The amateur architect creates a living home for players in a virtual world

One woman has designed and built more than 80 houses on her own. He is only 25 years old and has no formal degree, but anything is possible online.

Katharina Dahringer’s designs will never have human inhabitants, but real people pay her to build them – in the virtual world of “The Sims”. He has played the game since he was a child, but he never dreamed that he could turn fake reality into real money.

Dahringer, from the city of Bruchsal in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, pays up to 250 euros ($ 297) per house and says his business is growing. Use the money to pay for your graduate studies.

Katharina Dahringer earns an income designing houses online within the video game “The Sims”.
Courtesy of Katharina Dahringer

“I’ve been playing ‘Sims’ since second grade with my best friend who showed it to me back then. It’s been a part of my life ever since,” she said. “It’s a significant extra income for my daily work, but I never would have thought I would make money.”

“The Sims” is a series of life simulation video games that have sold nearly 200 million copies worldwide, starting in 2016, when the game was introduced to the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

Dahringer said that even at an early age he spent time designing and creating things with his hands.

The Sims Creator
Will Wright, creator of The Sims, in Emeryville, California, on March 24, 2008.
Ryan Anson / AFP / Getty Images

“I loved building and creating,” he said. “I built houses with cardboard boxes and duct tape and even designed furniture with wine corks and remnants of fabric.”

Her current business began when a friend started playing “Sims” on the social media platform Twitch in January 2020 and offered to build a house for the simulation. Other people saw the house and wanted hers, so Dahringer opened an Instagram account to share her designs.

By October 2020 it already had its first paying customers. A total of 80 virtual homes, villas, bars and cinemas have followed, earning up to 900 euros ($ 1,070) a month. And that number is on the rise, he said. One of his American customers offered him 50 euros ($ 59), he said.

House of the Sims world
Dahringer’s attention to detail in his interior designs has created a demand for his unusual services. Nothing he designs has a physical component: everything is virtual.
Courtesy of Katharina Dahringer

Still, it’s a time-consuming job: Dahringer said it would take about 60 hours to finish a project.

“I spend 30 to 55 hours a week building ‘Sims’ houses. Currently, the hourly wage is still very low, but I’m getting faster and faster,” he said. “I hope my small business ‘Katesimblr’ continues to grow. For me it’s always important not only to build a house, but to build a real house where you feel comfortable and safe.”

Players can request live art concepts from Dahringer through the Patreon online platform.

Virtual cinemas: Sims
In the Sims world, people need cinemas because COVID-19 never affected the movie business. Katharina Dahringer is happy to design them for a price.
Courtesy of Katharina Dahringer

He uses this platform and others to do cyberbullying crusades, which he said he experienced after starting his business.

“I have received very disturbing messages like‘ I hope you die miserably ’and‘ I hope you have cancer. ’I can’t understand how people can bring so much hatred and bitterness to their hearts,” he said.

Offline, in real life, Dahringer works in his own dream home, a brick building, where he can play “Sims” and build his company.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

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