Interview with SARP’s AJ: Hey, you’ve got us all wrong!

by Alphaville Herald on 23/01/04 at 3:47 pm

SARP is the acronym for the Jolly Pines based organization Sims Against Ridiculous Payouts. The organization is a kind of indigenous sim special interest group that campaigns against payouts to sims for just showing up or spending time in skill and money houses. In the past, these payouts have been fueled by the cheap money generated by the mazebot cheat. Since maze has been disabled, is there anything left for SARP to do? In this interview we talk to SARP press & Publicity Officer AJ, also known as ajdown at Fawlty Towers in Jolly Pines. He speaks to what he considers misunderstandings about SARPS’ traditional mission and fills us in on its plans in post-maze TSO.

Urizenus: so you wanted to take issue with some remarks on the Alpaville Herald
AJ: Yes, both there, in game, on the sims.stratics board and many other places there seem to be many misconceptions about what SARP is
Urizenus: well, what is it?
AJ: SARP stands for Sims Against Ridiculous Payouts – but many people don’t quite seem to understand what it means and are likening us to the various Mafias that are in the game
AJ: Our basic standpoint is against the practice of paying visitors ‘bonuses’ for doing nothing – be it make 5 gnomes and get 5k bonus, get 10k for spending 1 real hour at our property, and suchlike
Urizenus: why are you opposed to that?
AJ: there are a number of reasons….
1) we feel that it creates a dependence on handouts rather than working for whatever you wish to achieve in game
2) this ‘lack of challenge’ soon makes new players bored as there is nothing left to aim for.
3) Since the disabling of the maze exploit a lot of payout houses have stopped, but before that many of the payout houses were paying out huge amounts that it was plainly not possible to make in the same time without some kind of cheat
4) It was unfair to non-payout houses when their rivals were buying – or bribing, whichever way you want to word it – to get higher up the top 100 list, when possibly providing less of a service.
5) It encouraged mass AFK-ing, when people would just sit in a house skilling to collect a bonus, rather than encouraging chat and interaction. New players going into an 18 person AFK house and being ignored is discouraging to say the least.
6) The dependence on payouts for success was spiralling out of control, as were the amounts paid out; one house alone I noted was giving 15k per roomie per day, which worked out at around 3/4 of a million simoleans per week purely to roomies let alone visitor bonuses, which I am sure you would agree is pretty hard to make legitimately.
It was for these reasons, and others, that SARP was formed, to give those that agreed with us a ‘single combined voice’ to show people that there *was* another way apart from payouts.
Urizenus: well, isn’t this a solved problem now that maze as been disabled?
AJ: to a degree, yes, but there is still a huge residue of ‘dirty money’ in the game, which is resulting in the market value of rare pets and other objects still selling for tens of millions
AJ: Although the source has been plugged, it will take a long time for all this money to disappear
Urizenus: well, it takes dirty money to find rare pets too
AJ: I know people have spent huge amounts looking for rares, many of them legitimely, but we aren’t against rare pet sellers!
Urizenus: so then why don’t we just wait for the maze money to burn off?
AJ: As I said, since the removal of the Maze exploit, many houses have either abandoned payouts altogether, or slashed their amounts – which has caused a huge backlash to the payout houses because the sims that were expecting 1k per item now only get 100 per item or whatever, and many payout house owners have got so fed up with the torrent of abuse they have received they have either changed categories or stopped payouts altogether.
AJ: One of the problems is that some people have accused SARP of being responsible for Maze being disabled, which is totally wrong
Urizenus: well, whether you are responsible or not, aren’t you pleased? Isn’t this a victory for you?
AJ: Whilst it is a positive move overall towards the game, which individually as a player and many others have applauded, the removal of maze was not something that we campaigned for – even if it was the source of much of what we were campaigning against
Urizenus: Well, what would you prefer to have happened?
AJ: many players – whether SARP members or not – were annoyed that those with the maze cheat were getting an unfair advantage over players that were sticking within the terms of service
AJ: Personally, I hope that Maze comes back soon, albeit slightly modified to stop the mazebot working, as I used to enjoy playing it. Unfortunately, any online game is open to abuse, and I know that the other third party programs – and new ones being developed – will simply take over where the mazebot stopped.
Urizenus (11:26:59 AM): Let’s talk about SARP itself. Did you have a membership list of some sort?
AJ: We are starting to get ourselves organized
