Why I Won’t Drop It: Holding EA and the GameChangers Accountable

We need to hold EA, the Sims community, and each other accountable in our words and actions.

Yesterday I posted on several channels wanting answers from EA about the issues surrounding DylanSimz, the GameChanger program, and a path forward.

Apparently, I touched a nerve. I was told I was being mean. I was blocked by several people. Based on the amount of angry messages I got today through various channels, people are confused by my stance on the EA GameChanger program and the situation with DylanSimz in general.

Allow me to explain. Grab some snacks, this is a long one.

I don’t want the EA GameChanger program dismantled. I understand it’s purpose. Marketing is expensive and this is a fantastic way for EA to obtain free marketing while promoting content creators. EA can keep it’s program, that’s the least of my problems.

I don’t need every single detail about what happened to the minors DylanSimz allegedly had contact with. I have enough information regarding what occurred. I wanted him out of the program and he is gone.

I wanted SimGuruKate removed and she was. I’m frustrated that she’s still part of EA but I am relieved that she will not be handling the GameChanger program so on that topic we are also square.

My main issue is: What is EA’s plan going forward? How are they going to protect our children? I want transparency and action in that matter.

I’m not asking for perfection or even an entire manifesto with every single step taken to this point. I want them to acknowledge they were wrong and that they’ve started towards a long-term solution.

I am indeed frustrated with the GameChangers. Their silence speaks volumes. Out of everyone in the community, THEY are the one who have the power to force EA to speak on this. PastelSims was the one who launched this entire process by releasing her YouTube video outing DylanSimz and the cover-up. We need more of that. We need to hold EA, the Sims community, and each other accountable in our words and actions.

I’m not letting this one go. If you feel the need to remove me from your list, that’s entirely your business. I’ve already lost dear friends because of it.

I’ve been part of this community since the beginning. 19 years now. I love this game and I love the people I’ve met because of it. I want to see it flourish and continue. But I won’t be quiet on this issue regardless of outcome. As someone who was groomed online by someone in power and was later sexually molested by that person, I will never stop fighting this fight until EA comes to this community with full transparency and a plan to prevent further harm to the children of the simmer community.

Thanks for your time. I know that was a read.

Sincerely,
Kate aka SweetPoyzin

Chapter 3.34

I thought about Hannah’s offer for a few weeks and then headed over to take Adam up on the offer.  I was still on the fence but the kid..er man…has grounded me since he was a teen so I figured we could at least talk it through.

It also allowed Hannah and I to take a break from the Harper and Vi.  They adore each other.  They’ll be trouble in a few years!

“Take the money, Penny.  You know you want a fresh start.  There’s no strings attached.  In fact, considered it repayment for the debt of raising me.  You gave a lot and I wouldn’t be where I am without it.”

“The kids though.  I can’t trust them to another babysitter.  Last time…I don’t even want to think about it.”

“I’ve got a friend.  He’s an author and his sister is looking for a full-time nanny gig.  She’s perfect.  I’ll call him up tonight and have her get in touch with you.  Do it, Penny.  You deserve it.”

He was right.  I raised him.  I’m raising Liv’s kids.  I’ve got Harper.  We’re never going to get anywhere until I go back to school.  I really wanted a business degree.  I didn’t know what I would do with it but something said it would be worth it.

“Alright.  I’ll do it.   It’ll take some time but I think I can make it work.”

It did take a few months but the house made its “debut.”  I didn’t change much.  Mostly just expanded but we needed the extra room.

With puppies, a toddler, and two children the living room needed some room to…well, live in.

And the kitchen had a growth spurt, too.  The dining room was tossed out in favor of a playroom and office.  It was too difficult for the poor toddler to hobble up and down the stairs to either her room or the basement to play.  Dining rooms are overrated anyway.

I planned to head off to university in the spring.  Granted, I’d be attending Storybrook County College but I’d be there for 10 hours and then there was homework.  My baby was going to grow up in the arms of a nanny.

Of course I was putting my horse in front of the cart.  I hadn’t even taken my entrance exams let alone applied to the school.

The aptitude exam was more difficult than I remembered.  Of course, it had been about 15 years since I took the last one.  Also I have relatively no business skills.  It’ll be a few more months before I know the results.  In the meantime there was still a lot to do.

