Over the past eighteen years, The Sims has become one of the most successful computer games of all time. It has millions of users building virtual houses, filling them up with virtual furniture, plants, animals, and other stuff, and controlling the lives of the billions of simulated, or 'Sim,' people who live there. And just like real life consumer culture, these Sims can get more and more new stuff with downloadable mods created by other users. Now, finally, your Sims can have cannabis, thanks to the Basemental mod, created by a modder called Filip. Herb.co interviewed him, to find out exactly how he did it.
Filip was the first modder to add drugs to The Sims that can be used and consumed by Sim people. Previous appearances had been merely decorative, such as taking a 'vase' object and reprogramming it to look like a cannabis plant. He "started by trying to reprogram the game to allow players to actually snort a line of coke," and went further from there-- much, much, further.
Basemental includes cannabis, MDMA, cocaine, and amphetamines, as well as new abilities, such as drug dealing. Each drug affects its Sim user like the real one would, by increasing mood, energy, and productivity, keeping them awake, or making them very sleepy. Sims can grow cannabis, and make money dealing drugs. Sims can have hangovers and overdoses, both fatal and non-fatal. The extent of the realism is pretty shocking although, apparently, Filip has so far declined requests to add heroin to the game. What he does show, he says, he shows for the sake of realism and awareness, both good and bad.
“I don’t really want to make this mod into a glorification of drug use,” Filip told Kotaku, “that’s why it’s important to have an addiction system, fatal and non-fatal drug use.”