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My feelings about Spark'd

RavennaRavenna Posts: 57 Member
edited July 22 in The Sims Spark'd
This forum seems to be in topics of both arenas: The show, and the added gallery function, so I guess I'll talk about both.

The gallery function:

This is awesome, something completely new, and built-in challenges that all players can take part in. I see nothing but positives here (aside from the fact that the Spark'd gallery is filled with people completely ignoring rules lol)

The show:

I feel like the show is pretty cool, and it gives me yet another Sims-something to watch on Youtube while I'm playing Sims 4, or I dunno, eating food lol But, and I can't believe I haven't seen it really mentioned here

The judges on Spark'd were really, really harsh in that first episode. Like this hasn't been done before, and these people are used to streaming in front of a camera. On top of that, pretty much every single Sims player has some kind of anxiety, so I know for a fact a lot of these people were doing something they might never have done, ever, in their entire lives, without the incentive of one hundred thousand dollars.

I also feel like the judges, or whoever set this up, doesn't understand how long these individual tasks actually take, and booting people off the show for having an unfinished video? I see no fault on their part. 5 hours is not enough time for 3 strangers to cobble together something that takes an entire day, or sometimes two days. You guys are almost asking the impossible, but that's not my biggest issue.

The biggest issue is turning one of the contestants into an antagonist and forcing drama between her and the other guy on her team. It looked like they were having trouble communicating and it looked like Miramira was upset about it, and the producers made her out to be a villain, or they made Gluon out to be a villain, or both?

Either way, this is a bad thing. You take the chance of ruining people's streaming/youtube careers over drama that was contrived, or completely fabricated. This isn't what Sims stands for, and I don't think this kind of production should continue, period.
I'm Meryl, and I go by Merrill on Twitch, and also I make retrowave when I'm not in The Sims. Check out my stuff on the Sims 4 gallery under the ID 'RavennaSanguine'

sims_sig.png

Comments

  • CemirrorCemirror Posts: 57 Member
    @Ravenna I've been pretty outspoken in my criticism at the point, and it's probably time I shut up about it. But I do think your post hits some essential points.

    There's a lot I think could be forgiven in this gameshow. Is the time-limit really great for showing off what build buy and CAS can do? No. Are the challenges amazing? No. Is the reality TV formula superficial and awkward? Yes. A lot of this can be forgiven, though. There's a level of subjectivity there.

    But yes, that judging. First of all Kelsey and Tayla barely even seemed relevant. Everyone was laser focused on Miotke, the only person there who has any claim to expertise (though I honestly don't know what his creative capacity is). The focus felt almost entirely on the storylines - which, given how creative the builders and stylists were, felt like quite the slap in the face to them. And then the criticism of the storytelling was so vague to the point it felt insulting. You don't have to like someone's work, but it's important to respect the artist. Respect the effort and respond with putting effort into the criticism. The judging just felt callous. *Especially* when they judged people who have social anxiety about how their nerves messed with the presentation - *cough* Steph0Sims. And I don't say that as a Steph0Sims fan. But the judging of her just felt belittling. We just can't have more of that. We cannot have more conflict and meanness in 2020.

    And I've heard DrGluon has faced backlash from this! Xmiramira, too, possibly! These are not dirt-bag reality TV personalities who constantly cheat on each other and throw champagne at each other. They have spent years developing a following due their hardworking and dedication. This show almost crosses the line into defamation. And what's the message for the rest of us? Imagine submitting a build you've spent hours and weeks on to the Sims Spark'd competition, getting in, being so excited to show off your skills, then getting vague and poorly thought-out criticism and a TV edit that makes you look like a villain and causes you to lose followers and suffer public humiliation.

    The ethics of this are just no. This seriously crosses moral lines and has upset, like, 90% of the people I've seen talking about it. Just look at the comments on the Buzzfeed Multiplayer! And what News outlets are covering this? How is this helping the Sims?

