Why The Sims is a game of comfort for so many neurodiverse people

Originally published at: Why The Sims is a game of comfort for so many neurodiverse people | Boing Boing


Me Too Samesies GIF


Hey! Sims!

I wanted to take a second and shill for a game I played recently from Studio Drydock - an Aussie game studio with a bunch of ex-EA, ex-sims-freeplay devs.

This is a beautiful, LGBTQ±friendly, farming sim with a rich, detailed story and world. for the neurodiverse amongst us, you can disable or remove several game mechanics to make playing as stress-free as you want, and I have to say that I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed my time playing this. Stongly recommend for those of you with Apple Arcade accounts (or, who can grab this through the imminent Steam release!)

They took what I think are the best parts of a sims-type game, removed a lot of the sort of gamification mechanics you find in the actual sims series, and focused on the “comfort” part.


Looks well designed.


There was an interesting episode of This American Life where a daughter recounts her mom’s time-consuming obsession with the game, to the detriment of her interactions with her real family. Eventually she took drastic measures:

This sounds suspiciously adjacent to my determination that Stardew Valley is actually most especially a power fantasy, despite not overtly resembling typical video game power fantasies, because it’s all about a world where personal happiness and social and professional success are achievable by systems carefully engineered for enough complexity to feel rewarding and enough simplicity to be comforting and ultimately tractable.

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