Twitch chat is, at this point, infamous for being a place where you’ll see emote spam and rude language, and not a whole lot of support.
While individual Twitch streamers often work to cultivate communities and heavily moderate chat, larger channels and media showcases rarely have the manpower or interest in keeping Twitch chat clean. Therefore, Twitch chat often serves as a way too honest running dialogue alongside content.
Earlier today, when I tuned into the Maxis Monthly livestream for some The Sims 4 news, I was fully expecting the chat to be more of the same. I primarily use Twitch for esports, where the chat is not just fast-paced but often relentlessly rude. Instead, I found something surprising but wonderful: The Sims fans who showed up were nice. Weirdly nice! It was an astonishingly wholesome experience.
During The Sims FreePlay and Sims Mobile part of the stream, there were people in chat who would pop in and encourage the developers to hurry up and get to the good stuff. Extremely typical Twitch behavior at first glance, but then fans started gently chiding those users. Underneath an all-caps request to move onto new content, one user typed: “Please remember to be respectful towards the SimGurus guys....” while another fan wrote, “GUYS BE NICE”.
Throughout the entire presentation, Twitch chat offered compliments on the content. “So much love for the community!”
Another fan encouraged the audience to focus on the obvious, writing: “Stop being rude about ‘not caring’. Some people do play it and get excited. Just because you’re just here for Sims 4 doesn’t mean the other sim platforms don’t matter. Stop being rude constantly.” Other fans chose to congratulate the developers on the obvious work that went into content like adding pregnancy to The Sims FreePlay and other large-scale events like the Waterfront addition. That sounds sarcastic, but I was shocked to actually see users taking the time to compliment developers while acknowledging the overall product being spoken of wasn’t to their taste. The Twitch chat was overall refreshingly positive throughout the non-Sims 4 related content, with one user writing: “Don’t let people on Twitter be mean to you. you SimGurus are awesome and I appreciate you!”
The overall back and forth between garden variety Twitch comments mentioning that things were “boring” or asking for unrelated updates and the defenders encouraging the rest of the chat to be nice continued into The Sims 4 presentation, where the Gurus showed off the new career option of Fashion Influencer.
Then, without commenting on it, the developers switched into the brand-new terrain tools feature, and chat exploded.
The Gurus calmly just cleaned up the terrain, building mountains and multi-level structures, refusing to acknowledge the new tools they were sharing off while the chat spammed their happiness.
Honestly, while I’m excited at the prospect of a new career and making over other Sims, it was honestly refreshing to see a Twitch chat full of people who were vocally appreciative of the developers making the content they wanted. The Maxis Monthly was a little oasis of positivity in a sea of fast-moving, all-caps, furious cussing. It was nice, and while The Sims community isn’t necessarily an untarnished bastion of good vibes and kind words from top to bottom, the monthly check-in stream certainly seems to have been a success.