    All this on the heels of them publicly posting all that stuff about Black Lives Matter. And then they don't bother updating the hair or skin tones and give one of their most accomplished simmers a racist edit (not to mention send home the only other black simmers!!). EA, this is just not right.
  • WolfNateWolfNate Posts: 2,212 Member
    edited July 22
    Cemirror wrote: »
    All this on the heels of them publicly posting all that stuff about Black Lives Matter. And then they don't bother updating the hair or skin tones and give one of their most accomplished simmers a racist edit (not to mention send home the only other black simmers!!). EA, this is just not right.
    Yes it's racist of them to send the team with the worst presentation home cuz it had two black people in the team... People need to get off that. Yes Freezer Bunny had 2 black people and a white girl but the problem was their presentation stinked due to I donno focusing more time on everything else and not even getting to making a video till like 8 minutes left. Ninja said that he loved that story Team Freezer Bunny made and it was his favorite but at end of day their video was the worst out of all of them. If you break a 500 thousand dollar vase during an auction is it racist of me to fire you cuz your Asian or Spanish? No your fired cuz you lost 500 thousand dollars in revenue. Everyone is saying that the contest getting rid of FB only because they only want 'white girls win." is rude they were the worst team anyone could see that but everyone keeps protesting due to that team having 2 black streamers. Their ethnicity had nothing to do with anything they failed epically so their history period. That's how a reality contest works. Also I didn't really see Drgluon as a misgonyst just irritating also Mira was shot down by both her teammates during elimination challenge. So I didn't see the show as editing it to show him as a anti woman creep I saw it as personalities clashing badly.
    Post edited by WolfNate on
    Occultism in Sims is family-friendly and should not be watered down to cater to realism players
  • RavennaRavenna Posts: 57 Member
    WolfNate wrote: »
    Yes it's racist of them to send the team with the worst presentation home cuz it had two black people in the team... People need to get off that. Yes Freezer Bunny had 2 black people and a white girl but the problem was their presentation stinked due to I donno focusing more time on everything else and not even getting to making a video till like 8 minutes left. Ninja said that he loved that story Team Freezer Bunny made and it was his favorite but at end of day their video was the worst out of all of them. If you break a 500 thousand dollar vase during an auction is it racist of me to fire you cuz your Asian or Spanish? No your fired cuz you lost 500 thousand dollars in revenue. Everyone is saying that the contest getting rid of FB only because they only want 'white girls win." is rude they were the worst team anyone could see that but everyone keeps protesting due to that team having 2 black streamers. Their ethnicity had nothing to do with anything they failed epically so their history period. That's how a reality contest works. Also I didn't really see Drgluon as a misgonyst just irritating also Mira was shot down by both her teammates during elimination challenge. So I didn't see the show as editing it to show him as a anti woman creep I saw it as personalities clashing badly.

    My dude I don't know if you're replying to me or the other person in this thread, but if it is me you just put a whole lot of words in my mouth and said a whole bunch of things I wasn't even thinking until just now.
    I'm Meryl, and I go by Merrill on Twitch, and also I make retrowave when I'm not in The Sims. Check out my stuff on the Sims 4 gallery under the ID 'RavennaSanguine'

    sims_sig.png
  • WolfNateWolfNate Posts: 2,212 Member
    Ravenna wrote: »

    My dude I don't know if you're replying to me or the other person in this thread, but if it is me you just put a whole lot of words in my mouth and said a whole bunch of things I wasn't even thinking until just now.

    I was replying to the one imeaditly above my comment.
    Occultism in Sims is family-friendly and should not be watered down to cater to realism players
  • xamira99xamira99 Posts: 2,929 Member
    Here's my 2 cents.

    The in-game challenge is quite interesting, because it's something that I really like to do. Building/creating something with specific themes because, that's what I normally do when I'm bored with my gameplay. I like doing challenges. However, the amount of "abuse" is intolerable. Some people just miss used the button & ruining the whole project. The plan is great, the execution & monitoring are very poor. They should know that this will happen. I wonder if any of their projects have been tested with small size groups before launching it. Just that, don't ever use the GC members to test it. Select random Simmers via email or Origin to be part of the group (and change them every now and then). Study their behaviour, get their feedback, and learnt from it before launching it worldwide.

