Thursday, September 21, 2023

In the world of young Black Sims content creators

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In The sims 4, players rush to predetermined and idyllic cities full of simulations where you can be whoever you want, when you want. You cook, clean, sleep and interact. It’s life in a new virtual world. And while The sims 4 managed to deliver these fictional worlds to play in, it didn’t do so well in performance. A simulation game like Sims 4 should be able to provide an image of a player – an image that makes them feel whole. But the truth is, getting it right is not that easy.

Whenever Sims publisher Electronic Arts is releasing new content, as far as black people are concerned, there are issues with content. Hair, skin, and makeup are best suited to their lighter, whiter Sims. To EA’s credit, they have listen and updated content, but there’s still a huge gap between what they’re producing and what The Simmers think EA: Blackness lacks. Black skin, dark hair, black body types, black clothes, and black tendencies all move the needle in many spaces of the real world, so why not in The sims? But with this void of content comes a great opportunity to give people what they want, and it comes from some of the game’s most dedicated players.

My introduction to The sims was right after my father died from cancer, a long time ago that I was still a preteen. Sims 2 became for me the ultimate escape in a time when therapy was not available, but the earliest forms of technology were. I had nothing fancy, just a desktop that could barely handle the game. However, this generation of Simmers grew up with the technology they needed to influence the game, which they played all their lives. They have the technological mastery to create content on the fly. Their creative spaces aren’t in game studios, they’re just inside their homes.

A New Generation of Sims Creators

It is no wonder that The sims has the power to transform someone’s life. All three creators I spoke with had their own reasons for playing the game, but all also found themselves on the path to creating custom content for Sims 4 they never thought it would happen.

Playing The sims started as a response to bullying and has become “the only way to express myself, the only way to feel comfortable. The only way I felt happy, ”said Jeremy, 18, based in London, also known as DiversedKing. His love of the game became the safe space he needed to be creative.

Back in the United States, based in Philadelphia Krissten Faggins, 24, who plays the role of CoCo Games, began his journey with the Sims The sims 3 and calls herself a storyteller and a creative. She was using The sims from the start to convey emotions and harness the power of 3D form. Whether in his bedroom or elsewhere in his house, Krissten would find himself playing to “escape the outside world and sort of channel himself into something different,” she said. But make no mistake, his escape was not negative. It was one for a creative, a self-proclaimed dreamer.

While most people start The sims as players, others, like 17-year-old Jadin, started the franchise with The Sims 4 as a creator. The Brooklyn-based designer, also known as BrandySims, started creating content in 2017 for fun. He became friends with Jeremy and jumped on the race creating content that people love, like hairstyles.

Their aesthetic is an urban drip. It’s creative, stylistic and edgy, and fueled by black popular culture. As for getting it, the game already has tons of additional content for people who want to customize their characters, homes, and environments. There is vanilla base game content from developer Maxis, which is necessary for Simmers who choose to play Sims 4 without custom content and console players that cannot use it due to system limitations. There is also custom “Maxis Match” content, custom designs that always match the general default aesthetic of the game. And then there is custom “alpha” content, which is aimed at hyperrealism. This is the type of content that these three are known for in the Sims community.


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