One was meeting the nanny.  The doorbell rang early one fall morning.

She was quite unexpected.  When I think “nanny” I think old woman.  However, Linzy was lovely and highly qualified.

As we sat drinking coffee I interviewed her.  I already knew she would be perfect but I wanted to seem like I knew what I was doing.

“So, tell me about yourself.  Why do you want to be a nanny?”

“Hm.  Well, I love children.  I’m nurturing, neat, a natural cook.  I’m a master gardener and chef.  I have a degree in education and I used to be a teacher.”

Someone up there must love me.  If there is such thing as divine intervention this is it.

I showed Linzy to her room in the basement.  One more of the remodeling projects from the summer.  It wasn’t much but she loved it regardless.

Harper took right to Linzy as if they were old friends.

For the first time in a while I actually allowed myself to feel optimistic about the future.  Things could work out for us after all.

Chapter 3.29

Several months after Harper’s birth we were all chugging along as normal.  I headed over to Adam’s house for a much needed adult afternoon.  Nothing super special because my sister-in-law, Hannah was due to give birth any day now.

We had tea and chatted about my need for a bigger house and her need for a smaller belly.

“Why don’t you put in an offer on the house behind ours?  It’s right across the alley.  It would be perfect!”

“When did it go up for sale?!  Also, I have no money so that’s one reason…”

The conversation didn’t get any farther than that.  It was time to meet ADAM’S kid.  I didn’t have time to ponder the idea of my baby brother being a father.  Hannah needed a driver.

That evening Violet June Hanks happily joined our family.

The next morning I went over to check out the house.  Three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a huge backyard.  It was perfect for us.

How could I not love it?  How could I possibly afford it?

I knew what I had to do.  I took Olivia’s paintings to the consignment shop.  It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made but Liv would want her kids to grow up in a house and not a shithole apartment.

I may have tried to make money some other ways too.  I would get those kids a house by any means necessary.

Chapter 3.27

Before too long our tiny apartment became home.

Bug and Pickle made sure there was plenty to welcome Baby Peanut when she got here.

Early one morning in spring I woke up knowing it was time to bring Peanut into the world.  Despite never having birthed a baby something told me she was ready.

I got up and prepared breakfast before Bug went off to school.  Today was going to be as normal as possible regardless of fact that I was going to push a bowling ball out of my vagina in a few short hours.

The thought of what I was going to do was slightly shocking a bit painful to think about.  Dear God…I was going to be a mother.

The kids were oblivious to my peril (probably because there wasn’t any) but I still liked having them close.  Bug ran off to school without a look back  and I was left with Pickle.

We got in some good playtime before my contractions started.

“Are you ready to help with a baby?”

“I da baby.”

Just then I was hit by more than just a tiny contraction.

“Mama Peenee hurt?” The concern in my nephew’s voice hurt almost as much as the contractions.

“No, honey.  The baby just wants out.”

“Bad baby.  No hurt Peenee.”

I called the babysitter and told her to hurry.

I sat down on the couch but knew there wasn’t time for sitting.  I needed to get dressed.  Like hours ago.

I threw on some clothes and tried to be quite so I wouldn’t scare Pickle even more.

That plan failed.  The babysitter was still en route but there wasn’t time to wait.  I yelled across the hall for the neighbor to keep an ear out because I had to go.

I drove myself in spite of being in hard labor.  That’s just how I roll.

After 15 hours of labor Harper Gray Hanks came into the world.  She didn’t have an ounce of her father in her so I saw no need to tack on his name as a reminder.

It wasn’t long after I got home when it become painfully obvious that we were going to need a bigger place…soon.

Chapter 3.25

Note from SweetPoyzin:  Bad things come in threes…sorry again.

With all the shit happening in my life something was bound to break.  It was work.  I got sloppy on the job and  a patient died during a routine surgery.  I was put on leave and that’s when I made a decision.  I called Adam to tell him.

“The kids and I are leaving.”

“WHAT!?  Why!?  Just because someone died on your watch doesn’t mean you will lose your job.”

I sighed.  “I’ve already lost my job, Adam.”

I couldn’t even look him in the eye.  My little brother had stood by my side for years but this blind faith in me was too much.

“Stephen and I were having an affair.”