AJ: It started off as a simple ‘if you agree with us put Member of SARP on your profile…. but as it has grown beyond Katheryne – the founder -’s wildest dreams we are starting to make ourselves a little more presentable and easier to follow; for example rather than keeping putting the same information out time and time again on Stratics we are building our own basic website which will explain what SARP is and isn’t, and hopefully clear up some of the misconceptions people have of us.
Urizenus: what are the common misconceptions?
AJ: some people accuse us of being just like the mafia and going round to tell people how to play the game, but we are a purely passive organization. If people as ‘what is SARP’ having read our bios we will gladly explain, but we don’t go picketing payout houses yelling about the evils of what they are doing, we don’t tag anyone; people can play their game however they like, but as SARP members we just don’t visit payout houses. Thats about as radical and rebellious as we get.
AJ: some people also accuse us of being against rich and/or successful sims, because we are jealous that we haven’t achieved what they have. If people have worked their insides out pizza’ing into the wee hours, or made a #1 lot somewhere through legitimate means, then we applaud their achievements. If, however, their success is purely a result of cheating and/or bribing people, then we do have a problem there
Urizenus: earlier you spoke of the ‘lack of challenge’ and afk-ing in payout houses, but aren’t *all* skill places and and money places like that? Where is the challenge in pounding gnomes or talking to a mirror?
AJ: whilst i agree that many of the repetitive tasks like making gnomes or talking to a mirror are mind-numbing to say the least, there is no reason why a house should be quiet. Within SARP/True Economy Town here in Jolly Pines – our own little community, I have been to a number of skill and money houses where the owners and roomies treat you as a valued guest, rather than a leg up the top 100. There is always conversation going on, be it discussing game issues, real life problems, suggestions to improve the layout of the property, or the price of cheese.
AJ: What happens when people talk is that you make friends. People come back to your house by choice, not because they can sit in a silent house doing the same thing and get 5k for it.
AJ: To me the main appeal of TSO is the people – the game is almost irrelevant
Urizenus: well, don’t people skill afk because they do their skilling from work or when watching tv or something?
AJ: i agree that some will skill afk because they are at work or doing something else, but I guess much of that is simply through boredom of sitting waiting for someone to talk; I’ve been in conversations before and not wanted to leave because it has been such fun
Urizenus: Rather than lobby against payouts, why don’t you lobby *for* entertaining and challenging activities in the game?
AJ: to a degree that’s what we have done, by removing the attraction of easy money and replaced it by a good atmosphere – something that no amount of payout will ever make up for.
Urizenus: I mean, if you have enough clout as a group, why don’t you ask Maxis to install some meaningful and challenging job objects in the game, or allow us the tools to build our own?
AJ: that’s another common misconception – we don’t phone Will Wright at home of an evening and say ‘hey old buddy, give your programmers a prod and give us xyz activity by the end of the week’ – we are just a group of regular players, no connection to Maxis or EA, no clout, no say, no authority whatsoever, we just happen to have formed our own little group of people that think like us, in the same way that in Jolly Pines we have “Brit Town”, a community of houses run by people that live in the UK
AJ: All of us could probably suggest ways of improving the game by additional design objects, moneymaking opportunities, or whatever, but that’s not what
Urizenus: do you have any/many members in alphaville?
we are about.
AJ: We have started to expand to other cities, but I have not yet had much feedback on how they are progressing. We did have a SARP rep in Alphaville but he recently quit the game and I haven’t had a chance to look for a replacement as yet.
AJ: I don’t have a sim in every city so it’s difficult to monitor how things are elsewhere
Urizenus (11:43:18 AM): So you are looking for an alphaville coordinator?
AJ: at the moment, yes, as well as several other cities
AJ: Our main concentration happens to be in Jolly Pines, simply because that is where Katheryne and myself play
Urizenus: Well, since this is the Alphaville Herald… If alpha residents want to start a chapter of SARP who should they contact?
AJ: Email our founder/president, Katheryne – – and look at our website (when it’s finished!) as there will be more details on there
AJ: either that or message me, ajdown@jp, on the stratics message board
Urizenus: ok, we’ll put a link up to the site when it comes online
AJ: when i finish it lol
Urizenus: Thanks AJ!

