Career Lessons From The Sims: Lifetime Wish

So I recently noticed that following the Writer skill track for The Sims 3 draws an interesting distinction between mastery of the skill, creating brilliant work, selling profitable work, and the activity of writing. Thinking about these distinctions has led to way more existential questions than you might expect from relaxing with my imaginary game people. Does my Sim want to write something brilliant? Create a masterpiece? Earn good money writing? Make money on this piece, or overall?  Or just feel like writing something for fun?

In Sims 3, each Sims has an individual Lifetime Wish, chosen at the beginning of the game, which answers which type of writing they should pursue. They might want to rule the free world, or learn every recipe ever, or be a chess grandmaster, or whatever, and they’ll be working towards this their whole life, unless you’re the kind of player who puts your Sims in the pool and deletes the ladder.

Anyway, three of these Lifetime Wishes are about writing, and they’re all more detailed than just “be a writer.” The Professional Author Lifetime Wish means making a living as a writer, so this Sim should be focused on completing a wide number of short, saleable works. For the Illustrious Author goal, which means reaching the top of the skill track in writing and artistry, Sims should train, and practice, and read about writing, and study art, and not really bother writing anything to sell until it’s a masterpiece. And there’s another writing-related goal, which is to reach the top of Journalism career track. This is actually a Star News Anchor and turns out being more about building Charisma skills and workplace relationships than writing and creativity (and it doesn’t involve any puns about a rapidly rising anchor, really a missed opportunity).

Mixing these goals up, especially by thinking that as long as your Sim is writing, they’re on their way to their goals, can lead to major life dissatisfaction.

(You can do them all if you turn off aging.)

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