“YOUR BOSS!?  God damn it, Penelope.  Why can’t you stay out of trouble?”

“DON”T FUCKING JUDGE ME, ADAM!  In the past 3 months I have lost my twin, my marriage, and my job –”

“They were my family, too.”  He said quietly.

At that moment I realized I was not the only one still hurting.  I was just the only one handling it so poorly.

“Fuck.  You’re right.  At any rate I need a fresh start.  The kids and I are moving to Storybrook county…next week.”

“Fair enough.  I’ll pack my things.”

“Adam.  Don’t be ridiculous.  You just bought a house.”

“Yeah, well it looks like I’m selling it now.  We both know you need someone to keep you out of trouble.  And I need to be the fun uncle to these two monsters.  Sugar before bedtime and all that jazz.”

“Well…college?”

“Storybrook County is even closer to University.  I’ll live there while I attend classes.  Boom.  Next excuse?”

“Alright.  Pack your things.  You only have a week.”

And with that we were off to our next big adventure.

Chapter 3.22

Note from SweetPoyzin: Don’t hate me.

Xander and I had some things to think about after our dinner conversation.  I realized we should have had this chat earlier…like before the wedding.

Luckily I was able to convince him that maybe we should wait just a tad longer.  I told him I would consider having a baby after he got off the night shift.  I got too little sleep as it was.  I didn’t need less with him working all the time.

“So…now that we have that settled…how about the beach?”

I was planning on throughly enjoying the rest of this trip now that I didn’t have to worry about babies all the time.

However, my family had other plans.  My phone was ringing off the damn hook.  It was my mother.  Whatever she wanted could wait.  I was going to enjoy every second I had left of this trip.  I earned it!

I silenced my phone and forgot about bills, work, babies, and life.

I checked my phone after dinner and had 132 text messages and 57 voicemails.  After reading the text from Adam that said “Call Dad” I decided to respond so I could get some peace.  Dad answered on the first ring.

“CHRIST, PENNY!  Thank God you are ok!”

“Of course I am, Daddy.  I am on my honeymoon.  Forgive me for shutting the world out for a few days.”

“I know, honey.  I’m really sorry about interrupting your trip honey, but you need to come home.  Now.”

I silently rolled my eyes at him.  He’d better have a damn good reason for asking me to come home.  Xander and I waited nearly a year for this trip.

“Well.  Xander and I still have a week left in paradise.  We will be home next Friday so we will see you then.”

“Now, Penny.  Tomorrow.”

“Ugh, Daddy.  You’re being too dramatic.  What’s got your feathers ruffled?   Who died.”  I rolled my eyes again and went to hang up the phone when dad responded.

“Olivia.  Olivia’s dead.”

Chapter 3.21

Nearly a year after the wedding we finally got our honeymoon!

Xander and I decided to travel to Sunlit Tides.  He really tried to convince me that France was the way to go but in light of my past I felt that France and my husband should not meet.

We got a suite in an amazing resort right on the ocean.  Contrary to most newlyweds we weren’t planning on spending the whole trip in our room.  In fact, we spent only a few hours a day together each day.

Xander was totally obsessed with learning how to surf.  He tried windsurfing, regular surfing.  He practiced on the ocean and in the pool.  It was funny because it was all he talked about even though he wasn’t very good at it yet.

I, on the other hand, was eager to learn how to snorkel.  I remember the seashells mom collected when I was a kid but Starlight Shores had limited sea life.  There was a bounty of underwater critters here and they even offered lessons on how to snorkel (the hotel, not the critters).  I jumped at the chance when the concierge asked if I wanted to sign up with their trainer.

We did manage to spend some time together.  One evening Xander rented a boat and we went on our own mini sunset cruise.  We had heard rumors of secret islands but we didn’t find any.  We also didn’t see the Kraken that the front desk attendant warned us about.  Old wives’ tale to scare the tourists and drum up business I’m sure.

I also challenged Xander to a fishing showdown.  We are both master anglers but I convinced him I am the better fisherwoman.  Xander took the bait (pun intended) and learned not to question his wife when she tells you she is better at something.

Our hotel had a sushi buffet and Xander and I were not about to pass that shizz up.  We headed over and got our noms and sat down near the pool when Xander started on about “it” again.