49 Responses to “Interview with SARP’s AJ: Hey, you’ve got us all wrong!”

  1. Tory

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    WOW! I can’t even begin to state how disappointed I am that AJ would choose this forum, of all places to try to clear his name. This site promotes exactly the type of websites that have caused SARP to come into it’s current form of existance.

    My question here is, why would SARP promote their ideas and try to “clear their name” on a site that clearly promotes links to websites that sell simoleans?

    I find it even harder now to take SARP seriously with this sort of inconsistency. AJ, man, what were you thinking?


  2. ajdown@jp

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    No inconsistency whatsoever. Whilst there may be some things on this particular site that are against the TSO rules, it doesn’t mean that by posting an interview here we are condoning any of it.

    I was chatting to Urizenus about other matters and he asked if I’d consider supplying an article to explain about what we believed in. Much of the criticism leveled at SARP is purely down to misunderstanding or lack of willingness to entertain a way of playing within the rules. It’s just an opportunity to do that. If you don’t like SARP, please explain why, it’s a discussion after all.

    There are many matters I don’t take seriously in TSO – and on this site – but it doesn’t mean I have to criticise them.


  3. Tory

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    AJ, you are condoning it. By the simple act of reading, posting and agreeing to be interviewed you are sending more people here. Those people may read your words, but they will also see easy “Links to simolean traders, and other TSO-related Products and Services” Not only are you condoning money purchases, but also the programs that cause the money to be ill-gotten.

    You can justify yourself all you want, but I’m sure that I”m not the only person who has completely ceased to take SARP seriously based on this one interview. If you meant what you say you stand for, you would take SERIOUS issue with having your name associated with a site that provides all those links. If SARP is serious, they will remove you from the PR office as you are giving them a BAD name by condoning (if nothing else) links to the sites that cause the very problem you’re supposed to be against.

    If you send ONE person to read this interview, you are condoning the behavior.

    Whoops! I guess SARP is just a hypocritical organization. They are against payouts but not so much so to avoid the sites that SELL the money that makes those payouts happen.


  4. ajdown@jp

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    Utter utter rubbish. I am not condoning the selling of ill-gotten simoleans, cheating, or anything else prohibited.

    Stop trying to pick an argument. You don’t like what we do, WHY? Don’t just harp on about not taking SARP seriously. Unless I hear any reasons from you why what we are doing is wrong, I cannot take you seriously either.


  5. Tory

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    I don’t think that SARP was wrong in their mission. What I’m saying is that you have ruined the reputation of SARP by condoning the links on this site.

    If you don’t condone the links, then WHY did you try to “clear your name” HERE???

    You are encouraging people to come here. And here they are encouraged to cheat and buy simoleans and third-party programs.

    You don’t see the hypocrisy? I’m sure I’m not the only one who does.

    Don’t get me wrong, AJ, I used to believe in what SARP stood for. Now, though, all I see is very poor judgement on the part of the Publicity Officer. By giving an interview on any site, and you gave this interview to Urizenus FOR the AVHerald, you do condone the behavior that site promotes. Words mean nothing when actions discount them.


  6. ajdown@jp

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    I am not publicising this interview in any way. The only people that will read it are those that come here already.

    You do appear to be the only one that sees hypocrisy, nobody else has bothered to comment. There is no hypocrisy with me, all I am doing is talking about SARP and maintaining our anti-payout view, not once have I said “by the way its all crap really, I don’t mind the links on the site”.

    You obviously changed your mind about SARP for one reason, care to explain why?


  7. Tory

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    I think I’ve explained myself clearly, giving interviews to sites that directly contradict what your organization stands for is hypocrisy pure and simple. You can defend yourself all night if you want, I can’t explain it any better than I already have.

  8. ajdown@jp

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    I state my question again…. and I’m not gonna waste much more time doing this:

    WHAT happened that made YOU change YOUR mind about supporting SARP?


  9. Tory

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    What made me change my mind about SARP:

    A SARP representative gave an interview on a site that works directly against everything that SARP stands for.

