TS2/3/4: A Sim Nationalist Viewpoint

I need to say something about the release of The Sims 4. Players, it appears to me, have been putting one another under great pressure to declare allegiance -- to one game version or another, one opinion of the new game or another, one style of play or another. "Do you consider such-and-such feature important?" becomes a shibboleth, by which to distinguish the righteous from the suspiciously foreign and impure.

The one criterion by which we should be examining any game feature, version, play style, or interaction within our community is this:

What does it do for the lives of the Sim people?

A Simmer can tell at a glance that my own world is the Sunset Valley of TS3. But to anyone who expects me to voice support for a faction against older or newer games, I say: you're living in a dream world.

The Sims -- all of them -- are my people, and Simmers are our friends and allies. I call upon them all to reject, instantly and firmly, any attempts to divide us on arbitrary lines. No matter whether those lines be drawn by people inside or outside of the community, our rejection of them should be instinctive, visceral and absolute.

How It Began.

So Janet was looking over back issues of the Comic and told me, "You should do the one where you got bit by the radioactive spider." That threw me. The only bug I own is my ladybug, Santa, who doesn't bite. "Or you got stricken by gamma rays, or whatever," Janet clarified. "Superhero comics always have a little intro like that, to tell the reader where their Powers came from." Janet always means well and I try to be patient with her. "I'm a Sim," I explained. "I don't have Powers. With luck, I just about have the Power to route myself across the room and out the front door to catch the school bus. Some days, I even bollux that up." "Well, you discovered the Outer World. You take that for granted now because you're online all the time, but for a new reader, some kind of set-up would be nice." Janet is actually pretty wise. Here is a link to the comic of How It Began.

Strange Tales of the Outer World

On June 4, 1989, people in Poland elected their national legislature. An independent, democratic Poland, coming from the history they were coming from, was an astonishing accomplishment and Poles are right to honor the date.

China, on the same day, called out the army and blew the day right out of their calendar. Twenty-five years later, the regime still gets nervous every year and locks up people who might talk about it. The irony is that people today who might not otherwise care much about the events of their parents' generation do notice the bizarre Internet antics required to keep them from Googling this date.

This is the kind of thing that Sims might have a hard time understanding. Because Sunset Valley is not in China, I have taken the liberty of making a Comic.

Patience with This Website


The look & feel of this site will be a bit clunky for a while, while I recover from "upgrading" the style theme and -- this is the important part -- debug the SSL certificate installation to make this site compatible with HTTPS Everywhere. Meantime the site's content is undamaged, and you can still contact me in all the usual ways.


Groundhog Day in the Valley (CC for your TS3 game)

“Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”

In that case, and especially in a small and sometimes dull town like Punxsutawney Sunset Valley, we ought to have a greater selection of films in the local moviehouse. If you download a package that I've just placed on this site, the lovely 1993 flick Groundhog Day will be shown on the marquee of your base-game movie theatre (in my case, the Wilsinoff Community Theater), with a nice poster facing the sidewalk. (Truthfully this is a mere re-colouring -- no actions are added to the theatre, and the actual movie is not included. Text on the poster has been rendered into Simlish using two community fonts: "Simlish v3" and "Immajer-Simlish".) Get the package here. And this is what it looks like in the game: (click image to enlarge)


Technical problems with this site now being mostly cleared up, I've uploaded Issue 22 of the Comic. (This makes the first time that a Comic has hit my Facebook page before our own site.) ƢƥƨƕƿɚɧɰɻʎՔՍխծբ; ⵚⵣⵓⵓⵄⵍ-ⵣⵓⵓⵄⵍ and if this does not render correctly in your browser, don't worry about it.

Last-minute costume idea

I think that for Spooky Day (or Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, Samhain or Samhuinn, Nos Galan Gaeaf, Allantide as it may be where you are), it would be very excellent if everyone would be Edward Snowden. I'm not saying he would necessarily have an easier time travelling if he were to look just like everyone else, but it probably wouldn't hurt. I am attaching a picture of Mr. Snowden to this post. However, your likeness doesn't need to be perfect -- apparently Bolivian President Evo Morales was considered to have a pretty good resemblance, by the people who caused his plane to be intercepted. (Oh, the mistakes we could all avoid if people would just bother to learn a little Spanish.) Honestly, I think the two look pretty different. Make sure the costume shop gives you the right mask. Left: Evo Morales, photo by Joel Alvarez. Right: Edward Snowden, Reuters photo.

Wave hi, up in the sky

I found out, via Bobak Ferdowsi the cute guy with the VJ Alvi haircut who lands spaceships on Mars, that a spaceship flew past Earth today on its way towards Jupiter. There are nice stories about it and a video by Bill Nye the Science Guy at the blog of Emily Lakdawalla The worldwide Say Hi To Juno event collected & transmitted greetings to the Juno spacecraft from radio amateurs and basically everybody who could post to Instagram. Janet and I hauled some spotlights up onto the hill in front of the Landgraab Science Center to spell out "HI" in Morse Code. Ronnie scanning the skies for Juno, while Janet waves and searchlights spell "Hi" in Morse code. (This is the photo that I wanted to post to Instagram, but there are only apps for Android and iOS, whereas my phone runs Symbian.)