The Sims Social

Common Sense Media says

Mature but lighthearted life sim with new social features.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sims can be as pleasant or nasty as the player chooses, and will cultivate friendly or confrontational relationships with other Sims through their actions. It's possible for Sims to pickpocket other Sims, steal their food, pee on their plants, play dozens of different pranks, and choose insulting or hurtful conversation topics like calling someone a bad friend or mocking their appearance. There are just as many positive interactions too, from playing music and dancing together to sharing jokes and small-talk.

Positive role models

A Sim's behavior is influenced by its personality traits and its relationship status with other Sims. Sims with the villain personality trait will actually derive pleasure in causing other Sims distress. Sims in a romantic relationship can dump each other and become Ex-Lovers. However, there are many positive traits as well, and those serve as positive role models.

Ease of play

Gameplay is more streamlined than The Sims for PC and consoles, with fewer menu options and a fixed camera. Players learn more about the game through completing quests, but there's still plenty of room for open-ended discovery.

Violence

Sims can argue and get into catfights with each other, but these are handled humorously and there's no graphic violence.

Sex

A player's Sim can pursue both heterosexual and same-sex relationships with the Sims of Facebook friends, but both friends must approve changes in relationship status for it to take effect. Sims that are romantically involved can exchange passionate kisses and hugs, have "quickies" in the shower, or make "woohoo" (the game's long-standing euphemism for sexual intercourse). These interactions are accompanied by floating hearts, groans and giggles, but nothing graphic.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Players can buy a range of items for their Sim's house. The game encourages buying "nice" stuff, because it increases the value of the property. Sims can buy Dunkin' Donuts branded coffee and donuts.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Players will be prompted regularly to post game-related status updates on their Facebook wall, and on the walls of friends. Interacting with other Sims is a big part of the game, and players might be tempted to "friend" strangers on Facebook to increase their number of neighbors.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Sims Social is a life simulation game in The Sims series that is played on the Facebook social network. Players create their own person, known as a "Sim," by customizing appearance and selecting personality traits including introvert, geek, socialite, tycoon, romantic, or villain. These traits influence the Sim's behavior. Sims can enter into friendships, rivalries, and both heterosexual and same-sex romantic relationships with other Sims, which are controlled by Facebook friends. These relationships statuses must be approved by both players before appearing in the game. Sims do not have children, age, or die. Players can spend real-world money to purchase special items or to speed up the game by instantly unlocking quests and building furniture. The game is more fun with more friends to visit, which might tempt players to "friend" strangers on Facebook to get more neighbors.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Math

  • money

Social Studies

  • citizenship

Hobbies

  • building
  • fashion
  • gardening

Skills

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • personal growth

Emotional Development

  • empathy
  • identifying emotions
  • labeling feelings

Communication

  • friendship building

Responsibility & Ethics

  • learning from consequences
  • respect for others

Health & Fitness

  • body awareness
  • mental health

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The Sims Social is playful and engaging. Kids will enjoy watching the Sims dance and paint, gossip and flirt, work out, cook, and more. Everything in the game is portrayed with an interesting and often humorous animation.

Learning Approach

Kids complete quests, but there's room to discover things on their own too. Characters are realistic and diverse, and interacting with them has consequences, such as rude behavior causing others to dislike them.

Support

The game tracks kids' progress as they build their Sim's skills, and displays this information to give kids a sense of accomplishment. Tutorials guide players through the game, but kids have leeway to discover things on their own as well.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions

Math

  • money

Social Studies

  • citizenship

Hobbies

  • building
  • fashion
  • gardening

Skills

Self-Direction

  • achieving goals
  • personal growth

Emotional Development

  • empathy
  • identifying emotions
  • labeling feelings

Communication

  • friendship building

Responsibility & Ethics

  • learning from consequences
  • respect for others

Health & Fitness

  • body awareness
  • mental health

Kids can learn to set and achieve goals by learning new skills, completing jobs, and buying commodities. Social interaction is central; kids cultivate friendships and romantic relationships by interacting with other Sims and being mindful of feelings and emotions. There are consequences for treating other Sims poorly. Kids also learn about mental health and body awareness by meeting their Sim's needs for sleep, hygiene, hunger, and relaxation.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

