Prototyping the Sims of EA

BCM 114

MOSHED-2018-8-20-20-29-44

As you all know, for the past 10 weeks I have been working on my Sim photoblog, ‘Sims of EA’ -inspired by ‘Humans of New York.’ Over this semester I’ve had a lot of difficulties with this project, however I have also managed to hit some milestones along the way. For example, I had a follower directly submit a Sim to be featured on the page which was not something that I was expecting to happen at all this semester.

…And I hit 100 followers! Which allowed me to view my demographic insights.
100 simmers wooThroughout my struggles of time management skills, story and character development and scouring Reddit and Tumblr for sims to feature I have learned a lot about my audience’s likes and dislikes about the ‘Sims of Ea.’ Here are some of my most valuable learning moments that have helped me develop this project…

#Hashtags are a god sent

An obvious one, but very important! Hashtags give Instagram posts so much traction. They allow your posts to be viewed by so many different accounts which helps connect your content to people who will like it, which therefore allows you to reach a larger audience and gain a following. Through some trial and error I have established my core hashtags which relate to every post, such as #sims #sims4 #thesims #thesims4 #simstagram, along with this I also use a variety of other hashtags which are relevant to the individual posts. [Input: Hashtags.  Output: More followers and engagement.]

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People don’t necessarily like long text

As I’m using Instagram (a photo heavy platform) for my DA I’ve realised that people don’t necessarily want to read long amounts of text. I’ve discovered that I need to have really captivating images to draw people into my post, and that I need multiple images that tell a story visually to allow for less text. [Input: Engaging photos, less text.  Output: More likes, more views.]

…But at the same time they like a story

However, having no story at all wasn’t well received. Finding a happy medium between a short, sweet, yet in depth look of a character/storyline that’s enough to capture the moment and bring some inspiration without being too long and rambly. [Input: Medium length text.  Output: More engagement, more likes.]

People like empowerment

Diversity and representation is important, I think that using ‘Sims of EA’ as a medium to represent and empower minorities will be better received than ‘just another joke page,’ or ‘just another cliché Sims storyline filled with cheating, backstabbing, teen pregnancy and killing off spouses for money.’ (Trust me, I tried this with Simulation Mindy and she wasn’t well received by non bcm folk!) If I peel back some of the layers of this DA and shift towards a heavier ‘Humans of New York’ influence by giving ordinary people a voice (but through fictional characters and storylines) my DA will flourish. Rather than creating inspiration for Sims 4 gameplay. [Input: Representation of minorities.  Output: More engagement, more likes, more comments, more reach.]

 

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My digital artefact is still in the very early stages of it’s development and there is a lot more that I want to do with the page before it even gets close to reaching it’s full potentials. This includes, creating a regular upload schedule, finding the perfect mix of images and text length OR find a platform that better suits my DA, and most importantly, I want to create a strong sense of community through my digital artefact. I want it to be a space where people feel as if they are represented, and feel that they can send in sims, suggestions and storylines that resonate with them.

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11 thoughts on “Prototyping the Sims of EA

  1. i absolutely LOVE what you’re doing!! this is seriously such a cool idea. i think that the idea of you using this virtual world as a way of giving minorities a voice, and allowing them to be represented, is such an important thing to be doing – and doing so in a fun, engaging way is exactly what is needed to reach people and grab their attention.
    are you making up the stories, or basing them around what each sim has done in their game? i had an idea that maybe you could tell stories of real life people – such as with humans of NY – but depict the people/storyline through characters on the sims. this would be a unique way of expressing different situations that people may have experienced.
    i think that if you continue to effectively represent people of all kinds – racially, religiously, sexually, etc – you’ll draw in attention through people feeling as though they’ve found a place where they belong, and where they aren’t an outcast. i really think this would be a great way to form an accepting community around your account – and i can see that this has already started happening!
    i can’t wait to see what kind of content you put out in the future! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. THIS IS AMAZING. I love ‘Sims’ and ‘Humans of New York’ and combining the both is such an intriguing and brilliant idea. They said your DA could be anything you literally did that.

    It’s great that you reached 100 flowers to get the demographics of your Instagram, it evidently shows that people are engaging with your content and you’re now able to further define your audience. You should create a started pack for your DA (and if you have already) you should create another one now you know your demographics age, gender, location etc. I think it could be interesting to see whats changed since the beginning stages.

    I definitely agree that the captions should have less text, it’s great you’ve found a medium like you said, “short and sweet”. From running an Instagram for my DA as well it’s hard to find a medium as there is a lot to say about a certain photo and you don’t want to miss out on anything. Although less is more as Instagram is a photography based platform. I know your vibe is ‘Humans of New York’ which is all photos on the Instagram page but would you consider making videos as well? I think this could be quite fun and interesting to watch as they don’t need to be too long due to Instagrams limit of videos as well as your own understanding of how long a video should be to gain the most retention.

    For example you could feature videos of Sims characters doing stupid things or it sounds really messed up but killing your Sims character (which seems to be popular on YouTube). If you download OBS (a screen recording software – super safe as well) you could try it out? Or instead of posting them maybe use them in Instagram stories? Once again only a suggestion but it could be pretty cool.

