A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This is great way to teach about diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Can be configured to allow brutal crimes to occur in a lifetime--but there are no graphics depicting this--teens are just told.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Can be configured to allow sexually transmitted diseases to be a part of a life.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Can be configured to allow for drinking problems and smoking, but teens learn of the consequences.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that some real-life issues presented in this game may not be appropriate for younger children, including sexually transmitted diseases and violent crimes such as rape. However, those issues can be turned off so that kids don't have to face them.
Is It Any Good?
Behind this simulation is a robust data engine that uses statistics from over 100 sources, including the United Nations, the World Health Organization, Amnesty International, encyclopedias, and other fact books to present accurate cultural, political, and economic systems. Statistics also drive the presentation of personal attributes, health issues, family issues, schooling, jobs, natural disasters, wars, and more. It is rated "Teen" because, where statistically appropriate, it deals with things like sexually transmitted diseases and brutal crimes including rape. Those aspects can be eliminated in the "Configure Issues" controls.
This software creates a powerful learning opportunity for teens to experience other cultures with empathy. Though gameplay is mostly text-based, it is fascinating. Real Lives 2004 has a 14-day free download, so families can walk a lifetime in someone else's shoes many times over before deciding to buy the software.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate