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About Jazz-Hands

Jazz-Hands is – or rather was – a forum with an accompanying blog, Aarin’s Spectacles, which vanished on 31st August 2010 when its owner – Aarin – declined to renew its server subscription after only one year, to more than a few sighs of relief, having become the byword for everything putrid within the Sims 3 community.

Many thought Jazz-Hands has died forever. But one of its registered members quietly in the background has other ideas.

Having discarded at the first chance presented the name they’ve done everything to tarnish, its bone-idle maladjusted ‘active’ membership forfeited any right to the name within the Sims community for all time.

It has been picked up, dusted down, given a cuddle, and given a second chance by one that quietly did more positive Sims 3 related work for the Jazz-Hands name than the rest of its membership put together.

As the sun set for Jazz-Hands over San Francisco Bay, a new day rose for it in the east.

OBJECTIVE

To provide 100% free custom content for Sims 3, without any strings attached to any downloads such as ‘donations’ or ‘membership’.

To provide all such content on a What You See Is What You Get basis: that is, viewers will get to see how it looks in game strictly on its own merits. No graphics editing package tweaks of the screenshots, no half-dozen mod enhancements to make it look better than it really is, no wasting of your time.

To put something back into the wonderful Sims community that has given so much fun and friendship to many across the world.

Rules Concerning The Use Of Jazz-Hands Custom Content

If you are uploading custom content of your own with the intent of including items from here, then please acknowledge where it came from but please also include it in your upload pack as a separate item!

Yes, we know that’s the opposite of what most Custom Content makers do, but here’s why.

It is offputting to many Sims 3 players to see a spectacular looking Lot, Sim, etc. only to find the catch is clicking twenty separate links and dealing with twenty separate zip files to get the goodies looking exactly like the scrummy preview picture.

For the sake of your own readers sanity, please don’t put up a link to the piece concerned telling everyone where to download it from (though a plug for us would be nice), be nice to fellow Sims 3 enthusiasts and include it.

A Bluffer’s Guide To Magical Unicorns, Edible Grannies and all that Jazz-Hands

Aarin – a 30-something San Franciscan – had been the unofficial ‘info-guru’ at the official Sims 3 forum since its start in 2009, and a very good one too.

So there was shock throughout the Sims community when those in charge of the official forum permabanned Aarin in August 2009 on the pretext of posting a link to a No CD required to play mod (at that time a banned topic on the official forum).

That however was only part of the story.

The thanks and praise of those she aided on the official forum had gone to her head and she began gathering an army of sycophants around her – mainly those who saw themselves as the official forums’ alpha-males and queen-bees – belittling anyone that ‘displeased’ her and encouraging others to do the same.

The ‘Hands On Neck Foundation’ affair (as if came to be known) was the last in a long list of such incidents – albeit easily the worst – when Aarin instigated and orchestrated the worst cyberbullying campaign the official forum ever witnessed, against a child called Jix2993 who asked the ‘info-guru’ if Chaos Mod Painting was worth trying out on a day Aarin happened to be having one of her mood-swings. A week later, Aarin was permabanned.

It was clear those running the EA Sims 3 website had grown sick to death with dealing with hundreds of complaints daily about cyber-bullying and harassment with all roads leading one way or another back to the person that was supposed to be helping newcomers, and were relieved to expel someone that had now become far more trouble than she was worth – whether as the instigator or as a rallying flag for the forum’s cyberbullies – as well as giving a warning to users than none were immune from expulsion if they didn’t behave.

Conscious that her Vox blog was now under investigation after multiple reports of it being used for cyber-harassment (a common problem with that platform that led to its eventual demise – its privacy and small social networking features made it ideal for trolls to plan and execute attacks from), Aarin set up an independent website for her blog with an accompanying forum called Jazz-Hands for all her supporters and the expectation that angered Simmers would desert the official forum in droves for that of the ‘info-guru’.

That was where the theory fell to the ground.

The ‘Hands On Neck’ affair had been a public relations disaster, and Jazz-Hands never took off. It took a month to gain 100 members despite Aarin’s high public profile, and never had ten to fifteen active members tops at any one time, despite some vigorous – and arguably openly intimidating – recruitment campaigning. Those at forum@jazz-hands fell out with just about everybody over their behaviour when it was clear it wasn’t working out as hoped – in particular trolling and bullying on the official Sims 3 forum run by EA out of frustration – including a planned mass disruption during September 2009 that achieved little else except busting a lot of remaining friendships.

There was a large amount of childish revelling among ‘Jazz-Handers’ in their ‘black hat’ status, seeing themselves literally as the Slytherin or Death Eaters of the Sims community. Apart from the obvious self-destructiveness of such an attitude, this backfired on them in turn after their appalling treatment of an elderly Jazz-Hands member called Tussy leading to them being dubbed ‘the Granny Eaters’ (!)

Aarin in turn became disillusioned when Jazz-Hands never achieved the mass membership she expected and her own interest in the game waned as she discovered creating custom content was more difficult than it looked.

By January 2011, Aarin was drifting back to the World Of Warcraft community, leaving her remaining followers – by now feeling sorry for themselves and one referring to Jazz-Hands as ‘the Island Of Forgotten Toys’ – stuck in a undermoderated forum that due to having a ‘five moderator-approved posts before being allowed to post freely’ rule deterred new members from joining tired of the time taken for posts to be approved. Whether Aarin refused to appoint others to help her or whether no-one volunteered to help out, nobody knows.

The end result was a slow, lingering death over eight months; partly due to Aarin, partly also due to disunity of purpose among the remaining members, who were too busy plotting their own successor websites in secret once Jazz-Hands folded rather than offering to take Jazz-Hands over or work together.

Instead Aarin’s long anticipated announcement that she was not renewing the Jazz-Hands server subscription was met with the proffering of two rival sites. After a year of burning bridges across the Sims community, it was no surprise that both projects stiffed faster than Jazz-Hands.

Meanwhile, a certain blog appeared in secret with ideas of its own that was to prove more successful than any of them.

‘The game will never be over, because we’re keeping the dream alive.’

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