    Its great your spamming reddit! It’s a great platform to receive feedback from millions of users. You said that

    “I want it to be a space where people feel as if they are represented, and feel that they can send in sims, suggestions and storylines that resonate with them.”

    To enforce this you should ask on a bunch of different sub-reddits as well as make polls on twitter or even on Instagram. You mentioned as well you want to find a regular upload schedule, you can do this by prototyping schedules, for example posting everyday for a week, then every 2 days, 4 days and then once a week. Eventually you’ll see your engagement through the statistics on Instagram and you’ll be able to determine a schedule. You said that you want to create a strong sense of community, have you tried Facebook? Generally speaking this is where groups form and people of the same interest can communicate with each other through messages as well as posting photos of their Sims.

    Your blog overall is great. You’ve shown that you’re clearly interacting with audiences by receiving messages and specifically finding designated hashtags to promote photos. Your DA is essentially always going to be under prototyping, because you’ll be receiving more and more feedback everyday which will encourage new ideas as well as provide constructive criticism to increase followers and content being produced.

    Keep up the awesome content, I’m keen to see how your DA progresses!

    Like

  3. Wow! Your DA is very creative, you should be very happy as to how far you have come. I feel like with this type of concept you do experience a lot of difficulties, but that’s what makes you learn more things and think of new ideas.

    Your progress seems to increase as you post content, 100 followers is a great sign! People are interested in seeing what else may pop up on their feed.

    I love your creation and concept, it’s very different from other digital artefacts and stands out, you should be very proud of yourself.

    Hashtags are literally a gift from God, they assist the growth of your Insta! Keep using it because you will notice a difference in the number of impressions you make on your page ( that’s if you use business tools on the gram, highly recommended)

    Your blog address prototyping in a consise and detailed manner. Keep using all social media platforms to expand your audience!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey there how are you! My name is Bronwyn Licence I have enjoyed reading your prototyping blog, and I’m in love with the level of uniqueness of your DA!
    Sims is always a trending game to play and secretly we all know there is a high percentage of Uni students that aren’t over our Sims days and all secretly have free play hidden and downloaded on our phones. The intention of your DA as a way of ‘interaction’ is so creative it makes me want to be involved!
    Id love to be updated and this is a really good ‘online’ scheme to have, it’s a little bit similar to Facebooks well-known page called ‘Sigma’ which are known for creating ‘Sim’ Kardashians etc.

    Sigma productions: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkaMiYSFBo_r6JJa-1QWzIA

    Keep up the good work, clearly, you have gained an interest through the use of creative aesthetics and the time dedication to what you do.

    Give us a follow!, I’d love to be involved in your DA.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Emma!
    Congrats on effectively closing your gaps in the feedback loops. I completely understand where you’re coming from in the way that you had plenty of input (the stories being sent in) but yet a lack of output and engagement, and have had a similar experience. You have done really well to identify and patch these issues within the prototyping process. I found that in my prototyping process the easiest way to patch these gaps was by directly consulting my audience and through analytics. I talk more about this in my blog: https://lucyrouse.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/prototyping/. Again, well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’ve probably heard this before but this is an AMAZING concept + it’s a positive feedback loop! Love the uniqueness of this and the way you’ve put it out into the world is so effective. I can see in your prototyping phase you are still discovering what works and what doesn’t which is all part of the process! Your Instagram account deserves more followers but you’re off to a great start, Instagram analytics is a great tool to gage your audience and see which posts are receiving the most impressions, when you see which posts are receiving the most impressions it’s good to analyse what about that post was effective in engaging with your audience. From my own DA instagram I do agree the captions on posts should have less text, not many people want to read a long text under a post because they lose interest so “short & sweet” is better. With your Sims it would be a cool and interactive idea to record them doing silly/funny things then put them on your story weekly as a way to keep your audience engaged and wanting to come back for more of your content. You could even do a poll of what kind of videos of sims they want to see on your instagram so you’re directly creating content you know your audience will enjoy. There are so many angles you could play around with your DA like the one you did about Love, I loved that! You could also do get ready with sims video and dress a sim up and post the outfits onto your page. An important learning moment I found with my own DA, I’m doing an Instagram fitness account and I personally found that my account received more traction when I liked and developed a continuous friendship with other accounts similar to my own so it creates a loyal following, meaning accounts that will always like and comment on my future posts. Hope this helps can’t wait to see your future content 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such an awesome idea! You’re Digital Artefact really looks like its coming together! 100 followers is a great achievement already, and by taking what you have learnt from experiences on the way, you’re DA is sure to succeed! The helpful tips and tricks you’ve mentioned are great and can help others who are trying to master Instagram too. You are so right, hashtags are amazing! It’s really awesome to see that you’ve already learnt so much from this assessment already.
    Have you considered adding videos to you’re Instagram account? I found from personal experience this sparks more interaction with the followers. Another tip I could give is creating an aesthetic to your layout of your Instagram, it really makes the account stand out from others and further increases the following. As mentioned, it is important to fail often and be aware of the pro’s and con’s of your ‘movement’ online and through your blog post I gather that you are aware of what areas you need to improve on to make your DA the best ever! This is really well written and it sounds as though you are on the right track, your tips you have mentioned, for yourself, will in turn now help me so thankyou! Keep up the good work!!

    Liked by 1 person

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