Remembering the Creepy Corrupted Doll That Destroyed Hundreds of Sims 3 Games

The doll in question is said to haunt Sims packages and spread from computer to computer.


If there’s one thing that hurts the very soul of someone who plays video games, it’s a corrupted save file. Hours – or even days – of work and it all falls apart in minutes. It’s one of the most devastating things that can happen to your game.

Back in 2010, at the height of the hubbub of The Sims 3, there was a secret virus, spreading from player to player, corrupting save files and destroying countless in-game heirlooms without even appearing on the screen. screen. It plagued people’s games, creating extreme lags and unplayable lots.

And it came in the form of a scary and haunted doll.

At that time, The Sims was – and continues to be – a haven for the modding community. From its earliest iterations, modders would create in-game items, clothing, traits, and more. Upon creation, they would be uploaded to popular modding download websites such as ModTheSims, The Sims Resource, and The Sims Exchange. The latter, however, was known to be a little less reliable – and this is where the doll first appeared.

The doll started out as a piece of custom content called Girl Doll Dressed, cloned from the game’s teddy bear and designed to make it look like toddlers were playing with realistic dolls. It was uploaded to Exchange as exciting content from a reputable creator and was quickly downloaded by avid gamers.

Unfortunately, however, the original file was faulty and would therefore “infect” the games it was downloaded into. The creator who unknowingly released the doll didn’t realize it was corrupted until two months after uploading. But by this point, the doll had spread across dozens of games.

From lag to corrupted save files to game crashes, the doll was inadvertently responsible for countless hours of lost gameplay. To make matters worse, the file itself was not visible either on the Mods screen or in the game’s download folder. Removing it was a challenge.

Over time, the doll virus spread. Any bundles or packages downloaded from games where the doll was present would end up being downloaded with doll attached. There was no escaping it – subsequent downloads of “infected” packages would spread the doll even further.

Eventually, the tide of this corrupt doll grew so strong that EA itself had to step in. Modders and devs have been working to find a solution, with modder Glitzangel eventually discovering a way to erase the doll’s existence from the game.

Popular Sims YouTuber Jesse McNamara – known online as Plumbella – recently posted a video about it as part of its “The Whole History Of” series, telling stories from the early days of The Sims and explaining the history of the game.

She states in the video: “An invisible virus that would break the game by attaching itself to custom content randomly and you have no control over whether you download it or not? I’m not surprised that it turned into a bit of a moral panic.”

Following the Corrupted Doll incident, players became much more savvy when it came to the custom content they chose to download. And of course, the incident would have been much less scary if it hadn’t taken the form of a haunted doll.

But The Sims has always been about the paranormal, and with Halloween fast approaching, it’s worth remembering one of gaming’s biggest and scariest modding scandals – and don’t forget to always check your mods.

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