An Open Letter to the Addicts Community…

I blame boredom.  I’ve never done well without a million things on my plate.  I thrive in chaos.  I always have.  It’s why my family calls me in an emergency.  It’s also why I used to write papers at 4am when they were due at 8am.  I’d always get an A on those papers.  Like I said, I thrive in chaos.

I’ve never been someone who does well with a quiet mind.  Mostly because I don’t know how to quiet my mind. I was a hyperactive kid and in a lot of ways I’m still a hyperactive adult.  I just never learned how to shut off.  Even when I was on my honeymoon 7ish years ago I couldn’t get my mind to shut off.  I’d be lying on a beach in Jamaica with a drink in my hand, listening to the ocean, and wondering if an update hit TSTO.

Yes, I am that crazy.

So at this point, I blame boredom.  I mean we are on day 360 of 15 days to slow the spread. Perhaps I’ve simply run out of things to keep my mind otherwise occupied.  So I think it was boredom that caused me to take a trip down memory lane.  Maybe boredom, maybe some personal issues I’ve been dealing with for the last couple of years, maybe a push from the big guy upstairs, maybe an all of the above situation.  All I know is I saw a religious talk from someone I follow on Instagram and it sent me spiraling down a path of memories.

I know this isn’t a site about religion. We write about The Simpsons.  I know that. But as any of you who have been following this site for a while know…my faith and relationship with God are extremely important to me.  So when I saw that talk, coupled with the madness that is my mind I went for a stroll through history.

There’s a point to all this, I promise, so stick with me.

Of course, not every trip down memory lane is a good one.  Especially once you get inside my head!  I often tell people they wouldn’t last 5 minutes inside my head.  It’s utter madness, that even I sometimes have a hard time following. However, I still decided to do it and walk down the path of TSTO Addicts, the history, the memories…and oh the drama!

In this case, memory lane caused me to get a bit introspective.  Which often isn’t a good thing lol.  I’ve always been an extremely private person. I keep a lot of things going on hidden from not only you guys but my friends and family as well.  For no reason other than, I’m not a whiner or complainer.  I KNOW there are people out there going through something much worse than I am at any given point.  So I just keep a lot of things to myself.  Probably not the best idea, but hey it’s gotten me this far!

I also just have a really hard time talking about myself.  I’ve never been good with my feelings.  And that’s been the case for my entire life.  I didn’t want to have a wedding because I didn’t want all the attention. I’m like that on this site too.  I often pass things off, and have for the life of this site, to others so I’m not the center of attention.

Hell, I remember what a struggle it was for me to just write the “About Me” blurb for this site.  Something so simple became so incredibly stressful for me.  This is also painfully obvious if you watch the very first YouTube video we did, our 1 Year Blogiversary, in 2014. It’s painful to watch because I am very uncomfortable answering questions, especially about myself.  Thankfully this has improved over the years of doing lots of episodes of Addicts Live…

I’m also just me. I’ve always gone by my real name when writing here because, well, I’m just me.   I don’t play a character here or in real life. Bunny, Wookiee, Cranky…they all play or have played characters here.  They’re all totally different in real life than they are here.  Me?  I’m pretty much the same lol.  I don’t have the ability to play a character there are too many things, and stories to try and keep straight.

I know I bill myself as the “sane one” around here, but let’s be honest…anyone who would spend the last 7+ years of their life writing a blog about a silly little game has to at least be mildly insane, right?

So, on this introspective trip, what have I figured out?

Well, for starters I am not an easy person.  I’ve been told that I’m demanding, intense, and competitive.  I’d also add stubborn and hot-headed to that list as well.

Hey, I am Italian.

I know this about myself and I always have. I’ve mellowed out a bit over the years, especially since having the Little Addicts.  And I’m a far cry from what I was when I was a kid!  

I expect A LOT out of people in my life.  If you’re going to help me, I expect you to help me.  If not, get the hell out of my way and let me do it myself.  I don’t do anything half-assed, and I don’t expect you to either.