“What if we went home with a permanent souvenir of our honeymoon?”  I looked over at him and noticed the goofy grin on his face.

“Oh.  You mean like a parrot, right?”  I asked nervously.  I hadn’t been taking my regular birth control for a couple of weeks now but I may have slipped a morning after pill in there a couple times.  This conversation couldn’t go anywhere good.

He cleared his throat.  “I was thinking more along the lines of a baby.  You know I want a family, Pens.”

I realized then that we had never discussed when or if we wanted kids.  I wasn’t sure what to say because I still wasn’t up for the whole baby thing.  I didn’t want kids now.  I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to be a mother.

So I said the first thing that popped into my head…

“Could you pass the salt?”

Chapter 3.20

Suddenly winter turned to spring and summer was nearly upon us.  I started working in the garden again and Adam prepared for graduation.

Xander rocked the upgrades and gave the entire house a boost.

Adam was also making a bit of a name for himself as a writer.  He had moved past comic books and into novels.  He was bringing in nearly as much money as I was…only it took me an entire week and he got it done in one day.  He’s doing it right.

I prepped for Adam’s birthday and went on a gift spending spree.  I snagged him a guitar and a laptop.

Xander remembered how often his own laptop died in college and so he upgraded Adam’s to be unbreakable.

Oh…I may have gotten him the car he wanted, too.

Then it was time for the party.  I used my new oven to make the cake.  I am really becoming a little…obsessed.

We set up the table with all of Adam’s awards.  He won something in every club and prom king.  He’s going places.  At least, he better be after all this time I put into him!

Everybody showed up.  Well, everyone but mom and dad.  The baby was sick so they had to miss out.

Adam was more or less amused by the party antics.  He just wanted to be done with the mess.

Before too long…

…he was done.  My baby brother was an adult.

Adam took his college entrance exams and all his planning paid off.  He ended up getting scholarships in whatever degree he wanted.  Now all he had to do was choose one.

“Fine arts.”  He announced on graduation day.  “Or communications.  One of those.  Yep.”

“Good choice, kiddo.  One of those…yep.”  I wasn’t too worried.  Adam has always had a good head on his shoulders so I had no doubt he would settle on something eventually.

Xander and I got to the ceremony early.  We were loitering when we saw  him.

“I have arrived.  Yes, yes, thank you.  I know I am amazing.”

“Oh, Christ.  Get in there and graduate you dumbass,”  I said as I rolled my eyes.

Adam was named Valedictorian and Most likely to have five kids.  Good luck to him if that is true!

“Bow down to my awesomeness, Penelope.  I am BOOMSAUCE!”

Despite having no idea how long his god-like mindset was going to last I was mostly just glad that I had raised a successful, college bound graduate regardless of my own faults.

My prayers of gratitude were interrupted.

“So…we’re down a kid and that one wasn’t even ours.”

“HA!  I have to change.”  I had a vague idea of what Xander was getting at but I just didn’t want to go there today.

“Penny?  Let’s have a baby.”

There it was.  We had been dancing around it for months.  Here we were, nearly one year married and child-free.  I liked it.  It was good.  Why mess that up with a kid?

“Erm…what?”  Smooth, Penny, I thought to myself.

“Yeah, baby.  You’ll be a wonderful mother.  Look how well you did with Adam!  If we had one of our own you would be just as awesome if not more!”

“Oh, yeah.  Well, I guess.”  He wanted this so badly.  I’m sure he was right that I’d be a great mother.

“So…let’s throw caution to the wind?  Toss the pills and stuff, yeah?”

“Yeah, yeah ok,” I said with less reluctance that I expected.

What had I gotten myself into now?

Chapter 3.19

Christmas came to Starlight Shores before I had time to blink.

Of course, this meant that I got to buy new furniture and rearrange the house again which is my favorite part of the holidays!

Adam’s favorite part is the break, of course.  He took time to sleep in and be a bum.

I was hosting the big Snowflake Day party (ugh) but that morning I had other plans with my favorite folks.  Liv, Bug, Pickle, and I were off to the Winter Festival.

Having never seen so much snow before, Bug and I took to the fields to make the biggest snowman ever.

“Hey wait here, Aunt Penny…I’m going to go get us some stuff to make his face!”

10 minutes later Bug was still missing and I had to go on a Bug hunt.

