The Sims' Machinima Is Not A Dying Art Form but an Art Form That Continues To Grow And Evolve.
Updated: Aug 30, 2022
The Sims is an iconic franchise that has been around for almost two decades, and while it has changed over the years, the game still commands a large audience. One of the most exciting gameplay changes is the introduction of Sims Machinima.
The Sims Machinima is a form of digital video production that uses The Sims 2,3,4 to develop movies and series. Sims Machinima is an example of how people can use the game to create videos and animations. Players can use the in-game camera tools and editing options to capture their favorite gameplay moments and share them with other players online. Producing Machinima allows creators to express themselves and share their creativity with others.
EA created a hidden mini-movie studio through The Sims, which allowed creators such as NosylaTabbith to redo Bring Me To Life. They are usually created by a player and maybe scripted, unscripted, or semi-scripted. There is more to Sims Machinima than "a lot of deaths and vampires" (Lucas, 2022, p. 14). It can range from comedies to tragedies and everything in between.
If you are an enthusiastic fan of drama, then you will fall in love with Silvermoon series. His first Sims 4 subtitle Machinima Series, "City Of Angels" is full of drama. It has all the makings of a good soap opera or drama tv series. Viewers call it "the ultimate drama, " from evil twin brothers, backstabbing friends, betrayals, murder and coverups, secret brother, a stolen identity, heated affairs, and a birth plot line. The drama is intense, and if you love drama, you should totally check out this series; there are currently three beautiful seasons ready to be binge-watched. Silvermoon is presently working on a new VO Series, "Facade," and if those two episodes out are any suggestion, this series will be a banger.
Another good drama series is the Sims 2 series "Fly Away" It has been in work for ten years by Star Delavega. The slice-life teen drama series features the main character, Star DeLavega, an ordinary teenager dealing with different phases of her life as she becomes more aware of her friends around her. When her eventful life starts to fall apart, how will she cope? Fly away currently has 60 episodes to binge watch, with the series finale soon set to be released on September 12th, 2022.
And if you love the supernatural world, then "BeniX Productions" Have the perfect series for you, "Age Of Darkness." It is highly recommended as it has a little dose of everything from the supernatural world, witches, Vampire, magic, and a couple of scum of the earth character that will make your skin crawl from pure hatred. Every story is unique, and there is something for everyone. The Art of sims Machinima can be traced back to 2006, from creators like Pyronium3 to MusicMAAD.
The beauty of the machinima community is that every creator is unique and has a different introduction to the art; everyone is inspired by different creators. Latibule has been creating Sims 2 content for the past 12 years, she is best "known for writing and directing the sims 2 voice-over series "The Rivers"
She explained, "My first time I was ever exposed to Machinima was ChoFrog09's My Immortal music video, which remarkably turns sixteen years old this year. That would've made me nine years old when I first got introduced to the world of Machinima. Needless to say, I was blown away that a game I loved to play for fun can also be used to create something so powerful and emotional (and not just for drowning your sims in the pool, you know?) It wasn't until I stumbled onto Jaydee227's channel, however, that I decided, "Okay, I don't know how I'm going to do this, but I NEED to learn how to create sims machinima." In my opinion, their 2008 music video From Yesterday continues to be the single most mind-blowing content ever created with The Sims, across all three games."
While Serendipitia (Creator of Invisible) credits "Raison D'etre" for the introduction of her love for machinimas, "I was a really big fan of Raison D'etre; it's such a beautiful and artistic series. I remember it filled me with so much nostalgia, like I had known the characters my entire life. Even watching the show back now, it feels like a familiar hug from an old friend. Cornymio is truly a visionary; she's someone I look up to and aspire to be like one day," she says. Serendipitia and Latibule statement reflects how creators can influence, inspire, and stimulate others to do or feel something.
