Simblr famous and SimSecret infamous: Performance, community norms, and shaming among fans of "The Sims"

  • Ruth A. Deller Sheffield Hallam University
Keywords: Fan community, LiveJournal, Performance, Social media, Tumblr


This essay explores the way fandom is performed on Tumblr by fans of the games series The Sims (Electronic Arts, 2000), as well as how the LiveJournal site SimSecret attempts to regulate and shame Tumblr behavior. Through interviews and surveys with fans and through content analysis, I examine the way in which Tumblr lends itself to particular performance norms in terms of its aesthetics, content tagging, and interactivity. I explore how fans also call out other fans for behaviors they do not approve of and how some of this shaming is connected to wider discourses surrounding the pleasures of fans, particularly teenaged female fans, often deemed to be excessive, inappropriate, or overly dramatic.

Author Biography

Ruth A. Deller, Sheffield Hallam University
Principal Lecturer, Media, Department of Media Arts and Communications