In my Games & Learning course, each student has been spending time within an affinity space for the game of their choice. I chose The Sims Resource (TSR), as I am playing The Sims 4 this semester. In this blog, I am providing an update on my experiences on The Sims Resource. As I mentioned in my last affinity space update, I was excited to learn more about The Sims Resource, as I had experience with it back in the early 2000s.

I had been very eager to begin immersing myself further into the space. The Sims Resource has always been known as the premier site for anything to do with The Sims games. It’s well known for the very large number of downloadable items created by users, known as “custom content.” Unfortunately, what I have found and experienced so far has been disappointing on multiple levels. What I have discovered so far is that users of The Sims 4 are pretty frustrated with the game itself due to technical reasons, and most of the message board dedicated to The Sims 4 is filled with complaints and questions on how to make the game run smoother. The second aspect I’ve noticed is that many participants of TSR are frustrated by some of the custom content created by users because some of it hasn’t been compatible with their game.  Users routinely complain that if they download custom content and place it in their game , it makes for very odd experiences in the game, such as characters never getting out of bed. Users have advised that removing some of these custom items will remedy the situation. It doesn’t make me want to get involved in downloading the custom content on The Sims Resource.

Another main point I have noticed is the sheer lack of participation in the forums on The Sims Resource. This is no longer a bustling mecca of all things Sims like I remember. The Sims 4 forum can go days without anyone posting a new thread or commenting on a thread. I am questioning whether The Sims itself just isn’t as popular as it once was, or perhaps people have moved onto a better affinity space. I am thinking it’s the latter. The Sims Resource is very laden with ads, and in fact, there’s ads plastered everywhere asking for subscribers to pay $3.99 a month for no ads. Due to this, the site runs extremely slow and it’s frustrating to do anything on it. Forget searching for custom content. It’s basically hopeless to efficiently browse or search for downloadable items due to the very slow, grinding speed of the site. On the forums, people are constantly reporting that the premium subscription does not work and people are getting angry and demanding refunds. There is also a thread right now where the administrators are asking for participants’ advice in making the site better. Clearly TSR is in trouble and I feel that it’s no longer the premier site that it once was, and that is unfortunate.