The Sims 4 Is A Weird Game, Part 1

Ghosts in The Sims 4 are weird.


There are five things that make a ghost Sim different from a living Sim: Ghosts are semi-transparent, they change color according to their emotion, they can pass though walls (but often opt to use a door), they can briefly possess objects, and they don’t age.

Aside from those five differences, a ghost Sim is just like a living Sim. They get hungry, they have to go to the bathroom, they get sick occasionally, and they get sleepy. A ghost Sim can have a job, or collect retirement pay. They can go to a pub and have a drink or a bowl of chips. They can go on a date with a living Sim, along with everything that that involves. They can paint a painting and sell it to a collector. They can grow a garden. Since they don’t age, they can do all of these things forever.


Two of my current Sims, Henry and Mary Burke, retired to a nice house in the countryside of Windenburg. Their son, Aquarius, and his family moved to an apartment in the busy city of San Myshuno. Phillip, meanwhile, was playing his Sim, Darryl.

One day, I returned to playing Mary and Henry, and discovered that Henry had died. I was sad and disappointed that one of my Sims had died while we were playing other Sims. (I can’t decide if this is an improvement, or not, over The Sims 2, where time stops in unplayed households, and a Sim can grow up, leave home to start their own family, and become older than their parents, who are stuck in time until I play them again.)

What was worse than Henry’s passing was that he disappeared. He was a gray icon on Mary’s family tree, but his tombstone, or urn, was nowhere to be found. I had lost a Sim. (In the earlier game, before half of our content, including Phillip’s amazing Romani House, vanished, and Origin ignored my service tickets, and we swore we’d never play The Sims 4 again, and I had households scattered throughout every neighborhood, I had built a graveyard to place the tombstones in. Now that I’m playing just one, extended, family, and Phillip has turned Darryl into a vampire, there don’t seem much point in building a graveyard.)

So, Mary Burke was all alone in the countryside house, without even a tombstone to mourn over. Then, one day, Mary received a phone call. It was the ghost of Henry, calling to invite Mary out to lunch. Over lunch, I discovered that Henry’s ghost had a social interaction option that said, “Invite into household”. The ghost of Henry accepted Mary’s invitation, and moved back into the countryside house.


Although Mary and Henry Burke had once been the same age, Mary continued to live longer than Henry had. They continued to exist happily together in the country. Oddly, they were no longer married. (Or, maybe, it’s not so odd. ’til death do you part, perhaps.) I suppose it’s possible that they could get married again, but I didn’t try. They were happy as they were.

Henry Burke was the first ghost Sim I had ever played – in either The Sims 2 or The Sims 4.

Then, one day, I returned to the Burkes’ countryside house, and Henry was alone. Mary had died and disappeared, just as Henry had earlier. And, again, there was no tombstone, or urn, to be found.

Knowing that it’s possible to invite a ghost into a household, I’ve been trying to find a way for Henry to contact Mary. She’s on his list of acquaintances, but no interaction menu appears when I click on her icon. She doesn’t appear as an option when Henry uses the phone to call someone.

So now, the ghost of Henry Burke roams the neighborhoods, parks, nightclubs, and festivals, hoping for a chance encounter with his lost love. Maybe someday, he will receive an invitation to lunch. Maybe someday soon, The Shrieking Llama will host another Ghost Night and Mary will be there.


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