Sims 4: Debunking the ‘Nifty Knitting vote was rigged’ conspiracy

While it is true that there has been a knitting animation for The Sims 4 since the release of the Discover University expansion pack, suggesting the vote was “rigged” is a bit of a reach.

The newly released (and somewhat disappointing) Nifty Knitting Stuff Pack for The Sims 4 has given rise to a wild conspiracy claiming that the vote was “rigged”.

Nobody loves a Sims 4 theory or speculation more than we do. Seriously. Since the new game pack icon for the Sims 4 was leaked, we’ve had a whale of a time coming up with theories about what it might be based around hints. But we like backing up those theories with some evidence.

So when we heard about the conspiracy that the community voted Nifty Knitting Stuff Pack being “rigged” – we had to take a look.  While we can understand why Simmers might believe this to be true (especially with the frustrations around certain features like cars not being acted on), when looking at the bigger picture, it seems a little bit of a reach.

Sims 4 knitting animation conspiracy

Those who have played or seen videos for The Sims 4 Discover University, will be familiar with the “yarn bombing” of statues.  While it might seem odd to many people,  it is actually a fairly common form of vandalism. As per Wikipedia:

Yarn bombing (or yarnbombing) is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk. It is also called wool bombing, yarn storming, guerrilla knitting, kniffiti, urban knitting, or graffiti knitting.

Knitting and yarn bombs in The Sims 4 Discover University

If you haven’t seen it, here’s a quick look. With apologies to Fletcher and his fashion choices (we have no idea what he’s wearing here or why), Sims have the “yarn bomb statue” interaction option in The Sims 4 Discovery University expansion pack.

It’s pretty straight forward. In The Sims 4 Discover University, when the yarn bomb interaction is selected a Sim will “knit” a cover for the statue they are vandalising.

Sims 4 Discover University Knitting animation conspiracy nifty knitting vote
Sims 4 Discover University Knitting animation conspiracy nifty knitting vote
Sims 4 Discover University Knitting animation conspiracy nifty knitting vote
Sims 4 Discover University Knitting animation conspiracy nifty knitting vote
Sims 4 Discover University Knitting animation conspiracy nifty knitting vote
Sims 4 Discover University Knitting animation conspiracy nifty knitting vote

Here is a video clip of the animation from DU.

Sims 4 Discover University Knitting animation conspiracy nifty knitting vote

And here is a clip of the animation for knitting from the new Nifty Knitting Stuff Pack.

Sims 4 Discover University Knitting animation conspiracy nifty knitting vote

Yep, even the knitting needles are similar. But let’s go back to the start of the community vote and assess the options giving in the first round of voting.

While the initial survey has long since been closed, we were able to find these screenshots of the votes from the EnglishSimmer’s YouTube video.

Sims 4 Community Knitting Stuff Pack First Vote (7)
Sims 4 Community Knitting Stuff Pack First Vote (7)
Sims 4 Community Knitting Stuff Pack First Vote (7)
Sims 4 Community Knitting Stuff Pack First Vote (7)
Sims 4 Community Knitting Stuff Pack First Vote (7)
Sims 4 Community Knitting Stuff Pack First Vote (7)
Sims 4 Community Knitting Stuff Pack First Vote (7)

The Sims 4: Animations and themes are multipurpose

Thinking about it realistically, most games will use themes and animations that can be repurposed. If they didn’t, the requirements for computers to run these games would be beyond reach for most.

Looking pack at previous votes, the Vegan Trait has since been added as the Freegan option in Eco Lifestyle while the Glass Fabrication Station has been reworked to be the Fabricator in the same pack. It can be used to make lamps, amongst other things. The Candle-making station was also added in the Eco Lifestyle pack – which sounds a lot like the suggested Pottery Wheel. The Healthy Living aspiration is similar to the “Eco Innovator” from the Eco expansion.

It’s also worth remembering that the first community voted stuff pack – Laundry Day – featured similar themes to the Eco Lifestyle pack as well as “Starter Home Stuff” – which has a lot of similarities to the Tiny Living Stuff Pack released earlier this year.

Sims 4 Laundary Day Stuff Vote

Many of the themes voted on for The Sims 4 packs before are recurring and yes, animations are recycled – but there is a reason for that.

There is a lot of frustration with Maxis, EA and The Sims 4 at the moment, for many reasons. These range from the lack of diversity in the game’s skin tones to a feeling that the community is not being listened to about the things they have been asking for, for years – like cars and freed babies. This frustration easily spills over into wild theories taking off.

As forum user Ivyeyed wrote:

“No such thing as a coincidence” leads to conspiracy theories and, more, builds resentment for every single thing that happens as if there’s always a grand plan.

I see this a lot with leaks. People think every single leak is intentional. Have companies ever intentionally leaked something as a strategy? Sure. Do they do so nearly as regularly as people think they do? No. Most leaks are actual leaks.

More than anything it just gives too much credit to EA. If they were smart enough to pull off these kinds of elaborate machinations, they’d have the kind of foresight and competence that would guarantee much better products than we get. They aren’t that smart!

Besides this, keeping a massive secret like vote-rigging a secret in a giant corporation like EA would not not be an easy task. In 2016 a study was done about what it takes to keep a conspiracy going. PBS reported:

For the moon-landing conspiracy to stay quiet, it would require an estimated 411,000 people — the number of NASA employees in 1965 — to keep mum. Grimes estimates this hoax should have broken down within 3.68 years, decades before a conspiracy theorist met the business end of a former astronaut’s fist.

We love looking for clues about what the next pack might be and looking for hints that might mean nothing at all, but it is important to take things at face value.

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Antoinette Muller
Antoinette is a recovering journalist. She's a multi-award winner and thinks it's strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she's playing as herself in The Sims.