Like I said, I know how I am.  I know I’m demanding, but if you survive a friendship with me I reward you accordingly.

Just ask one of my best friends. We’ve been friends for 20 years.  We’ve had our ups, our downs, our fights, our punches in the nose (literally), and through it all I’d still give her the shirt off my back if she needed it.  No matter how crazy she makes me, and believe me…she’s made me crazy, I’d still drop everything if she called.

I would do the same thing for any member of the Addicts Staff, past or present.

I’m fiercely protective of those I love.

When I was in school one of my friends was constantly being bullied and picked on.  He was what we’d consider a nerd back in the day (now nerds are cool apparently), and they’d relentlessly torment him.  So I did what any good friend would do, I kicked their asses.

Hey, I told you I had a temper.

Of course, this led to them picking on me, they called me a nerd lover 🤷‍♀️.  At that point, I just gave one of the boys a black eye. He was then so embarrassed a girl hit him (and left a mark) that he never bothered either one of us again.

Ah, the 90s…a simpler time.

I have A LOT of patience with my friends.  Probably because I know it requires a lot of patience to be friends with me, considering how stubborn I can be.  I give my friends a lot of leeway, even when maybe I shouldn’t.

I’m always open to a conversation, no matter what happened in the past.  I’m always willing to listen no matter what the story holds.  I’m quick to forgive when forgiveness is sought, no matter how deep the knife cut.

I know a lot of you like to say I have the patience of a saint.  The truth is, I don’t.

I’ve learned over the years how to make my temper fuse longer and longer, and how to be more patient with people.  But trust me, there are times when y’all drive me so insane I want to scream.  There was even an instance years ago, when y’all were driving me so crazy I literally threw my laptop across the room.  That was fun…until I had to buy a new laptop.

I have a hard time saying no to people.  Which often causes me to get overbooked, over-stressed, and overworked.  I just have this thing where I don’t want people to dislike me.  So I often keep my feelings to myself, or vent to someone else and make them do the “dirty work” for me.

Of course I, like most people, do eventually have a breaking point.  When I reach mine it’s usually not the best situation.  Picture a stick of dynamite exploding…and I take out everyone in my path.

However, I can admit when I’m wrong.  When I’ve made mistakes.  And I can acknowledge that when the dynamite explodes it was likely an overreaction to something small because of my inability to say no, or keeping my feelings to myself.

I’m finally getting to the point of all of this, so hopefully, you’re still reading.

So why tell you all of that?

I told you all of that to tell you this.  If you were to take a walk down the memory lane of TSTO Addicts with me the first thing you would notice is holy crap there’s A LOT of drama. Like the pages of the history of this site are just oozing with drama at every turn. 

And maybe one day, when I’m close to retiring from this site I’ll share ALL the drama that went on behind the scenes. 

Maybe. 

Part of it just reads like a bad soap opera at times and makes me want to cringe.  It felt like every day there was something new. Someone said something about someone else, someone was threatening to sue, cease and desist letters were being sent.  It was intense, stressful, insane, and yes…childish.

We, and by we I mean the original Addicts…Bunny, Wookiee, and I…did our best to shield as much drama from the pages of this site as we could.  We did our best to keep this a drama-free zone, and I think we mostly succeeded.  But behind the scenes…yeesh.  So much drama it makes the 90 Day Fiancée look tame!

However, in going through a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff recently…I realize that a bulk of it was caused by…me.  The person who wanted to stay away from the drama!  Go figure!

Most of it stemmed from me not being able to say what I wanted.  I wasn’t direct.  I tried to play both sides of the fence because I wanted everyone to like me, and as a result, I caused a ton of other drama to spark.

When we started this blog, my friend from childhood (the same one I’d beat up the bullies for) was supposed to be “the enforcer”.  I came up with the plan, and it was his job to make sure everyone did it.  He would be the bad guy if needed.  When he had to leave the site (in the very very early days) because of his job, Bunny filled that role.

She almost always…ok always…took the heat behind the scenes for me.  And because of that, it caused a lot of friction with her and a certain other member of this site.  And instead of doing what I should have done on multiple occasions, I walked the line in-between.

