I'm an avid Sims 2 player. I'm not a big fan of Sims 3 or 4 because they don't have the same appeal as Sims 2.
I'm very unhappy over what happened to me this evening. After four years of visiting, what I thought was one of the best medieval-themed Sims 2 websites ever, the evil webmaster who owns it banished me!
It's called the Plumbob Keep. I thought it was a wonderful place to visit, and a thriving community of other fans who love the game. Things went fine until I made the mistake of trying to make friends on there this year and chatting away in the chat window over in the board index. Unfortunately, at the start of this month, a friend of the webmaster banned me from the chat window, making me unable to speak to people I'd become friends with. The despot, self-appointed "queen" apparently didn't like the way I talked, but what was really scary was, she had been keeping tallies on my behavior. Who the hell does that?! I would cite the First Amendment, but when it's a privately-run website, apparently there are different rules in how people conduct themselves. It all makes me sick as to what kind of person not only appoints themselves leader, but lets the power go to their head based on a virtual "kingdom" they've built! I knew there was a clique in the website. Only people who knew how to make Sims 2 modifications got more respect than those who didn't. I was too afraid to make mods because I was worried about destroying my computer. I've been through 2 or 3 since I first started playing the game (though their demises didn't quite have to do with my game).
I had a feeling I was in over my head when I figured out many of the modders on there are liberals. In fact, I'm amazed they let me stay as long as they did, all things considered. They didn't like hearing some ugly truths I had to tell about people from other countries and whatnot. I let slip things I shouldn't have said, put my trust where it was unearned, and they were in no mood to hear my apologies later on. These are the kind of people who hold grudges and never accept sorry from anyone. They wouldn't know forgiveness if it walked up and introduced itself to them.
After I was banned from the chat box, I should have known my days were numbered. That's how it usually starts on there. First the chatbox, then the website. At first, I wasn't sure how long this ban would last, and asked around. The other moderators either had no idea what was going on, or didn't want to get involved. I thought things were going fine when the original moderator who banned me said it would only last for a month. But apparently the others decided to complain to the webmaster about me "pestering" them, and finally the webmaster got off her royal ass and told me I was permanently banned from ever chatting again. I thought that was very mean of her and wanted to slap her, or tell her off. But I knew if I did that, she'd banish me for sure. She's done it before, with at least 12 other people. So I quietly accepted her declaration and went off to do some digging.
Something was up, and I was getting very suspicious. Back earlier in June, a new contest was being started, but nobody was jumping up to join. Someone then posted an unhappy, very miserable-sounding topic about site participation. The moment I read the first few lines, I backed away and went to other topics. I didn't bother seeing who wrote the topic, but one of the people who responded said something nobody wanted to hear: that the Sims 2 Community was dying. I was completely clueless as to the epic battle that ensued. I wasn't even aware there had been one. Not until I noticed some of my pins on Pinterest came up dry a month later. It's like, "Wait a minute. What happened to these lovely mods? Why can't I access them?" I then saw this nice person who had always been kind and supportive of everyone, and offered encouragement, had suddenly been banished. That's odd, I thought, I assumed the webmaster would only banish trolls and trouble-makers. Why on earth did she banish this kind and considerate person, along with her husband? (Yep, sometimes even married couples older than 20 play Sims and get involved in this rather odd community).
I sought out this person, and found she had built her own website and wore her banished status like a badge of honor. What's up with that? I asked myself, Why would she be happy to be banished from the Keep? I would think most people would be horrified and deeply saddened at losing access to such a place. For her site info, she wrote down why she had been banished, and what had happened, though it took a while. Some of the information was rather garbled and based on message-board language. In some ways, it read like an improvised Shakespearean tragedy. You basically have to read the whole thing, interpret what these people are saying, and figure out what happened. What I found horrified me.
One of the rules of the Plumbob Keep is not to use the place as an emotional dumping ground for your feelings. It's supposed to be a happy place where people who love Sims 2 come together to share ideas, stories, and modifications to the game. And yet, a Moderator, of all people, someone the webmaster trusted with enforcing the site rules, was breaking that very rule. She was bitching and moaning about how participation in the site had started to dwindle down more so than in past years, people who were good at making Sims 2 mods were leaving and moving on to other projects, and the site just wasn't what it used to be. Some people even felt obligated to join the contests and this obligation drove others away. It got so bad that the nice lady stepped in and tried toning the whole conversation down, but that just sparked more arguing. Other people joined in, and an all-out war ensued. Four different subjects were brought up, and there were several people arguing all at once. It was a message board battle of epic proportions, and got so ugly that my friend's husband tried to step in and put out the "toxic" fires. That only got him in trouble as well. One conclusion my friend made about this, was that the "queen" was letting her minions get away with this, trying not only to get out of hosting another contest without making it look like it was her idea, but she was manipulating her thralls into baiting people. My friend wasn't gonna let the webmaster get away with that. She also figured out that the webmaster is getting tired and burdened with the site, and really wants to be rid of it, but she can't bring herself to hand over the reigns to someone else. This person is a manipulative control freak, and a vicious one at that. And lazy to boot. She's been relying more and more on other talented people to "pick up the slack" on making Sims 2 mods while she goes off on her own projects, not wanting to have to deal with the site as a whole. Sadly, that's not how it works in the real internet world. My friend made the higher-ups look like immature fools, and the "queen" was forced to publicly banish my friend to save face. However, the whole situation had already blown up in her face. Dozens of other people who visited the site on a regular basis, including shy "lurkers" as they were called, took one look at this whole fiasco and said, "Screw this, I'm getting out of here!" There were many witnesses and deserters that ensued.
I only sensed something was up because things got quieter at the Keep. Less people were talking, posting, or making stuff. I thought it was odd, and didn't know what had happened. Nobody spoke of it either. A person I thought was my friend spoke to me in private and lied about the whole thing, claiming the banished one and her own husband had taken matters into their own hands about a problem and had tried solving the problem without going to the webmaster about it. I'm starting to wonder just who these people are I had been hanging out with these four years. It being the internet, you never know exactly who you're associating with until a disaster comes up. It's worse than real life, because online, everyone is wearing virtual masks and personas that are often the complete opposite of who they really are. But slowly, the dark side emerges over time.
I made the mistake of pouring out my horror to someone who not only was not my friend like I thought she was, but she too was a moderator and a close friend of the "queen." I was so angry that I wanted to download the despot's self-sim and slaughter it for being so cruel. No doubt the spider let the despot see what I said, and she banished me this very evening.
So if you are a Sims 2 player and love medieval-themed mods, stay as far away from the Plumbob Keep as you can. You cannot trust the webmaster who runs it. She is a cruel, selfish, manipulative, lazy leader, and will banish anyone for not being the perfect little peon she wants them to be. I urge you to warn your friends as well. This is not a place you want to visit, no matter how many tempting downloads it's got. Do the smart thing and stay away.
- Listening to: nothing
- Reading: The News
- Watching: Whose Line Is It Anyway? (reruns)
- Playing: The Sims 2
- Eating: nothing
- Drinking: diet grapefruit soda