    The TV show is okay, just that, it's not my cup of tea. It's a very targeted program, unlike what I've thought it should be. They're mainly targeting the current Simmers instead of promoting the franchise? Why I said so? The first episode is lacking of "information" if they are planning to market it to the potential new customers & consumers. Like what is The Sims? Sims 4? What is the history? Who? Why? How? Besides, the narrative is not that great as it sounds "oversell" too.Like saying, the best Simmers all around the world... Are they sure? If they do, why we are not being notified before, that they're looking for the best Simmers to compete? They should might as well just promoting the EA Game Changer. Trust me, there're more talented & unknown Simmers out there.

    Other than that, though I only know them by name, now, I'm a bit confuse if the one that are on the TV is their true nature or just their TV persona.
    And now here is my secret, a very simple secret...
    giphy.gif
    Follow me on twitter, xamira99 Gallery/OID : xamira99



  • wolfkomoki1wolfkomoki1 Posts: 4,942 Member
    edited July 22
    Ravenna wrote: »

    The biggest issue is turning one of the contestants into an antagonist and forcing drama between her and the other guy on her team. It looked like they were having trouble communicating and it looked like Miramira was upset about it, and the producers made her out to be a villain, or they made Gluon out to be a villain, or both?

    Either way, this is a bad thing. You take the chance of ruining people's streaming/youtube careers over drama that was contrived, or completely fabricated. This isn't what Sims stands for, and I don't think this kind of production should continue, period.

    This. Reality TV is scripted and edited to make fake drama, but this is different than just Reality TV. This could potentially ruin someone's career, and paints simmers in a bad light. Let's imagine ourselves as non simmers that has a kid that wants us to buy the game. We see this show and we think: "If this is how the simmers on this show act, then I don't want my child anywhere near this toxic game, nor do I want them supporting these toxic people."

    I get it, it makes for good TV, but EA needs to seriously think about the consequences that doing this will bring.



  • InuMiroLoverInuMiroLover Posts: 509 Member
    Ravenna wrote: »

    The biggest issue is turning one of the contestants into an antagonist and forcing drama between her and the other guy on her team. It looked like they were having trouble communicating and it looked like Miramira was upset about it, and the producers made her out to be a villain, or they made Gluon out to be a villain, or both?

    Either way, this is a bad thing. You take the chance of ruining people's streaming/youtube careers over drama that was contrived, or completely fabricated. This isn't what Sims stands for, and I don't think this kind of production should continue, period.

    This. Reality TV is scripted and edited to make fake drama, but this is different than just Reality TV. This could potentially ruin someone's career, and paints simmers in a bad light. Let's imagine ourselves as non simmers that has a kid that wants us to buy the game. We see this show and we think: "If this is how the simmers on this show act, then I don't want my child anywhere near this toxic game, nor do I want them supporting these toxic people."

    I get it, it makes for good TV, but EA needs to seriously think about the consequences that doing this will bring.



    This is EXACTLY why I dont support this show and can already see the trainwreck in the horizon. I already wasted 20 minutes of my life watching that show on a very small hope that I'll be proven wrong, but the writing's on the wall clear as day. And its exactly why I wont watch reality shows that have direct ties to my interests. Yeah it makes for good tv I guess, but reality shows that focus on things society sees as "geeky" is also really really good at making the community behind it look like weirdos to a general audience. I'd rather there'd be documentaries that take a deep dive into the fandom and what it means to the community through their eyes, but I know better. We all know that the general public loves some good "drama" and a reality show fits the bill.

    If EA is aware of the consequences this show could potentially bring, you'd have to convince me that they care.
  • Horrorgirl6Horrorgirl6 Posts: 1,946 Member
    Cemirror wrote: »
    @Ravenna I've been pretty outspoken in my criticism at the point, and it's probably time I shut up about it. But I do think your post hits some essential points.

    There's a lot I think could be forgiven in this gameshow. Is the time-limit really great for showing off what build buy and CAS can do? No. Are the challenges amazing? No. Is the reality TV formula superficial and awkward? Yes. A lot of this can be forgiven, though. There's a level of subjectivity there.

    But yes, that judging. First of all Kelsey and Tayla barely even seemed relevant. Everyone was laser focused on Miotke, the only person there who has any claim to expertise (though I honestly don't know what his creative capacity is). The focus felt almost entirely on the storylines - which, given how creative the builders and stylists were, felt like quite the slap in the face to them. And then the criticism of the storytelling was so vague to the point it felt insulting. You don't have to like someone's work, but it's important to respect the artist. Respect the effort and respond with putting effort into the criticism. The judging just felt callous. *Especially* when they judged people who have social anxiety about how their nerves messed with the presentation - *cough* Steph0Sims. And I don't say that as a Steph0Sims fan. But the judging of her just felt belittling. We just can't have more of that. We cannot have more conflict and meanness in 2020.