I sat on the fence.

Which came across as choosing one side over another.  And while I didn’t choose a side, not choosing was a choice in itself.  And a piss poor one at that.

Not choosing made it look like I was supportive of things when I wasn’t.  Not choosing blew up in my face, A LOT.

My failure to give a no answer on certain things, even when I didn’t agree with them, also blew up in my face, A LOT.

It’s no one’s fault but my own.  Again, I can accept responsibility for being wrong. I don’t like being wrong, but I can acknowledge when I am.

I’m not perfect.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t go back in time and fix mistakes that were made.  And believe me, there were plenty.  I’ve learned valuable lessons from those mistakes, but sometimes I just wanna say screw the lesson let me go back and fix the mistake instead!

So again, I say all of that to say this.  Reviewing all of that history has made me realize that it’s time for me to finally step up and no longer hide behind someone else.  I’m going to have to be the bad guy for a change, and that’s ok.

So what if people don’t like me?  All that matters to me is the people I care most about in this world like me, and I think I’m doing an ok job with that. (at least until Riley becomes a teenager…)

So, we’re moving forward.  Starting anew.  Time to settle the past and move forward to the future.

Here’s the deal…

As you saw yesterday, the time has come for Addicts and Cranky Old Guy to part ways.  His posts will remain on the site, and he has one more post slated to go tomorrow.   The departure is amicable and I will remain friends with Patric in real life.  Cranky Old Guy on the other hand, well I’d like to leave him in the past as well.   The circumstances surrounding his departure this time are much better than the first time he left Addicts 7 years ago.  The word weapons are down and the “hatchet” is buried.  It’s just that life is just too short to continue down a path where neither one of us is happy.   He hasn’t enjoyed the game for quite some time, and there’s no sense in faking it any longer.  No sense of loyalty to me is going to change that. 

I need someone who supports me and my crazy ideas, not someone who points out that they’re crazy ideas and talks me out of them.

I don’t know what the future holds.  And while I wish I held that crystal ball, I don’t. The bottom line is I’m still here, Safi’s still here, Wookiee is around every once in a while. And, yes, the calendars will still be here.

I am incredibly proud of this site.  Everything that we built here, and everyone that’s been a part of it over the years.  And I mean everyone.

I know there have been moments publicly where you guys questioned it, but I’m fiercely protective of this site and this community. You guys.

You guys are the reason I still do this. As much as you drive me crazy at times, you still motivate me to keep going every day.

And I’ve come to realize that I screwed up.  And for that, I am incredibly sorry.

Things I believed (and still believe) were the core values of this site I let fall by the wayside for a while.  I didn’t realize I did, but in looking back it’s clear that I did.  I let anger control me, instead of clear eyes. And I listened to others when I probably shouldn’t have.

I’ve got good gut instincts, and I should trust them more often.

So I’m going to do everything I possibly can to bring back that community feel to this site.  I realize now we’ve lost our way quite a bit over the last few years.  (life and kids can do that to you)  But, no more listening to others tell me it’s not worth it or the game is dying behind the scenes.

We’re approaching Springtime here on the East Coast of the US.  A time to start fresh, when things come to life, and in a way, I feel like I’m starting from scratch again here. That’s oddly exciting to me.  I had so much joy in those early days of this site, and my goal is to bring back that joy, Hopefully, these changes will get me there, so we can all enjoy the benefits of this amazing community.

When this site was started all those eons ago, the community was our number 1 goal.  We wanted to be different and we wanted to have fun.  It’s so important to me that everyone who is a part of this site respects this community and is in it for the fun.  For the joy of writing, the joy of the people, and the simple joy of playing a silly lil game.

It may have taken me some time (and a whole like of life kicking my backside) to move past the hurt and anger of the past to see that, but I’m glad I finally see it. All of it.

So I’m still here, and I’ll still be here as long as you guys (and the game) will have me.  After all, we’ve got a 10 year anniversary to plan in a couple of years, right?

