I know I've talked about video games before, but I'm going to revisit the subject again. Mostly because I've started playing Sims 3 again. I don't have all the expansion or stuff packs, and I don't have all of the ones I do own installed right now. But I have the base game plus the expansions I love on the computer and I'm playing the game pretty much daily now, even if it's only for an hour or two.
I've discovered that I like playing Sims 3 because I can make life be as good or as bad as I want it to be. Some days I want a glimpse of the life I hope to lead one day. So I give my sims everything they want, build them lovely houses, give them multiple pets (okay, multiple cats...though I do have one family who has a bird, three turtles, and four cats instead of just cats), give them good jobs, and just generally give them a good life.
Then there's the times when I feel like they deserve to live as cheaply as we have to. I've got a married couple, no children yet, who are working low wage jobs just to make ends meet. They live in a small house with cheap furniture and struggle to pay the bills even though they live as simply as possible. Every now and then I'll cheat and give them an extra thousand simoleons (sim cash) to help them get a leg up so they can get promotions. Sims 3 has three age levels for adults: Young Adult, Adult, and Elder. My poor couple are halfway to adult and still within the first two rungs on their jobs. My wealthy family has one who's reached the top of their chosen career, with the second not far behind. Both of them are barely halfway through the Young Adult phase.
What's that mean? Honestly, it's a game of dream vs. reality. I love playing both of them because they both give me hope. The game where everyone has money, has a good job, and has as much food for themselves and their pets that they want – that they can even afford to support all those pets as well – is fun in it gives me a glimpse of what my future might be. The one where they're poor and live paycheck to paycheck is good also because it gives me hope because even though they struggle they're very much in love with each other and I don't let it stop them from getting things done. Those little bonuses of $1000 they get once in a while is like a bonus on a check. They use it to fix something or buy something they need. (Books aren't cheap on Sims 3. And you need books to increase skills.) I love Sims 3 for just that reason: I can glimpse several different lives all at the click of a button.
Do you have any video games that help you out? What are they? How do they help you?