It’s a game that encourages people to ‘get a life’ — build a house, make a Sim and fulfil their dreams. So why are so many players intent on murder? From a report: The Sims has far evolved from its humble beginnings in 2000, where you created characters and tended to their needs, like a slightly more demanding Tamagotchi. As the games became more advanced, The Sims provided opportunities for the lives of your characters to more closely mirror reality: they now have lifetime goals and desires, can feel disappointment and joy, and now even do their own laundry. But whether they live a rich and fulfilling life, or an existence defined by endless suffering, the Sims’ destiny is entirely in your hands. Of course many players choose not to be benevolent Gods in the Sims world — and instead aim to kill and torture as many Sims as possible. Death has hugely evolved over 21 years of gameplay; we’re no longer just sticking Sims in a swimming pool and selling a ladder to watch them drown. Instead, we’re watching them explode in rocket ships, choke on pufferfish or even be eaten by the ‘Cowplant’ — a mutant Venus flytrap with a cow head for a face.
“The Sims see you controlling a little society, but that doesn’t mean you’re making it better. It reminds me of Bruce Almighty, where the role of God is handed over but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s strictly a good thing. It’s rather therapeutic just killing Sims, and being quite an irresponsible God,” 26-year-old Dubliner RTGame (real name Daniel), who has 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube says. “I feel like a kid with a magnifying glass on the small ants. It sounds quite twisted but it’s quite fun to do things like that in games like The Sims to see what happens. But yes, I do have a lot of Sims blood on my hands.” He’s far from alone. While many in the Sims streaming community focus their content on cutesy legacy-style playthroughs or intricate design challenges, there’s an increasing interest in more boundary-pushing content. RTGame credits the popularity of his bizarre Sims series for helping him jump into streaming as a full-time career, while other YouTubers such as CallMeKevin and Plumbella count speed runs where they kill entire neighbourhoods among some of their most viewed content.