    And I've heard DrGluon has faced backlash from this! Xmiramira, too, possibly! These are not dirt-bag reality TV personalities who constantly cheat on each other and throw champagne at each other. They have spent years developing a following due their hardworking and dedication. This show almost crosses the line into defamation. And what's the message for the rest of us? Imagine submitting a build you've spent hours and weeks on to the Sims Spark'd competition, getting in, being so excited to show off your skills, then getting vague and poorly thought-out criticism and a TV edit that makes you look like a villain and causes you to lose followers and suffer public humiliation.

    The ethics of this are just no. This seriously crosses moral lines and has upset, like, 90% of the people I've seen talking about it. Just look at the comments on the Buzzfeed Multiplayer! And what News outlets are covering this? How is this helping the Sims?

    All this on the heels of them publicly posting all that stuff about Black Lives Matter. And then they don't bother updating the hair or skin tones and give one of their most accomplished simmers a racist edit (not to mention send home the only other black simmers!!). EA, this is just not right.

    I agree most of the points instead of the last points.Im black ,its a competition.No one should get special treatment because of their race.As for the skin tones.I don't mind because I know it's hard to get every skin tone in the game.
  • logionlogion Posts: 1,432 Member
    edited July 22
    I completely agree what you said about the judges. I thought that simguruninja did a good job, he has a likeable personality and I think that he is aware of the limitations that the contestants has to work with when it comes to the game and the limited time. The other two does not have that background though so I found their criticism to not be as valid. Overall if felt like they criticized them too much though.

    I think the judges should strive more to show the strengths and innovation that the contestants showed. Like when one team did just rooms in their build, sure, go ahead and criticize them for not having any exterior. But they should also compliment them on how better their narrative became when they could show so many more things happening.

    Instead they only seemed to judge them based on their story that the teams made up, a story which they did not even get sometimes.
    I really did not like for example when one team did a cool story based on a mysterious sim discovering secret things happening with a reveal who that sim was at the end, they got criticized that it was a bit unclear. I thought that was the point?
  • crocobauracrocobaura Posts: 1,186 Member
    logion wrote: »
    Instead they only seemed to judge them based on their story that the teams made up, a story which they did not even get sometimes.
    I really did not like for example when one team did a cool story based on a mysterious sim discovering secret things happening with a reveal who that sim was at the end, they got criticized that it was a bit unclear. I thought that was the point?

    That wasn't even an original story.
  • WolfNateWolfNate Posts: 2,212 Member
    logion wrote: »
    I completely agree what you said about the judges. I thought that simguruninja did a good job, he has a likeable personality and I think that he is aware of the limitations that the contestants has to work with when it comes to the game and the limited time. The other two does not have that background though so I found their criticism to not be as valid. Overall if felt like they criticized them too much though.

    I think the judges should strive more to show the strengths and innovation that the contestants showed. Like when one team did just rooms in their build, sure, go ahead and criticize them for not having any exterior. But they should also compliment them on how better their narrative became when they could show so many more things happening.

    Instead they only seemed to judge them based on their story that the teams made up, a story which they did not even get sometimes.
    I really did not like for example when one team did a cool story based on a mysterious sim discovering secret things happening with a reveal who that sim was at the end, they got criticized that it was a bit unclear. I thought that was the point?

    The reason they were criticized cuz the challenge was about family dynamics and the team copied... Gossip Girl with no mention of any plot besides leaking
    Occultism in Sims is family-friendly and should not be watered down to cater to realism players
  • logionlogion Posts: 1,432 Member
    WolfNate wrote: »
    logion wrote: »
    I completely agree what you said about the judges. I thought that simguruninja did a good job, he has a likeable personality and I think that he is aware of the limitations that the contestants has to work with when it comes to the game and the limited time. The other two does not have that background though so I found their criticism to not be as valid. Overall if felt like they criticized them too much though.

