VisitJoan March Feature

I’m Joan - a 29 year old full time content creator from Chicagoland. I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s in computer science in 2015, but mental health and anxiety have prevented me from searching for employment. I’m a writer and I’ve been telling stories since I was able to string a sentence together. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had an alternate version of myself, and I lived in that world because reality wasn’t the best at times. I’m also a songwriter, photographer, artist, gamer, and guinea pig mom to Kordi and Hope. My content mainly consists of two series; “That Fateful Night” follows Bella Goth and her family as they deal with the fallout of her abduction and subsequent “disappearance”. The idea has been in my head since the Sims 2 days but I first put it on paper ten years ago. The original novel involves uncovering the mystery of the abduction and finishing it remains my greatest accomplishment. The series is primarily written, but sometimes I make videos of short stories I can’t put into bigger ones. “Trouble in Paradise” is about Lilith Pleasant as she and her boyfriend Drik navigate high school, changes in family dynamics, and their serious relationship. I was initially drawn to Lilith because I thought she looked cool, but now that I’ve through more experiences, I realize just how relatable she is. Like myself, Lilith has constantly gotten the short end of the stick. Her rebellious and fiery personality often gets her in trouble, and she has a reputation as a troublemaker when in reality she’s forced to bend the rules in order to get what everyone is handed to them. This series has a written first installment and subsequent episodes are videos. I also post builds and other videos for fun and to keep uploads consistent, but the heart and sole of my content are my series. They are intertwined and characters from one will occasionally be mentioned and show up in the other.

I started playing The Sims in June 2004 when a “friend”, who was really making fun of me behind my back, but that’s a different story, told me about how much fun she had doing crazy things with the moveobjects on cheat. I gave it a try and I was hooked. The Sims 2 was released a few months later. At first I didn’t want to play it because I was put off by the whole aging concept, but after seeing the preview that came with Makin’ Magic I decided to give it a chance. Best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve taken breaks from playing from time to time due to school, or mental health, but something has always brought me back. Recently my life circumstances have left me with one friend who lives in another state and I have no way of meeting new people since I never leave my house. Once I started playing The Sims and working on That Fateful Night again along with other content, I became much happier and eventually somewhat content with my life. The Sims and my content is what keeps me going.

This may be nostalgia talking, but my favorite game would have to be The Sims 2. For starters, the game had done a fantastic job of building off of The Sims, something that was lacking in later games. The Sims 2 had several features that I miss, including memories, running away, and various interactions that I were disappointed didn’t make it into later games. But what really sets The Sims 2 apart for me is the story, especially the abduction of Bella Goth. Honestly, Bella was just another Sim until she disappeared. After that, she became someone I put my heart and soul into, which led me to the idea that eventually became That Fateful Night. Trouble in Paradise is also based on my experience playing the game, although I didn’t play with the Pleasants as much as I did the Goths, and I didn’t start that series until much later.

When I started playing The Sims, I played very conservatively - my Sims got married before they had any children and they only woohooed in order to have kids. After a while, though, that got boring, and so I started putting a lot more drama into my households - cheating spouses, children from affairs and whatnot. Recently, most of my time has been spent building or recording for videos, but when I do play, I tend to play with families. I rarely have single Sims, and when I do, they eventually have children. I’ve usually played out a story, and then quit when all the Sims were the ages I wanted to keep them at. Recently I’ve been playing with aging off so I can control the ages of my Sims. I also play the Goths and Pleasants every once and a while for fun as well as helping me come up with new ideas.

If I were to quit playing The Sims, you’d better make an emergency call to my psychologist as that would mean I’m probably suffering a mental health crisis. The last time I took a break, it was because my computer broke and I had no desire to play The Sims 3. The time before that, I was busy with school and real life, which I actually had at the time. Even so, I still made room for working on That Fateful Night. I did take a break from that too because I lost interest, which now that I think about it, was probably due to depression.

Sometimes I feel that the Sims 4 doesn’t get the credit that it’s due. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect - no game is - but there is so much negativity surrounding The Sims 4 that it’s positives are overlooked. One of these things is multitasking. In previous games, I’ve spent so much time managing needs that there was no time to get homework or skill building done, so being able to freely fill multiple needs at once is a godsend. Toddlers, once they were finally put into the game, are much better than they were in previous games. They are more accurate to toddlers in real life in terms of what they can and can’t do. When I first got The Sims 4, I was pleasantly surprised when he Sim I made of my cousin Walter was playing with the tablet.

 As someone who’s been a part of the Sims community, although not always active, since 2004, I can honestly say that the community is a wonderful place. It’s how I met the one person who continues to be my friend, and where I was able to learn how to type efficiently -long story. However, the community hasn’t been kind to me recently. I was lucky enough to meet another creator living in my area, but they didn’t turn out to be a nice person and caused me a lot of pain -again, long story. Since I’ve been in the community for so long I know that good things can come out of it, so I’m not going to leave just because one person turned out to be a jerk. I know that there has to be someone out there I can connect with, I just have to find them. In addition to being a content creator, I’m pretty active on Twitter and Instagram and am a part of a few Facebook groups as well. I also like to support fellow small creators since I know how much their support means to me. Fair warning, I’m very picky about who I subscribe to as I don’t want my feed filled with stuff I’m not interested in.

This has only scratched the surface of my thoughts about The Sims so if you want to hear about some of these topics in more detail you should head over to my YouTube channel VisitJoan. There you’ll find various videos such as speed builds, list videos, top 5’s, and of course, installments of Trouble in Paradise.

For peaks behind the scenes, fun facts, extra stories I write from time to time, or just snippets of real life, you can check out my Instagram @VisitJoan. And if you want to stay up to date on my content or hear my thoughts about anything Sims related, feel free to follow me on Twitter @VisitJoanVideos.

The entire That Fateful Night novel as well as smaller installments can be found at