THE SIMS SOCIAL is The Sims streamlined for social networks. Players care for only one Sim in this version (as opposed to an entire family), by making sure that its personal needs such as hygiene, hunger, and fun are being met. Instead of having an entire neighborhood to explore, Sims are limited to their own house and yard -- which can be expanded with new rooms and outfitted with hundreds of furniture and decorative items purchased from the shop. Sims can also visit the houses of other Sims, which become available by inviting Facebook friends to become neighbors.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For all its pruning, The Sims Social still feels like a "Sims" game -- in fact, some players will even appreciate that there's less to micromanage. Some of the attempts to copy popular social game mechanics fall flat -- like the superficial crop-tending and weed-pulling tasks -- but overall the social features complement the gameplay. Watching the Sims interact with their environment, and with each other, is the highlight of the game. Players can earn money, learn new skills, and cultivate relationships with other Sims through interactions. Almost everything in the game environment can be clicked on, resulting in reactions from the Sims that range from adorable (two friendly Sims performing a piano duet), to quirky (a "crazy" Sim satisfying her social needs by talking to the plants in her yard). Some of these actions use energy, but many of them don't, so even after players have used up all their free energy there's still entertainment to be had. These features help make The Sims Social an engaging social game with depth and humor.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what personality traits they chose for their Sim. How much of an impact did that choice make on how you played the game?

  • Families can also talk about the interpersonal relationships between different Sims. Was it fun to be mean to or play jokes on other Sims, or did you feel guilty about it? Were there any consequences for your antisocial actions?

Game details

Platforms:Facebook
Price:Free with Microtransactions
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:August 23, 2011
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:NR for (Facebook)

This review of The Sims Social was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written byCharles C October 12, 2011
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Inappropriate for children of any age.

Let's start with some European statistics:
38% of 9-12 year olds have a profile on Facebook.

40% of children are connected to people online that they don't know in "real-life".

9% of children have gone on to meet someone in "real-life" that they first met online.

We see from these statistics that:
a) Age limits don't work and there are millions of underage users on Facebook.
b) Some children will connect with people that they don't know putting themselves at risk.
c) Some children will accept an invitation to meet up in real life following online interactions.

When playing "Sims Social" players can interact with other users in a lot of different ways, but they are rewarded for entering into romantic relationships with other players.

These romantic relationships can develop quickly into sexual relationships, with options to have sex in different locations, including the bedroom and the shower.

Sex between players is rewarded with "social points" which are then used to advance within the game environment.

I have the following questions for the game developers.

Isn't sex for rewards called prostitution?

Surely encouraging and rewarding sexualised behaviour between "avatars" encourages underage "offline" relationships of an inappropriate nature?

Would parents be happy if their kids were having "cybersex" in a chatroom environment? How is this different?

Isn't there a risk of "Sim Grooming" where kids are connected to strangers within the game environment?

Is there a risk of bullying when 2 players enter into a same sex relationship?

Shouldn't sexual behaviour within the game be limited to those above the age of consent for similar behaviour in "real life"?

When these questions are answered, I may review my opinion of the game.

As it stands, I feel that the game is highly inappropriate for children of any age and that by not restricting sexual activity within the game environment to adults only, Playfish, Electronic Arts and Facebook are behaving in a wholly irresponsible manner.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 11 years old Written byabawesome187 November 16, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

yay

has inappropriate parts

Parent Written byCooldee September 12, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

A Sims game for 2011!

I love the Sims Social because I get to make my own home, purchase items, and visit my neighbors.

What other families should know
Educational value
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families