Pretty much everyone has played one of the The Sims games and everyone has had their own experience in the sandbox that allows you to literally do anything to pixelated people. (Motherlode, anyone?) Premade Sims are often references to famous literature and media stereotypes with hints and scripted events dotted about to provoke ideas for the players, but ultimately, the player has control over any Sim’s life. This is why my attention is drawn to perhaps the most famous premade Sim: Bella Goth.
Over the course of the franchise, Bella was (perhaps inadvertently) subject to a mystery disappearance in the most successful installment of the game, The Sims 2. Consequently, a narrative was created for a sandbox game, and its effects rippled backwards and forwards in the games’ chronology. Her character was divided; a seductive, sweet-talking gold digger or a good-natured, enthusiastic occultist. But how far do each of her representations support either half of the binary personality she was assigned?
The first incarnation of Bella Goth is The Sims 3 version, a child of the Bachelor family in Sunset Valley. Due to the open world nature of The Sims 3, it’s hard not to notice the small, sociable little girl, and her family appear on community lots. Her assigned Traits (part of the game’s personality system) are Good, Brave, and Lucky. Bella Bachelor and Mortimer Goth are best friends, and she wears a red dress and has a gothic-themed bedroom. She does not struggle at school, has a good family life, and is very sociable and will engage most Sims in conversation regardless of life stage. This seems banal, but by using these facts placed in by developers, we can analyze Bella Goth’s changing character.