I don’t have to tell you, that the Winter 2016 has blindsided us all, and could not have come at a worse time in regards to the level of emotions rubbed raw by current world events.
The outcry and level of angst over the elements and flavor of this very “Un-Christmassy” update should be predictable, to even the most Non-PC, insensitive, thoughtless programmer/writer lout who thinks that their “humor” is insulated from public opinion by the fact that they write for a game based on a cartoon. But, of course…nothing could be further from the truth.
But to me, the saddest and most disturbing result of this update, has been the public reaction, along with the complete dismantling of any semblance of polite discussion, common sense, or tollerance for other’s opinions. It has gone from “EA Sucks/This Update Sucks” to personal attacks on one another’s beliefs, attacking religions, attacking those who disregard the controversy, and attacking those who are attacking those who are attacking any and all positions.
It is divisive and harmful to a community. We have had to delete more comments in moderation, than any other time in the history of TSTO Blogging.
This. Is. Going. To. Stop. PERIOD.
It’s going to stop here. And it’s going to stop now. Because enough, is enough, is enough. AND…I ACTUALLY HAVE A SOLUTION FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE UPSET ABOUT THIS UPDATE…Really.
But, as far as a free-form, open forum for random, vitriolic bitching? We’re done. You made Mom cry. And, that is unacceptable.
First a little history…a chance to vent…and then a solution.
But. be forewarned, if you don’t read the whole post, and just jump ahead to make a comment, you risk having your comment deleted. So…READ IT ALL.
The history that matters to me first and foremost, is that of THIS BLOG. It was created, and for the most part managed (read that 70%-95% of everything you see here on any given week), by Alissa. Like many of us, she has been playing the game, and SUPPORTING THE GAME, since 2012. She, like most of us long-timers have been through it all…seen it all…and blogged/moderated through it all since 2013. And, we all agree on one point… THIS IS THE WORST WINTER/HOLIDAY EVENT IN TSTO HISTORY. PERIOD.
Need proof? Let’s go along with the ghost of updates past, and look at what has been offered over the course of the game in comparison.
Year One (2012)… We got Homer Santa, and a ton of Christmas Lights skins for loads of buildings. That’s pretty much it, as the game was still very new…Dr. Nick, Barney, Dr. Hibbert, Santa’s Little Helper and the damnable Funzos were all introduced.
Year Two (2013)… The Snow Monster, Costingtons, The Grumple, Ebenezer Burns, the Plow King, Santa Flanders, and the damnable Candy Kevin, came along with LOADS of Christmas themed buildings, Claus Co, Springfield Mall, Skating Rink, and LOADS of decorations. It was VERY Christmassy and upbeat.
Year Three (2014)…They started going off of the rails a bit…with Federal Agents, Happy Elves and not so happy elves, King Winter, Bonestorm Santa (which most hated), Frosty the Hitman (which had Freddy Kruger knife hands), and had WAAAAY more recycled articles than new articles. People complained. But, some liked Stupid Sexy Flanders, in his spandex suit. I did not. And still don’t have him. I voted with my wallet, by NOT spending donuts on him. The players were underwhelmed…and let their “Mehs” be heard. But, they did it politely.
HOWEVER…2014 was also the year that Christmas, in the form of the MOST Christmas-centric item of all time, The Nativity Scene, was offered…with permanent tasks for Homer (Joseph), Marge (Mary), Lisa (Angel) and Bart (Baby Jesus). I love this item, more than almost any other ever offered. More about that later.
Year Four (2015) EA really started going all over the place…trying to find a “voice” that brought it together. And failed. White Burns Witch (not very traditional), Dancing Reindeer, Patches and Violet, and Sophie Krustofky (not of Christian origin, and not the Krustofki we were hoping for) made their way into Act I, along with a TON of large, random, Snowman and Gingerbread Items. We DID get a monorail station…but once again, the Retreads (returning items) far outweighed the new items. Act II…gave us the MUCH ANTICIPATED/DESIRED MAGGIE!!! (after more than four years of waiting) and the oddly, Non-Simpsons Festivus Act…which must have cost them a bundle to lease from “Seinfeld.” However…EA at least tried to keep some sort of Holiday theme, even if it didn’t have a real Christmas basis to it, with an overwhelming number of buildings, new decorations, and Holiday (if not directly Christmas themed) items to be won.
So…let’s recap in general in regards to Christmas/Holiday themes
2014- check with an * for wandering a bit
2015- All over the place…but ultimately we forgave them, because we got Maggie!