TinyCoffeeCups is relatively new to the community, she started making machinima for five months now, and she has already stunned our eyes with her beautiful character designs and unique style of content. Within five months, she has traumatized and scared the heart of many, caused so many tears. This might be unprofessional of me, but I'm genuinely traumatized and scarce for life after watching "Virtual Boyfriend"
Don't get me wrong, I like being traumatized. Still, it exceeded the level of trauma I am used to. If you love Cyber Punk and Science fiction, then go ahead and check this story; the heartstrings are strong in this one. With a story like this, inspiration must draw from somewhere. Tiny explained, "My biggest inspiration when I started creating machinima was creating the ultimate vibe! Do you ever just watch a scene in a movie, and you feel this overwhelming sense of energy? Or that feeling you get when you chew five gums? Yes, that's what I want to create! Something you can feel! Something you can experience!" and she certainly delivered through her five short stories she currently has available on her YouTube channel.
flx pictures (kyle) is another talented creator who joined the community around 2008/2009. He is most known for writing and produced Sims 2 series, "Hiding Holiday" and "Seeking Harmony" He says, "I was trying out machinima with both sims 2 + 3 and landed on my love for sims 2 and haven't gone back since!" flx pictures (kyle) attention to detail and character is unrivaled. Not only are his characters well thought out, but every scene is also detailed and gorgeous. People could stare at his work all day long, as the visuals are usually out of this world. "My biggest inspiration goes between Erujie, Essiepictures, and Remi because they're the creators that got me into the idea of machinima. Although their projects go as far back as 10+ years ago, I think they still hold up as some of the best machinima the community has ever seen. I also have to shout out to Disney & Pixar animated movies and all of the slice-of-life comedy anime I have watched throughout the years! Both continue to inspire everything I make!" he said.
The Sims machinima grew in popularity and diversity, expanding the possibilities of what could be done in a Sims video. The Sims players have produced thousands of animations and films over the past decade, with many of them going viral on YouTube. These machinima films are often based on storylines that are more grounded in reality than films created by Hollywood studios. And as with everything in life, everyone has their favorite. Latibule, with so many favorites, settle on her top 4 "The Kenopsia Effect by Simsberrry (TS4, 2017-), the cinematography is easily one of the best I’ve ever seen. I think Simsberrry captures that genre perfectly; Ward University by SimmerBoi (TS4, 2020-), which has one of the best storytelling I’ve ever come across; Hiding Holiday by Flx Pictures (TS2, 2020-), who I believe captures everything The Sims 2 has to offer in the most mind boggling ways; Life Will Go On by SimmingLikeAVillain (TS3, 2016-), who does a fantastic job at tugging at your heartstrings in the best way possible" she expressed.
TinyCoffeeCups added, "my favorite sims 2 series was this series called "Life Of Rose" I remember racing home from elementary school and jumping on the computer to watch it because I had never seen anything like it before! I don't think it was ever finished, to be honest! I recently just looked it up and realized it was gone, so I hope it surfaces again!" Favorite ongoing series at this very moment for TinyCoffeeCups is, "'Almost Famous' by StreetSimmer. 'RUN' By Embersims and 'Unsound Mind' of course by Ladie Rhias!" She added "I am still exploring through loads of machinima right now, but I am in such AWE over how different everyone's machinima is! We all have our own art style and it's so fun to watch even though we are all playing the same game! Dude it's insane in the most awesome way! I honestly didn't know VO machinima was a thing until I became a part of the community! Growing up watching machinima, I only saw subtitles and so that's what i always stayed within so really branching out there is fun! Though I do see a lot of creators in this community don't do subtitle, I'm grateful you all still support my art even if VO isn't my thing. Hey, I tried, but staying within my own vibe for my work is key so I can 'oooh' and 'ahhh' over yours!" Every machinima creator has a different vibe as Tiny stated, every creator brings something unique, and that is the most wholesome thing in the community.
