Let’s start at the beginning…

Recently I found myself unable to stream, to edit videos and sometimes even to get a bit of gaming in. Family circumstances required me to be otherwise occupied for random periods of time, not at all conducive to a gaming schedule.

So what does a content creator do when they can’t create content? Simple…They consume it!

They watch other streamers, other gamers, other content creators, they absorb ideas and become inspired….and of course that is what happened to me. I found myself watching countless clips, and vods and highlights, whenever I could slip in a quick viewing. I could easily pause, rewind, watch over. Streams were harder and I would often find myself missing huge chunks of content that i would try to catch up with when I could.

After a suggestion from a friend, I substituted my streams and vods with posting gaming pictures on Instagram, a platform I had joined to support other gamers, but had never actually used. It was fun, creative and,most importantly, didn’t take up too much time.

“Easy Peasy” I was told, “Well you’ve got all the images and text already made ;).”

– PeaFrogSims

I had barely started posting these images when the second spark of inspiration hit.

My Sundays are usually spent making a family roast, getting my kids ready for the next school week, and trying to keep up with all the jobs mams have to do. But as I do all these things, I have a streamer building alongside me, and in all honesty this has helped to keep me sane these last few months, I don’t always get to see or hear every bit of the stream, but so help me it is on and I join in when I can.

So as a typical Sunday goes, I am rushing around, doing a hundred and one things simultaneously, whilst keeping one ear on the stream, and as time goes on this build gets more and more gripping, jobs start to slide as I start to comment, and the day just flies by. Dinner was an hour later than usual, but by the end of the stream there was a new build on the gallery and a new challenge to be had.

Oh how I love a challenge! I love to build in games, I love to decorate, but most of all I love a challenge. Too much sometimes, and I often feel my eyes are bigger than my belly when it comes to all the amazing Sims build challenges out there. I want to do them all, but as I’ve said, my time has been somewhat scarce of late.

The beauty of this particular challenge? It was just one room!

#GrimApato

One room in an Asian inspired apartment block. I can manage that surely? So of course I download it, and I get to work. It takes almost 10 minutes for me to load up The Sims on my old, worn out PS4, but half an hour here, 40 minutes there….I get it done. It is beautiful, a work of art and I am so proud of it, but wait. Before I upload it to the gallery I need to do a quick playtest.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love The Sims, I played the original way back when, but I build, I don’t play. Want to see why? Check out my Sims playlist on my YouTube channel. You know what else I don’t do? I don’t use CAS. I hate it. I am rubbish at it. I see people’s Sims on the gallery and I am all the green. How on earth do people make such gorgeous looking Sims?

But this build needed a playtester, and I already had a background story for the apartment sooooo, I gave it a shot. And do you know what? I had fun, and I made the cutest Sim I have ever made before. If you are interested, she’s up on the gallery. Want a preview? Welllll since you asked….I present Sakura Ito!

 🌸 Sakura Ito 桜 🌸

So apartment decorated, Sim created, now onto the testing? Oh my word, to play the Sims 4 is to experience all the tortures of a medieval dungeon. You know how it goes, sim can’t access essential items, can’t use toilets, makes a mess, and eats in the most inconvenient places. One meal will be prepared on a counter, the next? No can do! WHAT?

So this was a further week’s work on and off in bite-size pieces. And in the meantime, I just kept on consuming, until one evening I caught a stream where various “Sim Selves” were going to be sacrificed for our entertainment.

Sorry what now?

And that was when I learned about the practice of recreating yourself as a Sim. Now I’m not completely naive, I have created a persona for a previous play through, but it wasn’t a “SimSelf” it was a fantasy version of a persona I created for my online presence. Confusion eh? I had never considered creating a Sim Me for others to manipulate and destroy for fun! But now….I spent all night tossing and turning and thinking about online, fantasy, reality, truth, who really knows?

And then Spark number 3!

What about bending reality the other way? Was there a way to use the cutest little Sim to promote my work on other platforms? What about having my Sim ‘takeover’ my instagram? And yes, that is a thing, I looked it up. What better way to do that, than to drag in the Simmers who set me off on this crazy idea. After asking permission to make their SimSelves do all manner of crazy stuff, I download SimGrim and SimPea from the gallery and decided to have some fun.

Okay, so forget play testing, Machinima is the true test of a Simmer. If you can get your Sim to pose for a split second without pulling a face or soiling themselves, then congratulations. If you can get 5 seconds of footage without a Sim getting angry, falling asleep or breaking down in tears then YOU are a true miracle worker.

But despite all the setbacks, the photo bombs, the reloads and more, I managed to capture some fine Simemories. Phew! I tried to do something new and different each day, to roleplay as my Simfluencer. We visited different parts of Mt Komorebi (having to edit builds on the fly when they didn’t have the locales needed for that days photo-shoot) and tried many new activities.

Honestly, by the end of it, it wasn’t just Sakura who was exhausted, at least she had a hot-spring to doze off in! But I learned so very, very much; about Sims gameplay, about my skills as a gamer, editing photos, and posting to social media. And I learned how to love The Sims 4. Not just the idea of it, or the nostalgia of my days playing The Sims, but the game it is today, warts and all.

You would think that would be it right?

Well not quite, because when I tweeted my thanks to all involved I was challenged to write a blog about my experiences. “Easy Peasy” I was told, “Well you’ve got all the images and text already made ;).” Ha!

Think I need to do more research on writing a blog…

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