Ever since Parasite, the South Korean tragicomedy, first premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, it has won countless accolades, from the Palme d’Or to four Oscars at the Academy Awards. The thriller has also grossed an estimated $200 million worldwide.
Now that the dust has started to settle, new ventures are branching out from the film—creating a bona fide Parasite paradise. Grand Central Publishing, for instance, recently announced that it has turned director Bong Joon Ho’s detailed storyboards into a graphic novel. And now a Korean architect and designer who goes by the name Simkoong Architect has designed the Park family mansion, which plays a central role in the film, completely in The Sims 4 computer game.
The Sims 4 became available in 2014 and is the fourth iteration of The Sims, the popular video game that encourages players to imitate life through art and design. Users create simulated characters that look like real-life people, and are able to vicariously—and virtually—live life through them. While much of the game revolves around coexisting with other Sims and handling day-to-day tasks, players also have the opportunity to become novice architects. After all, people need shelter—and it’s best if it’s well-designed.
Simkoong Architect shows what’s possible in The Sims 4, and it’s impressive. Not only did he choose a location in the game that resembles actual elite neighborhoods in South Korea (palatial estates surrounded by mountains), he also translated the dimensions of the mansion in the film to a 64-meter-by-64-meter plot of land in Sims. The film uses architecture as an allegory for class tension. In keeping with that theme, the designer decided to build his Sims version vertically, so as to lead viewers upward, both spatially and metaphorically. Think of it as a shorthand for wealth and upward mobility.
Watching the artist render the mansion in The Sims 4 on YouTube makes the thoughtful intension Bong and his collaborators designed the home with plain. Seemingly innocuous details like the length of hallways, angles of staircases, and the dark, foreboding colors used in the home’s interior come alive when broken down in The Sims‘ accessible, digital world. Simkoong’s version isn’t an exact replica, of course. But it’s a pretty accurate abstraction. And the beauty of The Sims is that characters have personalities and rich dialogue. Clearly a fan of Sims, but also Parasite, Simkoong Architect uses the Park mansion recreation as the setting for a larger remake of some of the film’s scenes. From a young tutor ringing the front doorbell, to an illuminated Morse code message saying “Thank you,” Simkoong Architect has not only used the game to rebuild a home, but to rebuild the story in The Sims 4, too.