Thanks for reading this novel of a post, thanks for all that you do as part of this community, and thank you for making this site what it is.  I’m incredibly grateful for each and every one of you.

As I’ve always said, we supply the music and margaritas it’s you guys who make this place come to life.

Thank you for everything.

Here’s to the Addicts Community and many more years of the simple joys of playing a silly lil game!

Alissa

148 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Addicts Community…

  1. I really loved hearing from your heart and know it takes humility (which is strength!) to admit mistakes, which I don’t think thank you our audience is owed, but nice to hear anyhow and personally inspiring as well. This site and Wookie, Safi, and your posts help me enjoy the game twice as much. I love knowing there’s a community enjoying the game all at the same time, separately, together. I feel this site is very well organized, and I love being able to look things up from years ago. The format makes sense and is easy to use. I look forward to more positivity and fun posts (should there be fewer posts to make it any easier on your lives? Are daily posts needed?) I love and respect that you value your relationship with God and aren’t afraid to mention it. >

    And that Patric writes so well of you as he exits speaks wonderfully of you both.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I don’t mind the daily posts, we’ve really trimmed it down significantly over the years. When we first started we were doing 5 posts a day, and then we got it down to 3, and now we’re between 1 and 2…3 on really busy days. 🙂

  2. WOW…it is wonderful seeing some names pop up in the comment section that haven’t been seen in a long time. Although I’ve been a bit of a slacker too lately (miss at least one day a week checking this site) I’ve noticed that the comment sections are not as populated as they used to be. I blame the game of course…there’s only so much rinse and repeat one can handle.

    Alissa, I’ve read your post at least 4x now and sometimes had to nodded my head because I could see myself in there. Here is the beauty of growing older:
    1) As we get older most of us mellow out a bit (even Patric)
    2) What we thought was important when we were younger seems trivial now.
    3) Without experiencing sad/bad times we wouldn’t know how much to appreciate the happy/good times
    4) The best thing about making mistakes is that we can learn and grow from them 😁

    As others have said, the only reason I still play TSTO is because of you!! I enjoy all the contributions (ok…maybe not all) that various Addict team members have posted over the years. I love that you allow us to see a little of your world by posting videos of the Tiny Addicts (they bring a smile to my face). And I love that you have dedicated so much of your time to us to keep us tapping.
    I am proud to be a member of your TSTO Addicts community and will remain so as long as you’ll have us 😁😁😁

    Thanks to all of you (past and present) for making this site what it is! 😘😘😘

    1. Swissy it is so great to hear from you! Thank you so much for such wonderful words they really brought a smile to my face!
      I absolutely love this community, and want to get back to being vibrant and chatty with all of you! And I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Little Addicts videos. They have so much fun making them, Riley actively asks me every day what the adventure plan is and when she can record. Lol

  3. On my days of being annoyed with the game and taking another break it’s always nice to know this blog is here. At least here I don’t get that Bart screen lol.

  4. So. I keep hanging in here. I have loved this game for 8 years. I’m disabled, abed, and it’s brought me a lot of pleasure.

    But I’m feeling done. There’s nothing to do. We don’t have a community, as you’ve said. So. I’ve designed and designed and I have mountains of money and donuts snd my town looks just like I want it to. Mostly.

    But there’s just not anything else to do. Wait for the occasional same ole “tasks” to get decorations I really don’t want.

    I miss the days of having different kinds of “side tasks.” Spinning the wheel and getting who knows what? I had fun building my Vegas town and also my country and western town. Really, there hasn’t been much to do since then – years ago.

    I’m so sad. I’ve done searches and can’t find much on how this game can continue. With nothing to do.

    There’s nothing to do. Nothing to motivate me to continue. I still go in every day and send my fav characters out on tasks. There’s nothing else to do.

    I’m sorry this is so negative. It’s brought me lots of happy hours. And you addict writers have been great fun to read. I can’t imagine sending hate mail. Youve obviously worked so hard.

