I picked up Sims 4 when Origin was offering it for free. To my surprise, it actually ran on a Mac! The only Sims game I’ve ever played previous to this one was Sim City. Obviously, there was going to be a learning curve as I figured out how to play Sims 4.

After messing around with the tutorial a little bit, I decided to just jump in and figure things out as I went along. This turned out to be a bad idea, especially since I started playing Sims 4 while having a really bad physical health day. Mistakes were made.

Part of the tutorial suggested that you make Sims of people you know, or celebrities. I think the idea was to give you a “template” to follow so you wouldn’t spend the day trying to craft a detailed original character.

I decided the best thing to do was to make Sims based on superheroes.

Here is Steve Rogers / Captain America. It took longer than I thought it would to figure out how to use the character creation screens.

The skills I picked for him were my best guess as to what would fit the character based on the choices the game gave me. It wasn’t ideal, but would do. At least one of the Avengers movies has a scene where Steve Rogers goes jogging, so the athletic related skills seemed appropriate.

I also selected the cleaning skill for him, because I couldn’t imagine that Steve Rogers would choose to live in an untidy home.

This is Steve Roger’s house, after I finally stopped fiddling with it. I was confused by the interface that allows players to spend in-game money to buy furnished rooms (or individual decorations).

The home is located far, far, away from the sidewalks around this lot. I figured this would be a peaceful place to live, since people wouldn’t be constantly walking by. Unfortunately, this made it really difficult for Steve to find other Sims to make friends with.

When I was creating Sim Steve Rogers, I gave him a good “alignment”. It seemed fitting. But, it actually worked against him.

Steve is Good. Good Sims are Happy when others around them are Happy and they seek to improve the world.

What I later realized I needed to do was find out a way to get Steve Rogers to go outside and meet people. His house was in an isolated place, and I don’t think I saw any Sims other than him the entire time I was playing.

Also, the mailbox that went with the house was far, far, away from the house itself. I failed to see the mailbox until it was too late.

I did not know that you could move doors around, so I spent way too long trying to get all the rooms to connect in a way that would actually allow Steve to maneuver through his home. In the process, I sold several rooms and bought them again – without realizing the consequences of doing so until later.

The result was that I burned through all of the money Steve Rogers started with, and had nothing left over to buy upgraded furniture. The game includes an inventory of stuff the player bought, but I was entirely unaware of it while trying to figure out how to get Steve to do stuff.

Before I started playing Sims 4, I thought the way it worked was players give their Sims a bunch of stuff, and the Sims interact with it as they see fit. My concept of this game was that the player was sort of like a benevolent god that silently and subtly gave their Sims stuff they could use to make their lives comfortable and happy.

Instead, I learned that the player is more like a cross between a mommy and a special education teacher’s aide. I found myself desperately trying to figure out how to teach Steve to get over a bad mood, to calm down, to self soothe.

I say this as a person who has worked as a special education teacher’s aide who has also spent several years working in day care centers with toddlers. Did you know that you have to remind your Sims to go to the bathroom when they need to?

Steve did not like his job as a Waterperson at The Other Sports Team. For whatever reason, Steve Rogers came home from work every day very stressed out.

Steve had a TV and a radio. He sometimes used them, but this did not calm him down. What would make him happy?

Apparently, Steve just needed to go outside late at night and hunt frogs. Doing so makes him feel “playful”. He also enjoyed doing exercises, and would randomly start working out.

There is an achievement for finding a Leaf Frog. I had no idea what to do with the frog Steve found. I’m not sure what happened to it.

That same day, Steve got his first paycheck, and did some “superb work”. Things were looking up for Steve Rogers!

Steve acquired the Cooking Skill. Steve’s new skill in Cooking will allow him to prepare delicious, straight forward classics. Yum! The higher the skill level, the more recipes become unlocked.

Steve was able to learn to make one or two recipes. Sometimes, he seemed happy while cooking. Other times, he got frustrated when he burned his fingers or dropped the food. He had learned the basics that would enable him to feed himself, so there was some progress made here.

Steve got promoted to Locker Room Attendant. He got a $3/hour raise, and a $110 bonus. The game gave him an Athlete’s Trophy Case, but I never found it. For whatever reason, the promotion made Steve Rogers very tense.

He hadn’t had any fun in what seemed to him like a long time. He wanted more social activity – but not of the work related kind. And, he was hungry. By this point, I had learned how to encourage a Sim to go make themselves some food.

Steve was already tense, and he got really grumpy while cooking dinner for himself. The stove caught fire, and Steve didn’t seem to understand that he should stop trying to cook.

I pressed all the buttons, to no avail. There is nothing in Sims 4 that can be used to help a Sim, who has set himself on fire, to try and put the fire out.

The Sim Grim Reaper floated into Steve Roger’s house, presumably to release Steve’s soul from his body. That was the end of Steve Rogers.

I had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to do at this point. The best course of action seemed to be to start a brand new Sim in an entirely different location. Maybe that one would work out better now that I’ve learned from my mistakes.

Later, a friend told me that the Grim Reaper leaves an urn behind, that the player can turn into a gravestone. It was really simple to do. What I didn’t expect, however, was how a different Sim (that I made later) would react to that gravestone.

Sims 4 – Mistakes Were Made is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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