Which brings us to 2016. With a loud (the sounds of your screams) resounding thud (the sound of your padular devices hitting the floor or wall).
EA/Gracie, in their attempt to be different, and edgy, and “kinda inclusive to another religion,” has introduced us to THEIR VERSION of Paganism. I get that. Except, that it not only insults almost every other religion in the opening dialogue, but then goes on to completely misrepresent ACTUAL paganism in a way that is equally insulting. I wish I could tell you that it gets better in Act II. It does not. While this site does not do “teases” or talk about unreleased items…You can see what’s coming on the Wiki. I’ll wait…
Let’s just get this out in the open right away. EA had to know what they were doing. They had to know what introducing an “alternate God,” a Satyr Willie, a Devil Snowman, and several goat-head items was going to do to a large population of players who were expecting happy elves, Santa, reindeer, and at the least, an introduction of Rabbi Krustofski. They had to know.
And let’s face it…the dialogue of the “Elf in a Box” is just, plain, dark and disturbing. More “Chucky” than “Elf.”
So, we get it. We’re upset too.
But, equally as bad…what I wrote about EA’s Lazyass Programming, came to fruition with so many retreads, so many “re-purposed” items (items from other updates dressed up to look like a Holiday version, with minor alterations) that you have to start thinking that the staff has gone completely, creatively bankrupt. Christmas rocks that look very much like Western Town rocks, a lodge that is a direct alteration of a covered bridge, and even a Christmas tree that simply has swapped out decorations from Christmas trees past, should be rewarded with a lump of EALP (EA Lazyass Programmers) coal.
It’s super lazy. Just like the portrayal of Paganism and Wiccans. What’s next? A Holiday version of Scientology? Can’t wait for the volcano and theta testing machines!!!
So… WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THIS???
What we are NOT going to do, is continue to turn on one another. At least not here. And we aren’t going to get into a long, historical/sociological discussion about the origins or cultures of various religions. Because things escalate off topic way too quickly…
When I get a text message from Alissa that says, “I’m seriously considering shutting down the site for the rest of the event…now a handful have taken to attacking me” some of you have simply crossed lines.
Seriously? Alissa writes a post about “cooler heads,” and you attack her?
Your anger is completely misguided. And it won’t be tolerated. We will simply be deleting any more personal attacks, or attacks on religion, or attacks on onne another about the event. WE GET IT.
BUT…HERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION….
We DO want to send a message to EA. They read this blog…and we want them to see this. We want them to see that we are united in our displeasure with their idea of “funny” as it relates to something as personal as religion and the Christmas/Holiday season.
All I need you to do is post “I AGREE” with what I am going to post below. That’s it. Nothing more. This is not a place for more diatribes or expanded comments…just I AGREE. It will send a message to EA that we are united on a few salient points.
We, as a TSTO Tapping Community, are voicing our displeasure with the current Winter 2016 Event for the following reasons:
1. This update insults a number of religions during a time of year when many celebrate traditionally.
2. While we acknowledge that humor is subjective, belittling others “for a laugh” is divisive and destructive to the game and overall TSTO Community.
3. Images of universally accepted archetypes of evil (Satan and the Devil), have no place in a traditionally “Holiday themed game update.”
We choose NOT spend money through the purchase of donuts during the duration of this event.
A TSTO Addict
Do we actually think this will have any real effect on EA? It could. But, it’s not likely.
However…it states our feelings, and lets them know that there are FINANCIAL ramifications for not thinking through the possible backlash of thoughtless, irresponsible writing and programming.
At some point, you have to say, enough, is enough. This is that point.
I for one, will be sitting this one out in regards to purchasing anything with donuts or bonuts. It is a short update, thankfully. And I am more than willing to just let my Simpson’s Nativity Scene be the focal point of my Holiday Springfield while the snow lasts. I will gladly sacrifice the tasks/earning of the core Simpson family, in order to enjoy a scene that brings me happiness.
I want to enjoy this time of year. After what we have endured over the past 18 months, we deserve it. I want Alissa to enjoy the season. She deserves it.
So…there you have it. A chance to make your voice heard…by sending a message to the REAL instigator of this mess…EA.
Be kind to one another. It’s time that we start learning to love unconditionally. And no matter what examples other may set…we need to do the right thing, by being respectful.
TYPE ‘I AGREE” in the comments below. And let the healing begin.
If you do not agree with the statement above, you are more than welcome to send a holiday greeting card to EA Corporate Headquarters.
EA Corporate Office Headquarters
Electronic Arts Inc.
209 Redwood Shores Parkway
Redwood City, CA 94065 USA