I can’t believe I’m interrupting my vacation to do this. But there was a comment on GOS the other day that really rubbed me the wrong way. (It’s this one if you’re interested. Might as well own my criticism.) I’ve seen this kind of attitude around the community before, and frankly, I’m tired of it and need to respond.
But before I go on, I want to make one thing clear: if you want to make as “accurate” a vision as possible for your own game or story, but don’t criticize anyone else who takes a different path, my beef is not with you. Everyone has their own game and can do what they please with it. But when you start to call my and others’ games and stories “lame” for not conforming to your vision of “accuracy,” that’s when I get pissed off.
There’s a lot of responses I have planned for this particular comment, so I’m going to group them under different headings.
This isn’t a valid criticism of most Sims stories.
Most “medieval” Sims stories have a strong fantasy bent. Lothere has elves and angels and demons; Naroni has the Naron and the magic sex pond; Grimstead has werwolves and vampires. And I could go on, but I’m typing this on a tablet so I’d really rather not. You wouldn’t criticize Game of Thrones or LOTR for not being “accurate” in terms of costume design or hair. Many “medieval” Sims stories take place in a similarly made-up world, where you can have 12th-century hair paired with a 14th-century dress if that’s what the author bloody well wants.
People wear clothes. Characters wear costumes.
If you are creating a Sims story, or any kind of visual story (play, comic, movie or cartoon), you tend to think a lot about what your characters are wearing and how they look. Their costumes need to, first and foremost, fit them and how they view and interact with the world you’ve created for them. They need to express the characters’ personalities. And they need to NOT be all alike. Even movie costume designers will deviate from historical accuracy when they need to make points about characters.
Think about it. I know I tend to take shots from all kinds of distances: close-up, mid-range, far away. I need my readers to be able to tell what characters are in the shot no matter how close or far away I am. I can’t do that if most of my women are wearing the same style of dress and have some “accurate” hair covering.
Also, clothing can be an important indicator of mood and attitude. I did this most with Garnet. The less secure she felt in her future, the more cleavage and back she showed. It was her way of asserting some kind of power over her situation. Think about Rosette, too, and how her costume for the early years looked a bit more peasant-y — and her braid made her look almost childish. Now that she’s got her own shop, she’s wearing a more prosperous-looking outfit and has an undo that makes her look more grown-up (if still totally harried). And lastly, let’s think about George with his codpieces and bold colors: if there’s an outfit that screams confidence more than that does, I’d like to see it.
Heck, I’ve been known to make outfits for my characters when I can’t find one that fits the need they have at that moment. (Or I beg Andavri.)
And just where is all this uber-accurate CC?
Yes, believe me, I know that there’s the Keep. And I LOVE the Keep. But what’s on there is not enough “accurate” clothing to outfit a neighborhood in a particular time and place. There’s plenty of beautiful stuff if you want a mishmash, but not to outfit a cast of characters from one specific setting. There’s not even enough to outfit all the adult women in clothes and hair that fits one time and one place. Let’s not even think about all the other ages and genders.
And there wasn’t always the Keep. I bet half the reason that stories have LOTR-styled clothing is because for a while, that was the majority of what was available. Beggars can’t be choosers and all.
Speaking of which … Sure, it would be nice if there was more accurate stuff available. But somebody has to make it. And I think most creators have better things to do than to bend over backwards to meet somebody else’s idea of accuracy. So my bottom line is, do you want to see more accurate clothing in other people’s games?
And until that point, stop insulting other peoples’ stories for not meeting your standards.