I don’t have many opportunities to relate to Kendall Jenner, the reserved Kardashian half-sister who’s become one of the world’s most popular and successful models in recent years. She pals around with designers and other celebrities, hops on the cover of a new magazine every other week, and is generally beautiful and successful. I ate cold grocery store empanadas for lunch today and can’t take even the simplest selfie without experiencing crippling self-doubt.
I may not be able to understand the day-to-day reality of Jenner’s life, but I’m intimately familiar with the love for The Sims franchise she’s been keeping to herself for years. Jenner wrote about playing the game in a post on her website. “Hearing Kylie [Jenner, her sister] mention what she sees her life like at 30 got me thinking about my own life in 10 years, weird weirdly gave me a strong urge to play The Sims,” wrote Jenner. “If I were building my perfect world on the game, this is how it would look: I’d have a beautiful, secluded house in Malibu with a gorgeous husband and a couple of kids. Even though I love dogs, I don’t want to be overwhelmed so I’d probably just have one. I’d definitely want a horse, too, so I could ride whenever I wanted.” (Side note: not weird at all! All of the main games in The Sims series are dope!)
Jenner’s ideal Sim scenario is detailed, sure, but the bulk of it is easily attained. The only limits imposed on your house’s beauty and seclusion are imposed by your imagination: get into Build Mode and start popping those expensive trees all over your yard! Build walls everywhere! The sky is the limit. You can create yourself a gorgeous husband and children without issue, too, and if you ever find yourself tiring of them you only need to imprison them in a windowless room with a working barbecue. There are just two problems with Jenner’s dream, both of which necessitate a deeper dive into the inner workings of The Sims franchise: the location and the pets.
The Sims 4 is the most recent entry in the series, and it was released in September 2014. The game’s been updated dozens of times with patches and expansion packs since then, but it’s still missing two key pieces of functionality: the ability to create custom worlds, and the ability to take care of animals. (It’s been rumored that an expansion pack featuring pets is on the horizon, but Maxis hasn’t made an official announcement regarding a release yet.) Malibu hasn’t been included in the base game or any of the expansion packs, which focus on fictional locales instead. All of which is to say this is the one — and maybe the only — unattainable dream Kendall Jenner’s ever had.
We can make Jenner’s Sims dreams come true
If we’re going to keep Jenner’s fantasy alive, we have to go back in time to an earlier version of the game with all of the required functionality. That means returning to The Sims 3, which was originally released for Mac and PC back in June 2009. Maxis made a game world editor publicly available in October of that year, meaning Jenner could recreate the Malibu shore for her own personal use, and the Pets expansion pack released in October 2011 allowed players to own both dogs and horses. We have everything we need to make Jenner’s dreams come true — we just have to play a relatively crusty version of The Sims to do it.
Of course, it’s possible that Jenner’s celebrity affords her access to tools and content within The Sims 4 that remains within the realm of speculation for peasants like us. She could be making custom worlds to her heart’s content! She could be breeding zebras and parrots and all manner of cross-species abominations! We don’t know enough about her gaming setup to rule it out, but I’m choosing to believe Jenner is purposefully picking an ancient game out of her apps folder just so she can romp around her custom Malibu pony farm. It’s the kind of thing I would do, and I want to believe we’re not so different.