I can’t stop thinking about the scariest object in The Sims
The Sims has always had an incredibly active creative community since its debut, with players creating and sharing awesome Sims and builds as well as their own content for others to download. This content covers everything from custom traits for Sims to new items and gameplay elements. In 2010, the custom content exchange came to an abrupt halt as the community was gripped by fear of an article that was wreaking havoc in the community: Girl Doll Dressed.
For Sims 3 players, a great source for personalized content was a place called The Exchange. While other independent custom content and modding sites were also popular, this was the official EA-affiliated site for creators, where players could upload clothing, items, and entire bundles and families for download by other players. Players could download homes and Sims that used custom content furniture and clothing, and instead had the CC disappear if not owned by the downloader – as is the case with the current The Sims 4 Gallery – everything would be bundled into one download. It was a bit of a double-edged sword – it allowed sims players to acquire cool custom content included in bundles and households without having to research each individual item themselves, but it also meant players could download potentially broken items that could negatively affect their gameplay.
Personalized content for The Sims 3 could be installed through the game’s launcher, and could also be managed there, as it would list all installed content and allow players to remove or uninstall it. However, this did not remove all traces of the content, as a copy of it would still appear in a game folder titled DCBackup with a numerical name, making it difficult to tell which file was associated with which custom content. When players exported a lot or Sim to The Exchange, some downloads in the DCBackup folder – even if they weren’t used in the build or had been deleted in the launcher – would sometimes get wrapped up in the export.
A presentation video by sims YouTuber Plumbella places the start of the outbreak in June 2010, with the creation of what would end up being one of the most chaotic sims objects of all times: Girl Doll Dressed. The custom content was a revamped version of the game’s Teddybear element, which somewhere in its design got corrupted. The simple toddler toy was first uploaded to The Sims Resource site by a reputable and reputable creator, and would soon infect countless games.
The corrupt item quickly became a problem for players other than those who downloaded the doll directly from The Sims Resource. Due to the way The Exchange bundled custom content, combined with the DCBackup folder’s propensity to link unrelated files to exports, Girl Doll Dressed spread like wildfire. Anything uploaded to The Exchange by an infected player would have the item attached invisibly, spreading to everyone who downloaded it and forming an endless nightmarish cycle where Girl Doll Dressed attached herself to exponential numbers downloads over time.
While almost all sims players have encountered bugs and issues at some point in their history with the series, those caused by Girl Doll Dressed were extreme. Players have reported game breaking issues, with everything from corrupted save files to game crashes resulting from the item. Girl Doll Dressed even made it virtually impossible for some players to place any other custom content into their game once it had been downloaded, as the corrupted nature of the item would clash with other downloads and would make the game extremely slow .
A lot of The Sims 3 The community quickly began to feel like they were living in a real-life horror movie, haunted by the cliché of a children’s doll that no one was seemingly immune to. The paranoia started to spread Sims 3 forums, with users frantically warning others that more and more sims players were terrorized by the bugs. Player glitzyangel is famous for finding a method to eradicate Girl Doll Dressed entirely with a Blogspot post titled “CREEPY DOLL – who or what are you???which described the issue and how to completely remove the item from the many different folders it may appear in.
The outbreak has become so widespread that users have started including both a warning and a link to Glitzyangel’s patch as their forum signature. The urgently worded public service announcement aimed to stop the spread of Girl Doll Dressed in its tracks, with the all caps tagline “LET’S MAKE THE EXCHANGE DOLL FREE!!!“The problem was so widespread that a member of the sims team, SimGuruHydra, has released an official message on the Sims 3 forum talking about it, talking about the severity of Girl Doll Dressed – EA had never made a specific comment sims custom content or mods in the series story. The message called out the item by name, reiterated removal instructions and thanked Simmers for supporting each other as the team sought a more permanent solution to corrupt files on The Exchange.
The Girl Doll Dressed incident is by far one of the weirdest and scariest things to ever happen. The Sims community. That an insidious file took the form of a child’s doll sounds like urban legend and somehow still happens as if it were a gamer. Many sims fans who didn’t play with mods at the time of the outbreak are unaware of the widespread panic that has occurred, and nothing of a similar severity has happened with custom content or mods from. Oddly enough, in the current generation of the game, serious issues – like the recent The Sims 4 increased aging speed bug – comes from official The Sims 4 updates instead of independent creators. The Sims The series has gone through many evolutions and has had many memorable moments in its history since its debut, but Girl Doll Dressed is undoubtedly one of the hardest to forget.
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Source: glitzyangel/Blogspot, Plumbella/YouTube, SimGuruHydra/Sims Forum