The Sims 4: Cottage Living

October 8, 2021   |  

The classic PC simulation game The Sims has finally delivered what fans have hoped for since its inception: illegal family farming. Though its newest expansion pack, The Sims 4: Cottage Living, is set in a peaceful country town, the gameplay itself features an abundance of unregulated activities.

You can set up a farm with crops and animals such as cows, llamas, and chickens—heedless of zoning rules!—and the products can be sold without any inspection, certification, permit, or authorization required. You can milk your cow right behind your house—even giving it a special treat to produce rainbow milk if you like—and walk right over to the local farmstand to sell it unpasteurized. You can grab eggs from the chicken coop—if one of the prowling foxes hasn't gotten them first—and sell them to a neighbor without any oversight of the chicken's growing conditions. You can even pick your own oversized produce; turn it into jam, preserves, or pie in your own non-inspected kitchen; and sell it at the local fair.

This game offers players an escape into a "cottage-core" fantasy. One reason it has to remain a fantasy is that many of the Sims world's activities would in our world be illegal. Real family farming involves repeated phone calls to bureaucrats, lots of paperwork, and surprise visits from the chicken police—a lot less fun than this game of peaceful, productive agricultural outlawry.