Kyle's love for Sims 2 is evident, so of course, he will have a favorite sims 2 series. And for him, it is "The Rivers" by Latibule. He explains, "the first time I had watched the rivers, I had taken a break from machinima for a couple of years, and it's 100% the reason I had decided to create again. I think Dana can do things with the Sims 2 I've never seen by any creator before, and her knowledge of animations and filming is so soso inspiring to me. It also helps that I believe The Rivers is better written than anything on TV at the moment; seriously, just SO chefs kiss. He added, "BIGBProd Eternally tie is my favorite ongoing series. I love subtitle series, and she's a fantastic example of an ongoing one. There's not a lot of TV or machinima covering topics like Black Lives Matter, and she does it so well". Another beloved machinima for kyle is " Virtual Boyfriend" by the amazing TinyCoffeeCups. "Although it is not a series, the very first time I watched it I could not stop talking about it, so I feel as though I need to mention it. I think TinyCoffeeCups is a WIZARD, and to bring that emotion out of me watching her stuff, I highly recommend it," he said.
Creators of Machinima face a number of difficulties when it comes to their finished product, as they often have to deal with technical limitations of recording software and hardware while also trying to maintain good quality video and audio. Machinima are complicated to make because of the amount of work creators have to do. With today's hectic schedules, completing a high-quality product takes many hours. But despite the difficulties, creators still find joy in the creation process. Latibule , expressed she finds joy in the Filming process "Although it can be very hectic at times (and by hectic, I mean it makes me want to tear my hair out), nothing beats seeing your story come to life. A lot of us storytellers dream to one day become showrunners of our own series, and to see our stories unfold on the big platforms. I think Sims machinima is a great way to conceptualize that dream by working with the resources we have at the moment. A good way to practice and learn through trial and error, too. And, to me, seeing your script come to life as you wrap up filming is always worth the sweat, blood and tears that go into the filming process."
Serendipitia noted what she embraced the most during the creation process "today, With each episode, I find that I learn more and more about myself. It's been a way to express things I've never known how to say in person and allowed me to reflect a lot about my own identity. I think if a viewer can relate to that or my story can invoke any sort of emotion in them, then that's the most rewarding thing for me as a storyteller." And for TinyCoffeeCups it's seeing her ideas come to life. "You ever just think of a scene and in your head, you're telling yourself, "No way I can actually pull this off!" "There's no way I'm going to capture what i really want." Then bam, you do! You did it! I think that is by far my favorite thing about making machinima! Seeing it all comes to life!
kyle favorite part of machinima making "is hearing what the episode will sound like for the first time. I usually create with voice actors, so hearing the characters come to life and setting up all the comedic beats with the music will always be the part I look forward to. I spend a lot of my time fantasizing scenes and rewriting my scripts, so being able to HEAR the final product - it is always such a rewarding experience," He explained. Every creator has a favorite part of their creation process, and it's beautiful to see what they enjoy most about it. It highlights how we perceive and interpret the world differently based on our conscious experiences.
Phrases like "The heyday of the animated mini-movies is long over, but some YouTubers just can't quit making them" (Luca, 2022) couldn't be further from the truth. "If the internet went away tomorrow, Machinima would not disappear. It might become more limited, and certainly, there would be less international conversations about the topic, but it would still exist, just like fan-films existed before the internet. It is part of a larger wave" (Hancock, 2011, p.33). Latibule highlights "If sims machinima was truly a dying art form, there wouldn't be more and more people using the sims to create for the first time this year - sixteen years after sims machinima first came to life back in 2006 with Sims 2 music videos. And even more, a lot of directors have come out of retirement and have returned to creating after years - especially in the wake of the pandemic and quarantine. In fact, a lot of us Sims directors joke that the past two years has been like a renaissance or a "rebirth" of the sims machinima as an art form, because of how active the community has been in the past few years compared to 2013-2018. So, to those that argue that sims machinima is a dying art form, I would ask that they look past the number of views and towards the numbers of content being produced on a daily basis."
There has been a lot of new series coming out in the past few months, with each creator putting their heart and soul into their work. Tenacious by omniisim, mother by simsterial, Vice by LouVod Lyfe, Trepidation by ScareKrow, Upwood by red petals, Ink Stains by Venpai, For Him by DRAUFILM to name a few.