Bet that title got your attention, huh? Phew… what a year. There’s been celebrations and headaches afterwards sort of like a real New Year’s party. You know… the kind where you stay up to late, kiss a stranger at midnight, and then wake up wondering why you made THAT resolution. With the end of 2016 on the horizon and one heck of an event ending, I figured it was time for another meeting of TSTO Anonymous so welcome! What is TSTO Anonymous? Well, it’s our version of a support meeting (said with my tongue in my cheek) that has turned into a nice thing we do occassionally just to give folks a positive message or a place to commiserate. You can find previous meetings here. While these meetings don’t happen as frequently as a fuzzball would like, I can always plug the the Sunday Open Threads as fill-in sessions when I can’t think of topics or life/game stuff is too busy to hold one. Jebus knows you Addicts like to congregate and chat about all sorts of stuff. Anyhoo… it’s time to fire up the simulated coffee pot, prop the door open with a lucky red hat, and get this meeting started. Pull up a chair, grab a Wookiee cookie, and let’s get this show on the road.
I know I’m a little early but first and foremost, Happy New Year! How’s everyone doing? We’ve made it through another solar orbit around the sun and on a much smaller scale, a year of The Simpsons Tapped Out. As I think back on the year both physically and digitally, there’s been good and bad, laughs and cries, celebrations and exclamations, and more. I’ve seen a lot of “F you 2016” around my life (and admittedly said it with the passing of several celebrities I grew up with RIP Carrie Fisher/Kenny Baker/David Bowie/Alan Rickman) but a lot of you probably know one of my primary drives in life is to stay positive. With every cup of sadness comes a steaming mug of happy. It’s been a moment since I blew some proverbial sunshine up your (insert word of choice) so I figured, why not hold an Anon meeting? Someone’s gotta do something when the coffee pot holding all the happiness has fallen over because of the stupid book club next door.
In TSTO, 2016 was a pretty great year up to the end. We got Deep Space Homer Stuff, Valentine’s, Vegas Baby Vegas, the luck of the Irish, the Springfield Volunteer Fire Department, the Wild West, a better version of Whacking Day, the Space Coyote chili stuff, more Superheroes, the Olympics, Science Fictiony flavor, Halloween, and a mutant turkey, Looking at that list, I just smile and love that this silly little mobile game continues to find radical things to bring to the game in different ways. Arguably, the mini-events take top honors amidst all of that but my game is better for having played it even if my pockets ended up a bit emptier. If only I was as rich as my game. 105 million and counting!
Digital assets notwithstanding… I am rich in better ways. In memories, people, and more. I smile because it takes less muscles than frowning (but not as much as sitting with a dumb look on my face) but then I’m was cruise, cruise, cruising along just fine in the game and life and then, the year was ended in the way it was. Life hasn’t been all peachy keen personally but I always find silver linings. School and finals kept me pretty busy but whether you realie it or not, I’m always around in the comments and certainly was privy to behind doors conversations about the latest holiday-ish arrivals to TSTO. In fairness, not everyone hated this (my hats off to all you positive folks) but I get how all the content could be divisive. We expected one thing and got something else. I agree that religion is one of those topics best left alone. I could spin it and point out snow and an excuse for holiday lights and more but I get it. Things happen and they upset us and we express our opinions. We’re human aren’t we?
Well YOU are and no I don’t want to debate evolution or global warming or anything else that just gets people in a tizzy. I hope you’re picking up what I’m putting down. Stuff happens, sometimes we like it, other times we don’t but I do feel the need to say right off that the 2o16 Holiday Event IS NOT the worst event TSTO has ever done. That honor goes to Easter 2014 IMHO.
I really judge any event by the ability for tappers to earn everything, then the prizes, and other criteria. My family and friends did well in this event. We got some cool stuff and then some other schtuff. Do I think pagans were the best idea to do a whole event about? Nope. Did I want a different take on it all? Duh… read this post. Did making the Lemon of Troy content only available for 185 precious American dollars send me into a tizzy? Ask Pat and Alissa lol. I’m a lot like many of you but like a 90s one hit wonder band, I’m also a good Spin Doctor. I guess maybe it’s the fourteen years I spent in the military in often not optimal circumstances that trained me to find the bright side given some perspective and a healthy dose of Bacta.
I get mad, I rip off an arm or two and then this walking carpet concentrates on the good things in my life. Truly, my “real” life is often how I deal with my entertainment not living up to my expectations. I focus on friends (of whom I count a good number of you) and look for the things that make me smile. As far as the 2016 TSTO Holiday Event, what I can say is that the 7th prizes for the each act were fan-fricking-tastic. The ability for the Parson driving a golf cart around a town known for its static vehicles (now him and Lovejoy scoot around on their passions like good Christians) and for Maggie to make me chuckle as she starfishes around town is amazing. Did the lamb stuffy sacrifice upset me like my favorite curmurdgeon… nah. I’ll probably store that ode to Norse pagans and then smile some more at starfish Maggie rolling around town. Seriously… it’s delightful.
