'Am I the only one that didn't realise Sims had a pay gap'


‘It’s called life simulation for a reason’: TikToker shows apparent gender pay gap between her Sims characters

Viewers pointed out it may have been a result of her game settings.


Dana Ysabel Dela Cruz

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 19, 2022   Updated on Feb 21, 2022, 10:19 am CST

While many play video games to escape reality, sometimes real-life problems follow gamers into the virtual world. For instance, a viral TikTok seemingly shows a male Sims character receiving a higher wage than a female character despite having the same job title.

TikToker Izzy (@xobroccli) posted a video of the two characters, who both work as “Assistant Managers” in the game. However, the woman makes $35 per hour, while the man makes $38 per hour. Izzy’s video has reached over 1.4 million views.

@xobroccli realism i guess 😻🤞#gleetok #gleek #wordle #swiftok #dogsofttiktok #swifties #sims ♬ The Man – Taylor Swift

“Am I the only one that didn’t realise [sic] Sims had a pay gap,” the video text reads.

The Sims is a video game series that allows players to create and follow the lives of their simulated characters, or sims. Players watch their sims grow up, fall in love, embark on their careers… and experience unfair pay practices, apparently.

But as one viewer, Ky (@yellow.verse), pointed out in the comments, the video’s pay gap isn’t actually a result of in-game discrimination. In Sims 4, players are able to choose Aspirations—or lifelong goals—for their sims, which affect their in-game actions.

“It’s because the guy has a fortune aspiration which comes with the bonus trait of earning more money,” Ky wrote in the comments.

Still, many commenters found the video amusing. Some said the pay gap made the game more realistic.

“Well it’s called life simulation for a reason y’know,” one user wrote.

“Realism baby,” another user commented.

Others said they never noticed any pay gaps because of the way they played the game.

“All my male sims are house husbands so I never noticed,” one user wrote.

“I didn’t know bc I never make male sims,” another user commented.

The Sims series actually helped break down gender boundaries in video games, PC Games wrote in 2018. 

“There were no double standards in it—what a female sim could do, a male sim could do,” Sims game designer Roxy Wolosenko told PC Games. “It was the one thing that we absolutely never compromised on.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @xobroccli via TikTok and EA Games, the company that publishes The Sims, via email.

Share this article
*First Published: Feb 19, 2022, 9:51 am CST