Need rest? Try watching Sims 4 building videos

When I have a stressful day, I don’t usually turn to the hot bath and glass of wine route. Even a yoga class won’t calm me down.

No, when my day peaks in stress levels, there’s only one thing I do. On these days, I light a candle, set up my Chromecast, and stream Sims 4 building videos to YouTube on the biggest TV in my house.

As a reasonably regular player of The Sims (read: I play for a manic week, then don’t touch it for six months, then I like to flush and repeat myself as a decent builder. I can build working houses with funky decor. I’ve once built a gym where you don’t have to look at anyone while you work out (the dream) I even built a working graveyard where deceased sims were honored with shrines in a mausoleum and that’s my greatest achievement.

But I am by no means claiming to be a Sims Builder.

There are people out there – architectural geniuses – who can take the same tools that are available to everyone and create something incredible. From sprawling castles to multi-level villages to intricate tiny houses, these players are dynamic, have an innate style and an immeasurably good sense of design. Not only that, they are landscape artists, with shrubs and terrain colors perfectly placed to make a place look real.

I am self-aware enough to know that creating these masterpieces is without question beyond my own ability. But it’s fun to watch.

I’m not alone in this. The Sims community loves a good build video featuring some of the most popular YouTubers and Twitch streamers working in the build space. With hundreds of thousands of subscribers, these videos routinely reach millions of views.

Take YouTuber SimLicy for example. With almost 400,000 subscribers on YouTube, her channel hosts soothing build videos that over-the-top her narrative, explaining not only what she did but how you can achieve it in-game. Their builds tend to be more traditional houses with titles like “Single Mom and 7 Kids!” or “Fun Family Home!”

Want something more fantasy inspired? Check out SIMproved. From realistic adaptations of sprawling pop culture settings (Kaer Morhen’s lot is incredible) to water parks, gargantuan castles, spaceships, fairy mushroom villages, and even the Spirited Away bathhouse, every single thing that pops up on their YouTube makes me wonder if we do even play the same game.

Then you have builders like DoctorAshley, who regularly emulates some of the biggest, most stylish homes on platforms like Zillow in her Curb Appeal series. From floorplans and photos, she creates near-exact replicas of multi-million dollar mansions in The Sims 4 on YouTube and Twitch – and they’re not only gorgeous, they’re totally playable every time.

Her ability to recreate these houses is amazing and it is no wonder her creations are so popular – it is no exaggeration to say that these structures require days and days of painstaking work, fine-tuning the details and experimenting with different arrangements could. The best part? She also started watching construction videos.

“I started watching Sims build videos in college to help me recover from the stress of exams and study,” Ashley told CNET. “Shortly after graduating, I desperately needed a creative outlet and decided to upload Sims building videos to YouTube to document my build progress.”

Similarly, many Sims creators are always looking for ideas. Aside from constantly checking real estate websites and telling yourself “I could absolutely do this” when you see a cool house (just me?), construction videos are some of the easiest places to get inspiration.

“Construction videos are also a quieter genre of content that people can just play in the background to keep them company while they do chores,” Ashley said. “I grew up watching a lot of HGTV interior design shows with my mom, so I’ve always had a general interest in architecture and interior design.”

Putting in the actual work of doing these builds yourself would be very stressful if this isn’t your jam, but there’s something so incredibly comforting about seeing it play out in front of you.

It’s like my version of watching top athletes dominate their chosen sport – I’ll never do a Produnova (it’s called “Tomb of Death” for a reason), but I could watch the hell Dipa Karmakar do one in 2016 lands Olympic Games in Rio.

You could even consider it a kind of ASMR. Hearing the narration play out as you watch a house slowly grow together just tickles the right part of my brain. It’s an audiovisual treat for the senses.

Lo and behold, it works for me. That’s all that really matters when it counts. When I put them on, my whole body relaxes. It’s procedural, it’s reassuring, there’s a definitive bottom line, and it takes a lot of creativity and problem-solving. Who could ask for more?

Sims 4 building videos might not be your thing, but it’s the kind of tee I’d love to have a full swimming pool with – ideally without anyone clearing the ladder on top of me. Need rest? Try watching Sims 4 building videos

Chris Barrese

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