    I wish they’d just drop it, EA, if they can’t cough up some new, creative “side things to do.”
    I’ve played other games that keep offering side things to do that are fun. AND we get to write little comments to our “team members” and that’s fun.

    This game seems so sadly to be going nowhere.
    And I’m addicted and struggling to stop. All that work I’ve done!

    But I’m waiting to hear you say it’s finis, done, over with.

    I never hear back from anyone so I suppose I write in the wrong places.

    Waaaah.

    1. Oh I still think there’s a lot of life left in the game. There are still a ton of characters and decorations that can be brought into the game.
      However I do think the team at EA has fallen into a rinse and repeat cycle with updates. It’ll change eventually it always does.

    2. What other games with side adventures? Would like some similar games. If it’s allowed to mention other games

  5. You know, i found first TSTOFriends or something like it.. the original.. read through some post and went with TSTOFriends for a while.. i didn’t know of the issues but it did seem some drama happen.. then TSTOFriends joined/merged with TSTO Addicts and it was fun, i was always here for the game… then for the people, now i come to read posts and say hi from time to time… Thank you for all the work and support 🙂 this place is a gold nugget in the vast internet/darkweb and beyond… thnx..

  6. I said before that I am amazed and thankful for the effort you put into this site. I’m a lurker from way back and I’ve seen how things have changed for the better. So while this may be a crazy, daunting, and addictive way to enjoy our tappable towns, be proud of the community you have created here. Thanks for the Bunny shout out. I miss her posts whenever she would escape from the basement! And it’s good to see Totbox and other fellow lurkers show their support. You all have been missed😊

  7. I have been playing since 2015 and I have had my ups and downs with tsto game. I would find myself quitting the game but continued to stick around and see the posts on tsto addicts which eventually brought me back into the game. If it wasn’t for the addicts I would have long stopped playing the game. Thank you for all you do.

  8. I enjoy the game and the blog. Hope it continues to be entertaining. I’ll miss reading Patric but everything changes. Thank you to everyone who makes the blog fun

  9. Thanks for keeping the site and all the information. I visit occasionally now especially at the beginning of an event. Your information is always helpful and informative.
    I enjoy the game, even after five ears of playing, I I visit my town daily and it makes me smile, like visiting an old friend with all the little people there.
    Glad you are continuing on.

    1. Carie it is so great to hear from you! And yes, I feel the same way! There’s something so comforting about our pocket-sized Springfields. Hope to see you pop up here and there more often 🙂

  10. Alissa,

    Thank you for such a lovely, heartfelt post. I enjoyed every word and could feel your emotion and care. Thank you also for never giving up on our beloved game, I feel the same as you and am just truly thankful we continue to receive updates, regardless of the length or content. 🙂

    I appreciate all of you wonderful Addicts (both current and former) and all the information, guidance, smiles and laughter you provide daily. I also appreciate the Addicts Live and Little Addicts videos which provide additional enjoyment.

    Thank you for everything. You are very appreciated. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! Your words really mean a lot to me, I am so appreciative of you for taking the time to share them with me! We move forward with hopefully a lot more smiles and laughter!

  11. Thank you for sharing Alissa. It’s refreshing to hear someone put themselves out there and speak with such honesty. We could all learn a thing from your openness and self reflection. I want to thank you for all the years of hard work you’ve put into this. Addicts was the first place I discovered when I started playing this silly game and while I haven’t always been a frequent commenter, I’ve always popped in to check out the posts and get the lowdown on the events. Thanks again! 🙂

  12. Typical…

    I miss one day, because the real world gets in the way, and all this happens 🙂

    Thanks Alissa, for all your work over the years, and to everybody else involved, both staff and visitors who have made this such a good place to be!

    There -are- places I’ve been hanging around on the net longer than here, but not very many, so thanks again all.

    Oh, and a big raspberry to the clueless idiots who do nothing but moan, usually at the wrong people, and make it less fun for the rest of us.