The rest of the stuff just is what it is. 2016 gave me lots to celebrate including rockets, Duff Gardens, a Fortress of Lonelitude, Cowboys, Stephen Hawking, and Werewolf Flanders. Maybe this pagan bobkes will end up with my Halloween stuff at some point or maybe it will just sit lovingly in storage like my childhood toys I just can’t get rid of. Infinite storage equals infinite ways to easily forget anything I don’t want to remember although I’m known for putting EVERYTHING in my town. There’s a sacrificial altar with a necronomican task from two Halloweens ago I wasn’t terribly fond of that’s right there in my spooky section.
I’ve said it before but I think of this whole “event” as one long episode tie-in that just went on a little too long. Thank Jebus the designers realized two acts was more than enough. The “Nightmare After Krustmas” (S28:E10) was a decent Christmas episode and this event actually fits into it pretty well. The designers at EA must have decided it had been too long since the game had been really edgy and went for it while keeping with the idea of Reverend Lovejoy and Springfield discussing religion. Unfortunately for all of us, they don’t truly have to deal with all the feelings and emotion that comes from choosing this. It’s not unprecedented though.
Once upon a time, EA tackled gun control in Level 30 when they brought Herman and his Gun Store into the game. You can find news stories and reddits about all this if you do an Oogle search of “gun control TSTO” but suffice to say, people were pissed and pundits announced the end of the game. That was June 2013. A big effect of all of this was that the one TSTO blog providing information to dedicated tappers was literally demolished by all the hate and trolling and non-cooperation that resulted from the game content. In the ashes of everything that followed, a small spunky blog was born. Heck… three or four if you actually want to know but only once by a saint. Three new “friends” who shared a love of the game and helping people started writing about the game. Maybe they were even addicted to it. Later other writers joined the madness, more drama ensued, and then in the true spirit of the holidays… bridges were found to be rebuild-able after burning and all is well.
So why do I bring all this up? Well… you’re visiting said “little blog that could” and we’ve done pretty well for ourselves. We made new friends, we honed our craft, and here you are reading yet another post about a mobile game. TSTO didn’t die in June and two and a half years later, another event brought out the vitriolic side of some people. Thankfully, TSTO Addicts long ago knew we’d have to be a special sort of place to survive the emotions that can be created by a cartoon that has rocked their socks off for 27 years and counting. This event was certainly not the best and not in the true spirit of Christmas unless you figure in all the socks you may have been gifted over the years. Some gifts are amazing (I’m looking at you Chewbacca ski mask) and others not so much (for fear of offending said gifter I’ll just say thanks for the, ummm, errrrr, let’s call it underwear). What Christmas is about is being with those you love who love you in return. For appreciating the things you have and being the best person you can be.
It’s not just about Christmas either. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, yes even Festivus (which is a Seinfeld holiday) is about being with like-minded people in a spirit of community where you hopefully end up a better person in this crazy world we live in. We celebrate our differences and discuss cultural traditions with friends and family. It’s the holidays and they are meant to be happy. Nobody wishes others a “Tragic Holidays” unless they share a lot more in common with Lisa’s new skin (which is awesome btw). I refuse to be anything but festive this time of year.
With that being said… I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this community. We survived another event (and holidays with our families) and are still here. 2016 was certainly one heck of a year but I need more hands or to take off my shoes (and yours too) to count all the things that were great this year. For the most part, the discussions and friendship that have happened here make me hopeful for the future. Not hopeful about a silly little game (but I am! Spoilers! Homer the Heretic! Woohoo!) but just about people. We come from all over the world with our own different belief systems and backgrounds but through a mutual love of The Simpsons and the game come together to just be a nice place to hang out, get information, and hopefully smile and laugh a bit more. We may not have it altogether but together we have it all. Together our positivity can be powerful.
I’m looking forward to 2017. Sure I’ll be right there with a lot of people awake until midnight on New Year’s Eve to watch 2016 die but not because I want it dead. I’ll be there because the future looks bright, each year brings new opportunities and joys to counter the bummer things, and I’m truly blessed to be able to have the time to play a wonderful mobile game, and somehow through circumstance and the strange path of life, be a part of the Best. Community. Ever. Thank YOU for being a part of it. Thank you to Alissa and Bunny and Pat for being the teammates they are. We laugh, we cry, my jokes they die, and best of all… we’re still kicking in this game of life. Let’s all make some goals and then score them!
I think the point of all this is I just want to focus on the last TSTO mini-event I thought was fun… Thanksgiving. I love Bigclaw, the RV, camping tent, bunny snare, and more. Let’s all be thankful for all the great things in life and just persevere and be happy when there’s stuff that isn’t so wonderful. What are you thankful for? What was your favorite part of the year (and it does NOT have to be game-related)? Have you made any new friends here? Got a design in your town you want to share? Can you take a negative from the game and spin it to a positive? Have you thanked St. Alissa the Amazing for not only creating this place but keeping it alive on a daily basis? Sound off in the comments and thanks again for being a TSTO Addict. Without y’all, we’d just be laughing by ourselves but the point is we’d be laughing. Life is good and so are you.
Much love. Happy New Year. Here’s to YOU and your happiness and another great year of TSTO Friends and a great community. TTFN… Wookiee out!