We Talk To Jessica Williams About Her Love For The Sims

Jessica Williams, wearing The Sims plumbob, visited EA headquarters in October.
Jessica Williams, wearing The Sims plumbob, visited EA headquarters in October. EA

As a lifelong fan of The Sims franchise, 2 Dope Queens host Jessica Williams doesn’t hold back when it comes to expressing her love for the game. During her podcasts, during her interview with Desus and Mero, on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert where she discusses her bonding with J.K. Rowling over the game... and with Player.One.

You may have seen part of our discussion with Williams on Newsweek, but for all you avid Sims players out there who want to know what kind of Sims she creates, if she’s a good builder, how she likes the new Cats & Dogs expansion pack, and where she falls in the Sims 4 vs. Sims 3 debate, we have provided our full interview with Williams below.

How long have you been playing The Sims?

Since the original Sims. I was 10 or 11. I just remember my brother and I rotating on the same pc computer opening up our separate accounts playing the game. My parents got it. They were very, very nice. We got the CD-ROM. pressed the button, waited for the slot to open, placed the CD and pushed it back in.

Why do you prefer The Sims over other video games?

As I got older, I realized there were certain types of video games that I don't like. The ones where you're shooting a lot is not my cup of tea or sports video games I also don’t love, which is a lot of video games but also that's not all video games. I found that I do love platform games and games where you can make a lot of choices. The Sims is great because I do like to make choices and it's good to be able to do that with such low stakes. It reminds me of when I was a kid and playing dolls and make believe, except you get to see little mini people doing stuff at your bidding.

How long are your sessions and how do you even find time to play?

It’s with me because it's on my laptop so I carry it everywhere. For example, I have a show over at Northwestern University this weekend and when I'm done with that show, which I am really excited to do, I can go back and turn on House Hunters and play The Sims while I’m watching TV and relaxing. There is something pretty comforting about it.

It’s a popular debate between Sims fans--what’s the best version of the game?

I love the Sims 3 and I loved the expansion packs. I loved World Adventures, Island Paradise, and Supernatural was really fun. But it made my laptop kind of slow. And then when I went to Sims headquarters I was really nervous because I love the Sims 3 so much, but then they gave me the Sims 4 and every expansion pack. Since then, it’s been over a month, I’ve been playing the Sims 4 and I love it. And my computer still runs super fast.

There were so many fun aspects of Sims 3, but it's really cool to see, at least for me, how they rolled out the expansion packs differently and how they do incorporate elements of the one million expansion packs they made for Sims 3 in more simpler and concise expansion pack now.

Do you think The Sims paints a picture of what the world could be?

That's one of the special things about The Sims is that you can be whoever you want to be. Now you can customize your Sim without gender boundaries, which rules. That to me is very progressive and exciting. You can date whoever you want and have whatever job you want, have as many kids as you want or have no kids. The Sims world is your oyster and so that's something that is pretty beautiful about the game.

Over the last year, The Sims has made a conscious effort to bring more inclusive hairstyles into the game.

Yes. It is really nice to finally have braids. I was, like, dying. I get to have braids now and have them be all colors and different versions of it. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Sims 4 for that specific reason, actually.

Has The Sims ever helped you through a hard time?

I’ve found that I do have anxiety and so there was a while years ago where I would be like holed up in my apartment just playing The Sims and being anxious and realizing if I have to like, make sure that every 10 hours my Sim has to take a shower, then I should get up and go take a shower. If I had to make sure my Sims are cleaning up after themselves then I need to make sure I’m cleaning up after myself. It’s a nice reminder of like, ‘Oh, I should actually really take care of myself and go out and interact with humans more often.’ And so it's really nice to get reminded about what life is supposed look like.

What was it like interacting with fans via The Sims Twitter account last month?

That was my first time interacting with the Sims community. I was terrified. I wanted to make sure I said the right thing. What surprised me was a lot of people asked questions about death. Like what is the craziest death you have in the game? And in general, I'm kind of goodie two shoes trying to take care of my Sims. I feel personally responsible for their wellbeing, so I try not to just, like, kill them.

So you boot up the game. What’s the first thing you do?

I'm going into old saves. I have this collective of like five women who all live in this penthouse loft apartment and I try to make them all different so I kind of have my hands full. I’m in Sims 4 living the city life. I’m not one to have a bunch of kids that I'm taking care of. I do like that they are all career focused. Not that having kids is bad. I just don't feel like taking care of kids at the moment. It’s actually like difficult. I have to teach you things.

As a comedian, are there any moments in the Sims you find particularly funny?

Right now, my favorite Sim that I'm playing with is so deviant. She just always trying to ruin everything and it delights her. She has this crazy evil smile all the time, she’s wild, but what I love is she likes to mess up social situations. The option will be like, “Your Sim is sad because she hasn’t been mean to anybody in a while. Why don’t you invite some people over and tease them to make her happy.” You little psycho. She does not care, she wants to ruin lives.

Do you create people you know?

I do it loosely, like they are all women of color usually. I like seeing people that look like me, like little mini versions of me doing stuff, but no I don't use people I know. It just seems too weird. When I was younger, I definitely made my crush. I definitely made Justin Timberlake. But it never quite looked like Justin Timberlake circa like 2003 or 2002, but it was worth a shot.

I just make bunch of people, but I really like to throw my Sims in career and all my Sims are pretty ambitious. They are kicking ass at their jobs. I love the Get To Work expansion pack because you do get to go with them to work. And I'm like, ooh yes, this is exactly what mamma wants to do right now … go to work. One of my Sims is on the police track and I get to go investigate a crime scene. For some reason, I’m really drawn to building their careers. And it's not about the money because I’ll just type in motherlode. I’m gonna let the black lady Sims achieve and get a shit ton of simoleons for doing no work in this game.

Are you good at building?

My windows don't line up, my walls extend to far, I haven't painted the outside. Building is so much work and I don't really enjoy it. I usually move Sims into pre-made houses. The Sims that I'm playing with right now, they live in the city so they have a penthouse apartment and I just add a bunch of dope stuff.

You tried Cats & Dogs. How do you like it?

I have no pets, but I love Cats & Dogs . I'm very allergic to cats and I’m not really a cat person, I'm a dog person. I’m very excited to finally be able to have a cat, or a bunch of cats if I need to. And have a really cute dog companion that I actually don't have to worry about feeding and taking care of like in real life. It still is a lot of work, so I'm going to start slow and not get too ambitious then work my way into a crazy dog or crazy cat lady.

Have you met any celebrities aside from J.K. Rowling who play The Sims?

Nope. If you hear of any let me know.

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