  10. ajdown@jp

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    “I used to believe in what SARP stood for” – rather than “following this I no longer believe…” implies that you had some time ago changed your mind, however if you have only just changed your mind after a simple interview then I guess you never really understood us in the first place – entirely what this article was for.

    To have a balanced debate on any article you need pro- and anti- whatever the topic is, to enable people to make up their mind.

    I have always stated that SARP is a passive organisation, we don’t go out pressuring people to join us or make them follow our point of view, so I shall refrain from continuing this pointless debate unless anyone else has something constructive to put. I have no problem with criticism, but plain trolling I just haven’t the time for.


  11. Urizenus

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    Now now Tory. Maybe aj is just trying to get the sinners here to change their evil ways! You know, like the minister who goes to the bar cuz that’s where the sinners are?

    But just out of curiosity, what exactly is it that the AVH says that is non-SARP-worthy? We’ve been campaigning against maze bots since week one.

  12. Tory

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    Campaigning against maze bots while linking to sites that sell them? How the hell is that an effective strategy?

    I don’t care what your words say, if you’re linking to those sites, you are encouraging the behavior.

  13. Urizenus

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    >I don’t care what your words say, if you’re linking to those sites, you are encouraging the behavior.

    That doesn’t follow.

    By the way, we have never linked to a site that sells or provides *maze* bots. Just a data point.

  14. Tory

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    So I click on the TSOExtreme link on this page.

    On the home page, on the menu on the left side, near the bottom I read:

    Maze Template
    Sim Auto-Mate “Bot”
    Maze Auto-Solver

    Et tu, Uri?

  15. ajdown@jp

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    “Campaigning against maze bots while linking to sites that sell them? How the hell is that an effective strategy?”

    Actually SARP has not campaigned directly against mazebots – just the principle of paying out for doing nothing. The fact that Maze bots were the source of the majority of the funds is merely a secondary issue, and the fact that it was getting out of hand merely supports what we stood for. I don’t believe anywhere on AVH is anything that supports payouts – although there are links to tools that some people used to abuse the game.

    Just because something exists doesn’t mean we condone or use it – cannabis being a good example of this. It exists, I just choose not to use it because the laws of the country I live in say it’s illegal.

    Have you ever used a Mazebot or bought money on Ebay? If you have, you have broken the rules of TSO. If you haven’t, then you’re still supporting them if you read this board according to your views. Regardless of how you answer that, you have broken the rules of TSO and I would urge you to follow your conscience and terminate your account immediately.


  16. Tory

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    ” If you haven’t, then you’re still supporting them if you read this board according to your views. Regardless of how you answer that, you have broken the rules of TSO and I would urge you to follow your conscience and terminate your account immediately.”

    Obviously you are misreading my statements on purpose. Visiting sites that break the TOS is not a TOS violation. Posting links to them is, I have never done that. Looking at sites that sell bots, patches, simoleans is not against the TOS – but using those things are. I have never used a bot, bought simoleans or took advantage of an exploit.

    Being a hypocrite is not against the TOS and I’m not saying you cheated or broke any rules. What I am saying, AJ, is that you are condoning the behaviors exhibited on this site by making official statements here.

    You lost credibility. By causing me to restate myself over and over again when my point is completely clear is just causing you to lose more credibility.

    I’m done with the comments section of this article. Either you get it or you don’t.

  17. ajdown@jp

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    Well I’m lost as well so shall we just agree to disagree and move on?


  18. Dyerbrook

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    Ummm……I’m trying to think…is there a BDSM angle to this story? And I’d have to say…I guess not. JUST KIDDING. I’m a proud member of SARP. But I do take issue with this prudishness about where this interview appears. The press reports on stuff. Some of the stuff it reports on are other pages, by linking to them. Linking to them is done for news value, not for the sake of an endorsement. If in those other websites, there are cheats or bots, it is not the problem of the original newspaper that merely linked or reported on them. The value of this fellow’s interview reaching the wider AVH audience far outweighs whatever slight approval (or failure to disapprove) cheat sites. And since the maze is disabled, a link to another site with maze bots on it is pretty irrelevant, n’est pas?

