of a social life, but that's not because of "too much time gaming". I'm autistic. Functional enough to hold a job and live independently, but I can recharge my social battery completely independently of human interaction and am far happier alone than with all but the closest of friends.

    So I play a lot—I can easily burn 30 hours or more between Friday afternoon and bedtime on Sunday—but it never comes close to qualifying as addiction.
  • SERVERFRASERVERFRA Posts: 3,459 Member
    It's a 50/50 with my Sims & Civilization games.
  • ClarionOfJoyClarionOfJoy Posts: 1,770 Member
    I'm addicted to playing The Sims since the first iteration, lol! For me, it's more about when a creative idea strikes, and then I don't want to stop until I've done with the creative idea.

    For example, my latest idea is making the Marine Biologist fan-made career into an active version on TS3. So while I was figuring that out - lot design and how it should look, lot placement in the world (built an island for it), objects for the lot - I also thought, "Hmm.... sims who want to become marine biologists should go to university first...." But as much as I like sending my sims to the university world, I'm tired of it being the only place my sims can go to for a college degree. Plus, I had just started playing Rflong's Isle of Sims III world which I'm totally in love with and didn't want to leave it just so my sims can go to college. So I decided to create my own homeworld university. That took a while too because I had to learn how to set that up. The info on it was sparse and all over the internet. Then I had to consider how it should be set up - should each major be in separate lots or grouped together in a lot? What should I add to enhance the college experience, etc.

    Also, as I play-tested, other new ideas came up. Right now a story for a funny but off-beat romance has popped in my mind which has to do with a zombie apocalypse in the Isla of Sims III (I love zombie apocalypses and love integrating it into my stories somehow, lol!). So I am integrating those things into my gameplay as well. So this latest project has taken up a lot of my play time, almost a year's worth of off and on play.

    ---

    I think for the most part that playing The Sims is not only fun to play and very healing for people with anxiety, but also for creative people to give expression. I know a lot of musicians and artists who do their craft because it makes them feel better, not in an egotistical way, but to release some of that creative energy in them. It's pretty unhealthy if they don't release it somehow.

    To OP: I know you have to wait for counselling, but in the meantime, don't beat yourself up about wanting to play The Sims all the time. I think just go with it and enjoy playing The Sims for the time being, knowing that you will get counselling some time soon and that other people are in the same boat as you so that you are not alone. You only live once!


    Took a quick snapshot of my active sim with her date riding the roller coaster at the amusement park:
    The look of sheer terror is priceless, lol!

    Screenshot-186.jpg


  • SimyimSimyim Posts: 127 Member
    I completely understand you, as I have been there as well during these difficult periods. So you should feel very proud for starting a discussion like this! :)

    For me techniques like meditation and yoga help me cope with lockdown anxiety, or any kind of negative feelings. I mostly use Calm and have also tried Headspace, but I know there are plenty of YouTube videos that can teach you how to meditate. Also you gave a great advice: do your best efforts to do activities that can keep you connected with the real world, like socializing with friends and family as possible as per the circumnstances, picking a manual hobby like painting or playing an instrument, and going for a walk, if it’s not banned at the moment. Having your dose of sun and nature does wonders :). It is also very important to try to sleep and eat as healthy as possible.

    We don’t have to do everything at once - just a little everyday will go a great distance. And if you want to meet people in the same situation, Game Quitters is a great community!

    Hope this all helps. You must know that you are not alone on this :)
  • Calico45Calico45 Posts: 756 Member
    Addicted, no. I play more games than Sims, but it is one of my top time consumers in the entertainment genre. I tend to play games in general rather irregularly. I can play for long periods and be quite happy, but when I am busy games are one of the first things cut from my time.

    As for the general negatives, I would say no. I mean, nothing could ever be as perfect as your own little sandbox, certainly not the real world. I have used games as a means of escape for things like mourning and stress from such, but my problem is that I do not have so much fun in those situations and it is frustratingly apparent to me even then. It is only a pure distraction, if it can even live up to that. Anyway, my situation was more a matter of allowing time to heal my wounds.

    I have never personally struggled with video game addition, however I do have a bit of experience living with an addict. This person was not happy with themselves and their life and wanted to drown it in every way possible, getting worse and worse with time and adding new addictions to the old when they no longer distracted and satisfied. Instead of trying to develop new, good habits and cutting ties with old habits, they wallowed in them until they ended up in a very dark place. This person is still there now.