  13. Like so many others have commented, TSTO is one of the main reasons I keep tapping this silly game. Well, that and the hope that EA will actually have an event like the old days. Long time lurker here. Through all of these years of this game, your site is the only one I ever go to for help and news and community. I can’t wait for a 10 year anniversary. Thanks for everything you have done and thank you for your honesty.

    1. Thank you so much Leslie! And thank you for dropping your lurker status if only for 1 post! We love having you here..lurker or not 😀

      1. Here here! It is all good! As most everyone knows there are multiple sites with Tapped Out information and as we ALL know this is the BEST!!!!!😀😀
        Thank you!

  14. Thank you for all you do and for keeping the game often times more fun than the programmers do 🤗 I started following this site not long after you started it, but late enough to do stupid things like spend 110 donuts on Lard Lad 😐 back in the day when donuts were hard to get….but I read and laughed, and learned how to farm LOL I will be here as they say, until the wheels fall off! Take Care!

    1. Lol well hopefully we’re built solidly enough that the wheels don’t come off! We may catch on fire every now and then but hopefully the wheels stay on! 😉
      Thanks for being here and hopefully the farming info made up for spending donuts on lard lad!

  15. Honestly I quit visiting here when I found I couldn’t agree with Patric or the negativity. But I appreciate you doing everything you do to make this the best site possible.

  16. After 7+ years of playing, I stay for two main reasons. First – despite the fact that the game is a shell of it’s original self, the dialogue is (usually) worth the time. Second – the Addicts Community and your leadership of it. I have been a largely silent observer, posting only very occasionally, but I rarely miss one of your or Safi’s posts and love to participate in the surveys, contests, etc. This group makes this more than just a game. Thanks for keeping it fun, helping us know we are not alone in our obsession and for keeping it real – apparently even more so now. Long live this silly lil game and the Addicts!

  17. Alissa, I rarely comment here … heck, I lost a lot of interest in the game during the dry patch when they didn’t update for some time, and I lost attention when Bunny left and Patric came on, but you have been here through it all. Through birth and motherhood. Through dry spells and fun updates. Through changes galore.

    How brave and fearless you are to write this post, to bare a part of your soul and spirit. To keep this commitment to us “addicts” long after I would have left.

    But overall, I didn’t. Even on my sporadic basis, I have relied on your site (and you) for: truth and information, to allay my panic when I lost donuts, neighbors, even my Springfield, to know how many days, minutes or seconds until a new update would break, and to not feel alone when something didn’t work like it should.

    Thanks for being here and thanks for being so dedicated. You are more respected, admired and loved than you know, and I appreciate that you opened up the opportunity for me to tell you how I feel.

  18. Thank you Alissa for all you’ve done and do, commitment is greatly appreciated! I too would have stopped playing TSTO without this addicts web page (a gift).

  19. Good grief I had to read that in shifts between yesterday and today.

    “And I’ve come to realize that I screwed up. And for that, I am incredibly sorry”

    “So I’m going to do everything I possibly can to bring back that community feel” Did we lose it?

    I think I get it..You had a bunch of stuff built up and needed to vent. Who doesn’t especially over the last 2 years.. been rough.

    You haven’t screwed anything up.. and nothing to be sorry for IMO.

    Been here for a few years and have always felt a sense of community.

    Alissa you’re putting too much pressure on yourself and you have let nobody here down!

  20. There is no doubt about it for me, if it wasn’t for this addicts site I would have closed the TSTO app down a while ago. So thanks Alissa for carrying on & for everything you have done in the past in what had been very unique circumstances.

  21. That’s what happens when I blink…..
    Holy crap did I miss stuff! Ferris Bugler, you’re my hero. Behind you all the way🖤🖤🖤

  22. Alissa; I am on again and off again kind of player. My son and grandson insisted I play TSTO. I love all the help you have given me with tips and when things are a little wonky with the game you help explain what is going on. I don’t know if I’m the oldest player at 72 years, but happy to have been a player for years. I always look forward to your buy or not buys, I usually buy, LOL. You are a beautiful person with beautiful children. I don’t have the words to express how I felt about your heartfelt words, Bravo Alissa. A Canadian Fan 🍁

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