  19. Urizenus

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    >So I click on the TSOExtreme link on this page.

    >On the home page, on the menu on the left side,
    >near the bottom I read: [stuff about mazebots]

    Ah, news to me. Thanks for pointing that out. So this is what we have learned: The AVH links to a site which links to a page which, if you pay money and register, you can read about something (a mazebot?) that no longer works and you can possibly find yet another link to a site that may or may not sell them.

    On the other hand, the AVH could just link to Google or to Ebay, in which case the path to maze bots would have been shorter.

    Honestly, I find this obsessive concern with links to pages with links to pages with links to pages where down on the bottom on the left in the back, if you pay money and register you may find a link to a page where you *may* or *could have* at one time… found a link to something that may be … … a violation of the Holy TOS (hereafter, The Document) … well, creepy.

  20. Carnildo Greenacre

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    >> But I do take issue with this prudishness about where this interview appears. The press reports on stuff. Some of the stuff it reports on are other pages, by linking to them. Linking to them is done for news value, not for the sake of an endorsement. <<

    It makes a difference where a news article appears. For example, an article on the front page of the New York Times carries far more weight with most people than that same article anywhere in the National Enquirer.

  21. Cocoanut

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    Well, first off this isn’t a newspaper. This is a scandal sheet. And not a particularly good one.

    And second, we all know by common usage that when people post links on their web sites – unless it is to specifically decry or otherwise negatively comment on said links – that posting them implies a certain approval of them, in that they might be good for readers to visit. An implicit recommendation, in other words, unless otherwise stated, and we all know that.

    There is some skill, I suppose, in tiptoeing around this phrase and that, and parsing this word and that, but a duck is a duck, and there’s greater merit in facing that fact truthfully, Uri. Unless of course you are more interested in winning an argument and let the truth be hanged, or you are heavily invested in appearing innocent of things you are actually guilty of, or you just couldn’t admit a truth even to yourself.

    I have more respect for people who call a duck a duck, without all the clever verbal sidestepping. Verbal acrobatics in defense of a losing premise do not impress me.


  22. Invader Zim

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    Well this is my first time posting.. I am also a JP resident and room at a competing welcome house to AJ’s.. hiya AJ.. but anyways I want to point out a bit of hypocracy on the party of Tory.

    You say AJ has tarnished the reputation of SARP by being interviewed by Uri and having an article up on here about it. You say he has tarnished it because by doing this interview and having it posted here, SARP automatically approves of what is or isn’t on the site here and you can’t take SARP seriously now.

    So lets take these 2 points

    1) Hypocracy: You say SARP is now showing hypocracy over doing an article here when it has or doesn’t have links to stuff against what their mission is against. OK.. and you said you believed in their group etc. So if you had/have the same views as their mission. Then how can you be here READING this site? Aren’t you by READING this site doing the same thing and giving it your OK to the links here? Yes you are. In your own views on thing you are being just as hypocritical as SARP/ajdown. Is it not the READERS of a news source, whatever kind it is, that gives that news source its credibility? It’s livelyhood? Yes it is. So you are lending your weight to it’s credibility by READING and POSTING on here.

    so that brings us to #2

    2) You can’t take SARP Seriously anymore cause of what you believe of them tarnishing their name. Well then.. aren’t you tarnishing your own name by again READING and POSTING here? Yes by your own views you are. And if you feel you aren’t, then you have a double standard that just makes you look like a complete ass and you now have no credibility what so ever in this world of TSO.

    I may or may not agree with SARP on all their mission statements. But I do agree they have not lost any credibility or tarnished any reputation by simply doing an interview on a site to explain their organization a little more.


  23. Storm

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    I’m not taking a side on this entire thing – but if you guys all hate AVH or what not, why do you continue reading here? Please…Stop with the constant complaints and let Ludlow do his own thing – whether you agree with it or not.

    Honestly…If you disagree with someone , just ignore it. You won’t win fans doing this guys.


  24. Tory

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    Zim, had I ever stated that I was against the practice of buying simoleans or exploiting or using third-party programs, you would be correct. However, never once have I stated that.

    I said that I don’t do it, however, I have never stated that I am against the practice. In fact, I have never stated my views on any of the issues that this site promotes through links. How, then, am I a hypocrite?

