The Sims 4 twins experiment tests what happens if you ignore one child

Sims creator Plumbella experiments to discover what happens in The Sims 4 if you raise twins while only paying attention to one and neglecting the other child

The Sims 4 - an in-game toddler sits alone on a bed looking upset, rain falling behind them, a gentle haze rising from their unwashed clothes

Raising children in The Sims 4 can be a taxing endeavour. Looking after one baby in the life sim game as they grow up is tough enough, but what happens when you have to keep track of two Sims 4 twins? How do you manage to spread your attention between both children at once? Well, Simmer and Sims creator Plumbella, who also helped to design the new cosy and cluttered Sims 4 kits, has taken a slightly different approach to her virtual parenting.

In her latest experiment, Plumbella has her Sim Eliza Pancakes give birth to a pair of twin boys, whom she helpfully names ‘Neglect’ and ‘Not Neglect’ for clarity. She puts both in equivalent baby pens, with identical equipment, but with the goal to never have the parents directly interact with poor baby Neglect. In order to ensure that they aren’t taken away by child protection services, Plumbella makes food that she can drag portions of into Neglect’s inventory directly, as hunger is a primary concern. She also gives both children the Independent trait to start.

“I do feel really guilty for doing this, but I am going to read Not Neglect to sleep.” Things start off fairly smoothly, with both kids progressing at roughly equivalent levels. However, she begins to worry that the connected pens are allowing the kids to talk to one another, so instead walls off Neglect to ensure that they’re truly cut off from the rest of the family. This rather cruel manoeuvre sees immediate effect – Neglect starts immediately feeling angry moods, thinking, “I hate everyone… Why would they disappear?!”

Once they’ve grown up to the child stage and need to get to school, Plumbella digs out a tunnel allowing Neglect in and out of the house without getting too close to the others. Initially, Neglect actually performs a little better – they have something to prove, after all – but does run into troubles with no-one around to remove the monsters under their bed. However, he actually manages to make friends with the creature, and soon after finds a note in his backpack from a secret admirer. Unfortunately, he misidentifies its sender, causing further setback as he reels from the embarrassment.

By the teenager stage, Neglect is actually slightly ahead of his more fortunate brother in both skills and his school work – it turns out that spending less time with your family frees up more room for activities. Confusingly, however, as report cards come in Neglect’s school performance is rated at poor, while Not Neglect gets much higher ratings – but both still manage to nail their exams.

By the time the pair graduate, their skills are fairly equivalent. However, Not Neglect’s reputation sees them as a ‘notable newcomer’ and they have amassed a whopping 2,585 satisfaction points, compared to Neglect’s 485 points and no fame. Plumbella’s conclusion is simple, then: “That’s what happens if you end up completely neglecting a child – nothing much.” They will come away from their youth far less content, however, as you’d expect.

Plumbella emphasises that this is purely for entertainment purposes, saying, “Please know that this game is not real and I absolutely do not condone doing this to your children. Please do not do this.” We couldn’t agree more. Instead, perhaps it’s best to just watch someone else commit terrible in-game atrocities for your own curiosity and enjoyment.

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If you want to try out some questionable experiments in your own game, you can now play The Sims 4 for free. You can also check out the best Sims 4 CC for some of our favourite Sims custom content, such as a range of diverse Sims 4 hair options or an overhaul to Sims 4 retail businesses. We’ve also got everything you need to know about modding and the best Sims 4 mods to install. The latest Sims 4 update fixes running, but doesn’t resolve the ongoing Sims 4 mean interactions bug that’s currently tearing families apart – even when you’re not intentionally trying to do so.

Image credit: Plumbella.