It’s time once again to engage in wild, unfounded speculation! How cool would it be to have a Breaking Bad themed storyline in TSTO? Come on, let’s dream about it together!
On April 14, 2013, The Simpsons aired a couch gag that parodied AMC’s Breaking Bad drama. The gag featured an unhappy Marge cooking blue cupcakes and putting stacks of $50.00 on the dining room table (for a total of roughly $1,400.00). Though hardly big money, Homer played the role of Heisenberg in the gag, ensuring that his cupcake empire was running smoothly. Bart also helps traffic the cupcakes. The gag ends with the real actors from Breaking Bad watching The Simpsons on their couch.
It’s a cool gag, as you can see from this video. Could it be a prelude to a storyline in TSTO? Why not?! Click the read more link for some speculation on what a Breaking Bad storyline in TSTO might look like!
The Simpsons have a global fan base that spans generations. According to Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, there are fans of the show all over the world, from Europe to the Middle East and everywhere else. When the show first aired, there were Black-Bart T-shirts, indicating that the show is, can, and should be “co-opted” by different groups whether majority or minority status in society. Gender studies scholars have also taken a keen interest in the show. In my view, the Simpsons is for everyone. It’s a wonderfully universal show with low and high humor that seemingly all ordinary, reasonable, and prudent humans can enjoy!
But what about differences of age and The Simpsons? It is one thing for different countries, nationalities, ethnicities/races, religions, genders, and other group identities to find The Simpsons appealing or provocative, but a global community of one generation is a different kind of universality than a global community of fans from different generations.
I’m curious to know the range of ages that are part of this delightful TSTOgame community. Take the poll and let us know if you came of age (turned 18 years old) before the show existed (before the early 1980s); in the 1990s, with the show fighting to establish itself (against the Cosby Show…remember that Thursday night “feud”?); in the 2000s, when the show became a part of the establishment; or, now, in the 2010s, when the show has matured into its Autumn years.
Put differently, how old are you?! (Hey, if EA gets to ask, then so can we!) Take the anonymous poll and let’s see who we are all virtually hanging out with here, generationally speaking! My guess is that we have a wide variety of friends in the TSTOgame community!
The Level 39 Update included some new items for Krustyland: Edgy Duff Topiary, Remorseful Duff Topiary, Dizzy Duff Topiary, Tipsy Duff Topiary, Surly Duff Topiary, Queasy Duff Topiary, Sleazy Duff Topiary (pictured), and Bumblebee Man’s Tacos.
Like much of what we see in Krustyland (check out the video below), these new items are reflective of what can be seen at “Springfield” in Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, USA. The Tunnel of Love (for those who “earned” it during Valentine’s Day 2014) was the last new item for the Krustyland expansion in TSTO, which some players have reportedly “abandoned” due to a lack of new storylines and updates.
Click the read more link to see a video of the real-life Duffs and Bumblebee Man’s Tacos in action, and let us know what you did with these new decorations in Krustyland!
On April 10, 2013, TSTO released the Whacking Day event! It was a glorious springtime event that included snake hunting and a range of incredible prizes, including Fort Sensible, Duff Stadium, Bare Chested Willie, the Springfield Coliseum with Dederick Tatum, and the Sleep-Eazy Motel with Miss Springfield. Premium items included a range of Practice Snakes, Snake Rocks, Snake Speakers, and the Ninja Homer costume. Will EA release Whacking Day in 2014?
I sure hope we see Whacking Day 2014! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Whacking Day are what I would call significant TSTO events, and with the exception of Whacking Day (because it’s too soon to tell), they have all happened annually. The Whacking Day event in TSTO is an homage to the Whacking Day episode from Season 4, Episode 20. It originally aired on April 29, 1993. Take the poll and let us know how you feel about Whacking Day, then click the read more link for more on this fun (bizarre) Springfield tradition!
When The Simpsons first aired in the early 1990s, it’s hard to overestimate the show’s impact on popular culture. Kids were suspended from school for wearing Bart Simpson T-shirts. “Underachiever and proud of it!” T-shirts! “Don’t Have a Cow, Man!” T-shirts! How ironic! In 1992, the President of the United States of America (George H.W. Bush) told an audience of conservative religious leaders that the show was immoral: “we need a nation closer to ‘The Waltons’ than ‘The Simpsons,’ an America that rejects the incivility, the tide of incivility, and the tide of intolerance.” How did the show respond? For that and more on some of the political messages in the TV show and in TSTO, click the read more link.
