Content creators are repeating homelessness in ‘The Sims’

For content creators Like Jack Letter, YouTube can be a kind of rag-to-reach story. Letter, who has been creating content since 2011 and has more than 20 million followers across the platform, told Wired that he was almost homeless around 2011. At the time, Letter was working full-time as a Mill Right trainee, pulling double duty and doing YouTube content full-time on the sidelines. Suddenly, he said, he took out loans to buy a car and equipment for his job right after he fired everyone for the company he worked for. As a result, he paid large sums of money for equipment he could not use, which quickly depleted his savings.

Looking for a job despite his best efforts, within three months he broke down. “I was scared. Every night I would go to bed after working all day on YouTube, just praying that something would get in my way,” the letter says. Then, his YouTube channel began to gain popularity and generate a modest income. It arrived just in time, according to the letter, since he estimated he was about five days away from being homeless, with only $ 8 in his name. The ads that his YouTube channel earned – which was 800 80,000 per month – helped keep him from going bankrupt. That point for the letter, who considers himself lucky.

In December 2017, Letter took a player-made part Sims 4 Challenge on YouTube. The Manicure Challenge of the “Homeless” or “Rugsag-to-Reaches” challenge sees players wear their Sims characters so that they become homeless and then set off to earn 5,000 Simolion একটি a modest multiroom house to make enough money for the game – without shelter or employment. , According to the Challenge Community Page.

The letter said such challenges are fun “because it relates to a life that many, including me, have experienced. So try to see how much you can live it gives you hope in your life.”

At war with algorithms

The homeless challenge is one of many created by players. Others range from the birth of a female sim to the birth of 100 children by 100 different partners to the creation of evolution and play as a princess. The challenges remain on a popular core basis Sims YouTube community. Games can be repetitive and annoying for those who play often, such as content creators, unless new content is added or a community-developed mode is released. The so-called gameplay challenge lets players and creators get it done.

Tom, Known to its millions of subscribers and followers as “TheSpiffingBrit”, explains that the challenges allow producers to come up with a powerful and unique video concept to entice potential viewers. Tom cites YouTube as a contributing factor to the challenge of culture, as its algorithm encourages growing creators to grow and grow with increasingly bizarre video ideas and endless arms races for challenge. YouTube sees more than 500 hours of content uploaded every minute – and viewers watch more than a billion hours every day. Controversial challenges in nature are more influential “as listeners become stunned and curious”, resulting in higher clickthrough rates because potential viewers want to know more, Tom said. Click rate and audience retention are especially important for creators, as they run content monetization.

(YouTube did not respond to a request for comment or provide statistics on how many “ragged-to-reach” videos have been uploaded and how many people watched them at the time of publication.)

Gaming and homelessness

Video games, by their very nature, cannot fully and accurately mimic the reality of homelessness, such as the threat of violence from other people who are homeless, harassment by law enforcement, helpless shelters, and hostile architecture.

More than 57,000 people in the United States are homeless, according to a January 2020 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The report predicts a coronavirus epidemic, which has led to an increase in homelessness. In 2020, a study by Brendon O’Flaherty, a professor of economics at Columbia University, estimated that the coronavirus could increase the number of homeless people in the United States by 455 percent. Under normal circumstances, there are not enough shelter beds to accommodate the number of homeless, especially the new flows given the epidemic protection protocol. Those who are homeless often lack access to medical care, significant health problems and an increased risk of preventable death.

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