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Life Simulation Game

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A "life simulator" is a type of Simulation Game where you play as a human, animal, or other being. The goal can differ but overall the theme is to survive and go through life as that being. In most examples you are in direct control over the character, however in others you can simply loosely control their actions from afar. Simulation games are usually Endless Games with no set ending besides maybe death.

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There are mainly two types of life sims: the traditional human-centric life simulator and the animal simulator.

The human-themed sims are a divisive deal, with a common question for non-fans being "Why play a game about stuff you can do in real life?", but they do have fans. Due to the fact these sims are similar to playing house or other childhood games (with The Sims outright being conceived as a virtual dollhouse for adults), they tend to have a large amount of female fans, child fans (even when they're aimed at older audiences), and casual game fans.

The second type, the animal sims, tend to be more common than life sims. The goal of most are to find food, avoid predators, and most likely breed. There's a tendency for animal sims to be made about carnivorous or omnivorous animals, likely because hunting makes for more engaging gameplay, however some can be based on herbivores as well.

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Like most simulation games, most are exclusive to PC and mobile. A few, however, are ported to console or are outright console-exclusive.

Sub-Trope to Simulation Game and Super-Trope to Farm Life Sim. Compare to xenofiction, Xenofictional Literature, and Slice of Life. Also compare to Immersive Sim, which is similar to the "human life sim" subgenre, but usually places its player-protagonists into much more extreme situations and gives them fantastic powers (whether magical or technological). There's a lot of overlap with the Dating Sim, Raising Sim, and Breeding Sim genres as well.


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Examples:

In-Universe

  • Animorphs: The Ellimist used to play a video game based on modifying the virtual environment and seeing how species evolved in response. Unfortunately, the Capasins thought the game was real, and wiped out the Ketrans for meddling with other species.

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