    I think the judges should strive more to show the strengths and innovation that the contestants showed. Like when one team did just rooms in their build, sure, go ahead and criticize them for not having any exterior. But they should also compliment them on how better their narrative became when they could show so many more things happening.

    Instead they only seemed to judge them based on their story that the teams made up, a story which they did not even get sometimes.
    I really did not like for example when one team did a cool story based on a mysterious sim discovering secret things happening with a reveal who that sim was at the end, they got criticized that it was a bit unclear. I thought that was the point?

    The reason they were criticized cuz the challenge was about family dynamics and the team copied... Gossip Girl with no mention of any plot besides leaking

    That's a good point. I guess I missed that. I don't watch many tv-series usually.
  • LiELFLiELF Posts: 4,029 Member
    I have a few thoughts I'd like to add to the conversation here.

    I think it's important to remember that we're talking about a competitive TV show. All contestants and judges most likely had to agree to certain disclaimers and freedoms of editing. Because that's the key to shows like this...editing. It's quite possible that Ninja also had a lot more nice things to say as well but they were edited out because they weren't "dramatic". Clever editing can completely change the perspective of reality. In TV land, any time a human shows emotion, it will be amplified in close-ups and focused on to sensationalize a moment. Sometimes the show producers will encourage soft scripting if the cast's behaviors seem too unnatural or, in show biz perspective, "boring".

    Shows like this in the US live for creating drama where it doesn't exist. It's kind of unfortunate because standard viewers often thrive on seeing people struggle and/or be nasty to each other and it boosts ratings. So again, I have a feeling what we saw was more about what the channel wanted us to see, rather than how the contest actually ran. No doubt there was some honesty in there, but many chosen moments were most likely exacerbated and/or exaggerated to make it "worth" viewing.

    That said, I did feel sympathy towards the contestants. It gave me a feeling that some hadn't really anticipated what they had signed up for and couldn't back out, while others made it much larger than it was and it caused high levels of stress for them. All of them have a current following and live in the spotlight, but they are all used to being able to control that environment and this was probably very different from any previous EA visits that they've experienced. Being on national (and international) TV with no control of your situation can be not only highly stressful, but also embarrassing, depending on the turnout of the competition. I hope they all come out of it okay. I really do. American television can be cruel and EA can't protect them from the public evaluation and condemnation that we see on a regular basis in this day and age.

    And on that note, there's something else I feel like I need to say. This is about EA/Maxis and the general marketing image of The Sims.

    Up until now, there has a been a focus on inclusivity, embracing all players, building a better world, and creating your perfect "safe" environment in The Sims 4. They have pushed and pushed this Utopian paradise, always promoting to do better, be kinder, show empathy, and be free to tell your stories of personal struggle and how it ends in happiness. There has been a strong message portrayed of sensitivity to the players as people, who struggle with various issues and who use the game to overcome those issues. A portrayal that the game is a tool to better yourself at your own pace, where culture and diversity blossom, and where everyone is equal and unprosecuted.

    And this is why I think players have a problem with the sudden switch to competition and pitting Simmers against each other. Watching that show and seeing some of these familiar faces welling up with tears and struggling with anxiety and hearing harsh criticism suddenly makes the Sims 4 message seem superficial and false. It can make players feel betrayed that their inclusive paradise is suddenly up for criticism, can be picked apart, and pitted against others. Competition and inclusivity don't really go hand in hand. It muddles the message and cheapens the nature of the game, reducing it to just another contentious push and pull for who is better than whom, like we see in most other games; the very thing that Simmers try to avoid while playing the Sims.

    I think that people were really expecting the competition to have a more friendly and positive tilt, in staying true to the marketed perception of The Sims 4. They aren't going to see through the show's fabricated drama to take it lightly. Sims players are well known to be very passionate. It might be helpful to keep this in mind and maybe add a "behind the scenes" on EA's site at the end of each season to give some real insight and see some "nicer" moments.
  • ScobreScobre Posts: 18,663 Member
    Reality shows tend to make everyone look bad.

    The clips and trailers of the show made me laugh and think of this show:


    So thanks EA for trumping up the Sims again. :#
    "The Sneetches got really quite smart on that day. The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches. And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches. That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars." -Dr. Seuss

    Everyone is a Simmer.
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