An Open Letter to a Certain Type of Frankensteiners:

(if you're not deep into The Sims 2, this post is irrelevant. Skip it and forgive me for being such a rabid gamergirl.)

Now, this is not actually about simpose versus frankensteining. It's more pointedly about the PEOPLE, those provincial simmers who insist on saying one method is superior, more acceptable, more *noble* a pursuit of simmy-happiness than the other. And while all the people I've personally encountered who push for the purity of one and the unacceptability of the other are frankensteiners, I'm by no means speaking about all frankensteiners or on behalf of all simposers. (remember kids: all generalizations are false, including this one. =P) And by "certain" frankensteiners, I also am referring to that TYPE of person, and not to any specific individuals. (Srsly.)


You see, I'm fairly talented in photoshop. I'm not what I'd call an advanced user (layer masks still confuse me) but I'm a highly competent intermediate. I can smooth limbs into each other seamlessly, make sure all lighting is even and coming from the right directions, edit expressions, slap on a different head and actually make the neck look nice in the process, etc.... I even have a good working knowledge of all the different animations and how they affect sim's bodies. In short, I have all the *technical* skills necessary to be on my merry way to franking heaven.

But I just can't do it. I cannot go into my game and take several different screenshots of various bits and bobs of my sim's anatomy and join them together into a wonderful or even mediocre pose.Now, usually when I say this to someone, they inevitably reply back with "Oh, but Janelle! It's hard for everyone at first, you just have to keep trying and learning. It'll get easier."

This response, after the 25th repetition, is starting to grate a little. I'm... getting... annoyed. I do not half-ass things, and I've not put only a little effort and time into the pursuit of franking, I've put a lot. But here are my problems more specifically: I don't have a definitely pose in mind before I enter my game. Sometimes I'll have a vague idea of what I want for that round, but more often, I let the pose I find ingame (ya know, without franking or simposing-- i.e. the most pure of all so if you wanna argue about what's acceptable or not, I have ALL of you beat.. now shaddup. =P) determine the specifics of my picture. And going ingame to take photos of a thousand different ankle positions so I can finally make up my mind as to what kind of pose I want in the end-- doesn't make sense. Most importantly, I can't mentally divide up the pose I'm picturing into the requisite bodyparts necessary to actualize it. I can see the final pose in someone else's work, and immediately recognize that they got the arm from this animation and the legs from that static pose, etc. But I can't do it the other way 'round. I cannot. No. Not gonna happen. My brain just..can't do it.

Simply put, my creative process does not operate in a way that would allow me to create frankensteined poses. So one day I learned simpose. (I have sipped of that dark dark wine and now there is no hope for my soul.) And I found that I spent more time and effort on one simple simposed pic than I did on my most complicated frankensteined pic before I gave that method up for lost. But I discovered that I enjoyed the hard but fruitful work of simpose; that I could express myself and my sims in new ways. I finally felt what it was like to create a pose that was totally and completely mine from the nose to the toes, one that took a LOT of time and effort to get right. I imagine it feels a lot like when a great frankensteiner has just finished a kickass franked pose that they know is gonna blow people away. But I wouldn't know. And yes, it might be easier to churn out a crappy simposed picture than a crappy frankensteined one, but a really great picture in either medium takes a lot of care, and to say that one is easier than the other is saying that you are the ultimate authority on what's easy and hard. Whatever you find it to be is what it is, period. Simpose is easier because you find it easier, and not because different people have different abilities. No, that couldn't possibly be it. Whut dew yew meen, das my ohpinyawn? MY OHPINYAWNZ R DA ULTIMATE TRUTH!!!1~1!.

And thus my ultimate points- When you, dear arrogant frankensteiner, say that your method is better, should be more respected, is harder, etc.. you are saying that everyone else must create in the same method as you. You are saying, whether you realize it or not, that there is only one acceptable method of expressing artistic desires through the sims, and other ways of reaching that end are unacceptable. If my creative process does not operate in a way that allows me to frankestein beautiful poses, then you essentially want me to take my ball and go home, because the way I do my art is somehow less valid, important, less *artistic* than you and yours.

If you feel it's sad to see how many people are using simpose these days, I say this: I remember when people were saying how sad it was to see people using photoshop to cut their sims up into tiny pieces to make them appear to be doing things/in positions not available in the game. I remember when many contests forbade frankensteining because while some simmers loved it, many many others thought it was a perversion of the game. You know, the game? The thing that brought us together in the first place?