The “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee” episode last night included an interesting bit of The Simpsons trivia for those who watch the show very, very closely. If you saw the school newspaper sight gag in the episode, it featured the headline: “Lunchlady Dora Calls for Calm.”
What’s funny about this is that the character used to be called, “Lunchlady Doris.” Why the name change? According to Michael Price, the show calls her “Dora now out of respect for Doris [Grau] who was the show’s script supervisor in the early days.” Doris Grau was the original voice of Lunchlady Doris. Doris Grau passed away in 1995. Since then the show has only used the character in the background, until Season 18 when Tress MacNeille came to do her voice.
In honor of the change in voice acting and to honor the past, the show now calls the character “Dora.” Michael Price says, “It’s possible we could do a story explaining Dora’s provenance at some point!” Though there are apparently no plans to do so at the moment. Might I suggest TSTO as the place to give that background story? How many of you would like to see Lunchlady Dora in the game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Football (soccer) lovers rejoice! Tonight The Simpsons are airing the 16th episode of Season 25 and it’s about the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil!
The plot is about Homer and the family traveling to Brazil. Homer is recruited to be a referee in the World Cup where he faces a dangerous foe: South American gangsters who try to force Homer to fix a match. This is reportedly part of an effort to brand The Simpsons and Fox with some famous teams, including FC Barcelona. The global brand that is The Simpsons has now conquered the world’s most popular sport!
Happy tapping everyone! Many of you are no doubt working your way through the Level 39 update. This is just a quick note to let you know that Pokey is still available for a limited time. If you want Lisa’s pet guinea pig, then now is the time to act. Soon this cute little pet will be gone!
If you do get Pokey, you will be treated to a fun little jumping animation and some squeaky sounds. Pokey is very cute, but also very small. Like the other pets in the game, there is no bonus money or XP, just a cute little NPC to roam your town and respond to you when you want some good cheer. Interesting fact: If your friends have Pokey in their towns, you can hear the squeaking sounds; however, the jumping animation does not happen in your friends’ towns. Pokey is only willing to dance for the one who paid the donuts. What a clever Peruvian delicacy!
The Level 39 update includes a new premium item: Shiva Statue. This provides a 2.00% bonus to money and XP to all jobs. It costs 40 donuts, and has no animations.
According to a CERN Publication (2014), “In the Hindu religion, this form of the dancing Lord Shiva is known as the Nataraj and symbolizes Shakti, or life force…the belief is that Lord Shiva danced the Universe into existence, motivates it, and will eventually extinguish it. Carl Sagan drew the metaphor between the cosmic dance of the Nataraj and the modern study of the ‘cosmic dance’ of subatomic particles.”
I understand this is a mixing of things, but in my town I placed the Shiva Statue by the Springfield Buddhist Temple, which is across the street from the First Church of Springfield. I have a cosmopolitan town when it comes to places of worship! However that may be, click the read more link for some pros and cons on the Shiva Statue.
One of the cool things about TSTO is that it gives everyone the same sandbox to play in, yet there is so much room for creativity that seemingly no two players’ Springfields are exactly the same. Every gamer is like a snowflake—i.e., different from every other gamer!
A difference is not a deficiency per se, of course, but differences are interesting to examine. In that spirit, one interesting difference between players’ towns is whether to build 2D art or not. By 2D art, I mean arrangements within TSTO that make it seem like there is a 3D effect going on. For example, this is from my Springfield:
Here is another cool (better!) example from a regular commenter on this site (you know who you are!):
And one more from the same commenter:
To me, 2D art is cool and intriguing (it reminds me of Escher’s work); though, I want it in moderation. I personally do not want 2D art everywhere in my town (full disclosure, I don’t feel very confident building 2D art, which might impact my view on it). How do you feel about 2D art? Do you have 2D spaces in your town, and do you like to see it in your neighbors’ towns? Do you consider yourself to be skilled in the art of 2D art? Let us know your feelings on 2D designs in TSTO in the comments!