    What I would suggest is to do what they could not and create those new habits. No video game is worth detrimentally affecting your life and if it only harms you, it is best to let it go. I am sure there will be plenty of support to be found. I wish you the best of luck.
  • simmerannsimmerann Posts: 15 New Member
    I played a lot (A LOT) but I saw it as a restorative refuge during what for me has been a very difficult pandemic bc of a highly stressful job (related to the pandemic). It gave me a chance to create an alternative world which was a much better idealized world, than the one we have had lately (especially in the US). It was also a creative outlet when my chances for ANY outlet were severely restricted. I really don't worry about what will happen "after". I think its the pandemic that will make socialization feel "different", maybe harder, not playing the game. I think when things open up, and there is more herd immunity, I will once again enjoy going out and doing things with people because I will have missed it so much. But I appreciate your honesty in asking the question.. I did ask myself at times- am I playing too much? But this is a good question to ask- why we do what we do.
  • Sk8rblazeSk8rblaze Posts: 7,554 Member
    I haven't been addictive to the point where it negatively impacted any of my responsibilities, but there have been moments where I've been hooked on the game for hours on end. Unfortunately, it was never with The Sims 4. Only with The Sims 3, and especially The Sims 2.
  • Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 7,895 Member
    Broke10Khrs_02-02-2021.png
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    um...uh... no comment.
    aa-meetings-1024x683.jpeg
    "Hi, my name is Nikkei_Simmer...and I...um...am...uh...addicted to Sims 3..."
    RiverMcIrishFanatic_rs.jpg
    Nikkei_Simmer's Sims 3 Blog - For more Sims 3 stories...

    "The only conceivable use for a vampire is as a sharpened stick tester." ~ Haruo Chikamori, werewolf
  • texxx78texxx78 Posts: 4,457 Member
    Broke10Khrs_02-02-2021.png
    Profile_Censored.jpg
    tenor.gif
    um...uh... no comment.
    aa-meetings-1024x683.jpeg
    "Hi, my name is Nikkei_Simmer...and I...um...am...uh...addicted to Sims 3..."

    Hahahah
  • comicsforlifecomicsforlife Posts: 8,031 Member
    there have been studies that say you can't really get addicted to games the way you can drugs are something like that
    I think your just maybe a little overwhelmed by the things that are going on in the world right now if you think your playing to much
    find something else you like to do learn a new skill or get better at an old one
    the sims 4 isn't getting new whims right now and I think they have dropped them all together if we want new whims in sims 4 we need to tweet the gurus and tell them we like whims
  • bella_gothbella_goth Posts: 1,735 Member
    there have been studies that say you can't really get addicted to games the way you can drugs are something like that
    I think your just maybe a little overwhelmed by the things that are going on in the world right now if you think your playing to much
    find something else you like to do learn a new skill or get better at an old one

    if games made people addicted like drugs i think they would forbid them for kids despite being a prominent industry lol however nowadays more people seems to depend on them for their own happiness and i don't think that's healthy. okay i understand loving a videogame and playing it a considerable amount of time every now & then, but going beyond a simple hobby to make it occupy most of your daily thoughts it's an issue. so if it is affecting someone it's better to stop playing for a while, focus on something else or ask for help if necessary.
    if it's not affecting someone's routine then it's okay
  • izecsonizecson Posts: 2,722 Member
    There was one time where I played sims 3 intensively 15 hours a day(during 2 weeks school holiday) every day for 2 whole weeks in 2012, needless to say, I reap what I sow and had surgery performed on me because I sat for way too long.
    Behold! The Meatball!
  • ElsieeeeElsieeee Posts: 1 New Member
    yesss
  • comicsforlifecomicsforlife Posts: 8,031 Member
    bella_goth wrote: »
    there have been studies that say you can't really get addicted to games the way you can drugs are something like that
    I think your just maybe a little overwhelmed by the things that are going on in the world right now if you think your playing to much
    find something else you like to do learn a new skill or get better at an old one

    if games made people addicted like drugs i think they would forbid them for kids despite being a prominent industry lol however nowadays more people seems to depend on them for their own happiness and i don't think that's healthy. okay i understand loving a videogame and playing it a considerable amount of time every now & then, but going beyond a simple hobby to make it occupy most of your daily thoughts it's an issue. so if it is affecting someone it's better to stop playing for a while, focus on something else or ask for help if necessary.
    if it's not affecting someone's routine then it's okay

    you could say that of anything working to much eating to much reading to much or to much tv
    or whatever your favorite hobbies is like I told op above if they feel there doing it to much do something else
    however before they decided they have a problem that they need help with they should consider that they'll be just fine as
    soon as they can get out again your mind plays tricks on you when your bored and inside all the time
    @bella_goth
    the sims 4 isn't getting new whims right now and I think they have dropped them all together if we want new whims in sims 4 we need to tweet the gurus and tell them we like whims
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