And when you say that you should be more "respected" because of your method, I just have to laugh, sorry. You should do this because you love it, because you're bored, or because you want to improve certain skills and learn others. Because it's the closest you can get to the type of modeling/art/design you can get right now. There are a billion other great reasons. But doing ANYTHING in the sims world just -or even mainly- for the respect of the 'community' is bullshit. People shouldn't respect you for your work, they should respect your work. We have all different skill levels here in this vast sims world, and I'd rather interact with many pleasant, clueless newbies than even one primadonna of mild to moderate acclaim. They should respect you for what you bring to the community table- advice, humor, a kind word of encouragement to those below you in skills and experience, honest critique, tension diffusing comments at the right moment...etcetera. That's what should earn people respect here, not how many comments and boob notes they have on flickr. That's not how anyone should measure their contributions to the simming world.

When you're this narrow-minded and arrogant about something meant to be a GAME and a fun HOBBY, then I cannot imagine how you view people of a different gender, skincolor, religious background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. Is that a stretch? Possibly. But people who look at two different things and immediately have to classify one as superior to the other, more acceptable,and the other as less acceptable instead of just DIFFERENT... that scares me, in whatever context it's found. Why must you impose a hierarchy? Other than the obvious reason of making sure whatever category you're in is at the top. So please, please, stop acting so butthurt that your frankentsteiny ways aren't the only ways, stop being divisive in a situation already too divided to be truly called a "community" and how about bringing some positivity into the lives of those of us who are striving to make art with our sims instead of judging how we achieve that goal?

And as always, feel free to disagree. But back your words up with examples, logic, experience. I may be totally off-base. And I'm open to new ways of viewing any situation. I'm ready to learn, experience, and whenever necessary, to apologize with sincerity and honesty and a total lack of foolhardy pride. As someone who is raging against the overinflated egos festering in the sims community, it would be hypocritical of me to be or do otherwise.

I hope this has clarified something for those who read it. You don't have to agree, not by a long shot, but if this post has even made you rethink your own feelings for just a moment or two, or gain even a little more understanding about another point of view, I've succeeded in my goal.

And thank you to the frankensteiners and simposers who do what they love because they love it, and don't try to force their preferences onto others as being either superior or as the only acceptable way. You have your preferences, you often share them with others but don't ever disparage people who choose differently than what you'd prefer. You guys rock.

6 comments

  1. testing

  2. LOL! That's a long post! My eyes dried up halfway down! Anyway, preach it gurrl!!! You know what makes this post more amazing?? The fact that you don't try to impress the readers or cry out for attention. You just tell it like it is and wash your hands of it! As you know, J.Fiz is a hardcore franker, but I love the way Janizzle can simpose. I am still in Awe over TJ's immense article!!!! You are going to be one of the greatest simposers around. Just watch and see!!! And when tha day comes, J.fiz will be there fondling and cheering you on!!!

  3. thank you jazzy my love! *glomps*


    lol. if there's anything you don't have to worry about, it's me impressing readers. =P

  4. Oh hai ninjanelle,Jadeness here =3
    First off,i absolutely adore your wiriting.In fact, i do believe i have a sort of fetish towards it *fondles letters on screen o.O*
    Moving on,i loved this entry for a ridicolous amount of reasons,which i will not state here.I'll just express what i always felt about this frankensteiners vs simposers
    I personally prefer franking.Not that i'm exceptionally good at it,but seeing i absolutely have no clue about any artistic stuff whatsoever(besides being a great fan of every type of art,but that doesn't count sadly),i prefer sticking with the thing i'm more confortable with:the game itself.
    Going in game,messing around to find different parts to piece toghether.IT'S HARD,i won't say it's not.But i have absolutely NO TALENT in moving slides and shading,because i suck at proportions and PATIENCE!OMG i just don't have it !
    D:
    I'm not the biggest fan of simpose out there,that's true,but i recognize when someone can use it.And do exceptionally at it.
    And honestly,with all the awesome simposers in this community(and you being one of them,,liek omg those immense pics O_O*hyperventilates and faints*)i find it just ridicolous when people say FRANKENSTEINING is better cause it takes more time.And that is more respectable...
    ?????
    I think it's really stupid to say that.And i find it rather amusing when the very same people comment on flickr on how awesome one pic is...without realising...
    IT'S SIMPOSED.
    HA.

  5. Jadeness! Thank you, that was more good info about people's preferences for one or the other. Thanks for taking the time to read my novel-length post too. >.<

  6. You put it way better than I ever could have (and maybe a bit harsher than I'd have had the guts to, at that)... but yes. I think what lots of people on EITHER side fail to acknowledge is that so long as the FINISHED PRODUCT looks nice and not like a the Sim was in a train wreck ('cause let's face it, we've seen disastrous Frankensteins AND Simposes before!) then really, who cares? Both methods should be accepted.

    And to all you fussy 'Steiners out there!! You can 'Stein as much as you like, but don't ever let me hear the argument that Simpose shouldn't be allowed since it's a "program outside the game"! And if you do, well THROW OUT YOUR FUCKING COPY OF PHOTOSHOP. It's all just tools used to help reach a pretty end, and I say more power to those willing to TRY NEW THINGS.

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