“AUNTIE PEEEEEPEEEEE!”

“NANNY NANNY FOO FOO!  YOU CAN’T HIT ME!”  Bug had wandered over to the snowball fight arena and was attempting (poorly) to challenge me.

“Oh yeah?!  I dare you to hit ME!” I taunted back.  “Come join us, sis!” I yelled toward Liv.

“No…I think I’m good over here with Dylan….you know, where you can’t kill me.”

I might have been a bit rough on Bug…

I won, of course.  I’m not about to let a kid beat me even if she is my favorite kid!

I got her some goodies with the tickets I won so it all evened out in the end.

Mike came and grabbed the kids so Liv and I could have some “grown up” fun in the snow.  Unfortunately it all ended way too soon and I had to get to the party planning.

Luck for me,  Adam was way ahead of the game because I completely forgot to make the roast.

Luckily for everyone else his cooking has really improved!

Xander, was the problem chef tonight.  He started cooking steaks but then got called into work and left.  This did not end well.

I got home just in time to deal with the mess.

“Remind me to kill him later, Adam”

“Only after I kill him first, Penn.”

Sounded like a plan to me.

Adam also ended up putting the lights on the house and a snowman in the yard.  He’s going to make some woman seriously happy one day.  One day soon in fact…the boy is nearly a man.  Sheesh!

I put the prizes from the fair until the tree for Bug and Pickle.  I wasn’t leaving that little booger out of the fun!

Everyone brought gifts to the party as is tradition.

I wanted to wear an awesome Christmas sweater set I bought (I got one for Xander too) but after the fire I forgot to change.  Next year there will be payback.

Everyone loved their gifts.

I tried to make the roast quickly before dinner but roasts are not a quick thing.

Mom saved the day with lobsters.  No complaints here!

Aunt Lanya and Mom cleaned up which was the best Christmas gift EVER

Chapter 3.18

Being down one child has its perks!  With Katie in school and Dylan in half day preschool Liv was able to spend more time over at our place these days.

Adam would join us in the garden to paint on his days off.

He is really stepping up his game with college looming.  I suspect it has something to do with the car he wants for his graduation.  He’s been going around town snagging gems for my collection.

It was the weirdest thing that gem collection.  One day it just vanished while I was at work.  Xander had no idea what happened even though his butt is home all day.  Men are so unobservant.  Nonetheless Adam is helping me build it up again.

He’s also helping out around the house a ridiculous amount.  I mean, he was helpful before but now it’s just silly.

He even fixed the washing machine and the kid has no handiness skill.

It’d be nice if he’d clean a toilet or two but I suppose that it just too helpful.

The day of the annual Feast Party arrived and I set my team to work.  Xander was on yard duty.

I cooked my butt off in the kitchen.

And did some meager decorating.  My mother is the party lady at our house.  I just look silly.

We were way behind on our party planning this year which meant that I forgot the most important part…pumpkins.  Adam had the fun job of heading to the festival grounds for those.

We did our family duty of carving Jack-o-laterns together in the backyard.

Adam and Xander’s pumpkins got a place of honor on the front walk.

We hid mine in a corner of the dining room and hoped nobody would notice.

Just before the guests were due to arrive the doorbell rang and this little monster was waiting.

“Are you coming back for the party later, Bug?” I asked.

She rolled her eyes at me, “Not as long as there are houses with candy, Aunt Penny.  Bye!”

Granny and Gramps ganged up on Xander during the party.  Apparently there was some rumor about Xander being a crime boss in Starlight Shores and they wanted to get to the bottom of it.  He reminded them that his dad was a top DNA profiler for the CIA so if anyone was a crime boss it was not going to be himself.

Mom and Adam caught up a bit.  Mom was still a bit crabby about Adam running off to live with me when she had two babies she needed help caring for at home.  I sided with Adam that it’s not really his job to care for her kids.  That did not go over so well…

Dad regaled us all with his new guitar songs.  Liv chimed in on piano and Granny played the drums.  We’re a hot mess.

Adam’s girlfriend Rory sat on the computer all night.  She’s an odd duck.

The worst part about these damn parties is the clean up.  I don’t know why nobody stays to help.

The best part is drinking the left over wine.  No complaints about that one.

It was 5am before we got bed.  Never again.