    It’s the contradiction of stating himself against all the things that this site promotes that makes AJ Down a hypocrite and unfit to be the Publicity Officer for an organization like SARP.

    Urizenus posts that he was against the maze exploit and never linked to that. When this LIE is pointed out, he states that it doesn’t matter because maze was disabled. Gee, I wonder if TSO Extreme carried Maze Bots when he was saying how against them he was.

    The hypocrisy across the board on this site is blatant and all you people defend yourselves and those who participate in the hypocrisy because you don’t want to hear the truth.

    Until you can tell me specifically, with examples, how I am a hypocrite for pointing out the idiocy of an anti-payout, anti-exploit group trying to clear their name on a website that promotes the very things that lead to those issues, then your posts are pointless. Obviously, you are completely deluded if you think that pointing fingers and playing the rubber/glue game is going to change the fact that it was a mistake to have an interview here or change my mind on this subject.

    I think my arguement is clear. Yours however is full of holes. The gaping one being that I have not contradicted myself, neither by posting on this site, nor by anything that I have said.

    Attack me all you want, it makes no difference to me, it simply illustrates my point.

    I guess (to mangle coco’s words) Ducks don’t actually like being called Ducks when they’re swans in their own minds. Doesn’t change the fact that they’re still really ducks.

  25. Invader Zim

    Jan 24th, 2004

    You just contradicted yourself again..


    quote “Don’t get me wrong, AJ, I used to believe in what SARP stood for.”

    for you to have BELIEVED in what they stood for means you had to have similar like views that they have. Right there.. you stated you BELIEVED what they stood for and their mission statement.

    Thank you very much *bows*

  26. Invader Zim

    Jan 24th, 2004

    ps.. You can’t BELIEVE in something and not agree with their views. That would be like saying, “Oh I BELIEVE that the Nazi’s were wrong in what they did during WWWII. But hey i’m starting up my own Nazi group tonight.”

  27. RB

    Jan 24th, 2004

    Knock it off you two. AJ and Tory. Your like children constantly bitching over something. WHO CARES about the stupid morals and related BS about how people play THIER game.

    AJ needs to get a clue about the HORRIBLE EVILS AND DEMONS of “cheats” too. ffs.

    Do you think Uri get’s paid for links? Endorsed in anyway that will result in rl benefits? NO. AJ costantly spouts about how Uri is promoting such things alot. Well unlike other sites i do not see a large banner shouting “BUY SIMOLEANS HERE” at the top of AVH. Once you leave the AVH anything you do is all your own fault. Links are merely mini-reports of thier own for people interested.

    Step down from your Holy Crusade being waged by SARP AJ and stop over-dramatizing everything.

    - RB

  28. ajdown@jp

    Jan 24th, 2004

    Oh RB. knock it off. Am I actually saying in my article that the AVH is promoting cheats, bots and whatever? Not that I recall. If I said in my article “by the way you can get a SARP mazebot for $20 from” then that’s one thing, but a website merely linking to them is another. I go to a website and up pops a popup for Ebay, an insurance company, penis enlargements, some Japanesee XXX porn site or whatever, in no way means I am endorsing supporting or using that product. A feedback comment from someone else in this feedback claiming I was endorsing the links by posting here is what you are referring to, just talk about the article please.

    There was a thread on Stratics about payouts that I started, which got over 500 posts before it got locked for forum overload – many people have strong opinions on it, which you obviously have too.

    If you’re the RB I think you are, being a money trader, are you anti-SARP because you run a payout house, or is it because you blame us for the removal of Maze, the abused main source of funding for a second rl lucrative income perhaps?

    Its not a holy crusade, I’m putting forward OUR viewpoint. You either say “what a great idea, I’ll join SARP”, or “stuff them, I’ll carry on my way” and move on. Please make your choice.

    Cheaters do damage the game, they make it unfair on others. We get where we are in the game legitimately, if you lost out to a job interview to someone who you knew faked university qualifications, I’m sure you’d be upset. It’s people getting to the top using dirty money that is the same thing. I stated we have no problem with achievement or richness, or whatever other goals people may have, but it’s cheating that causes a problem.

    What exactly is *your* problem with us? Has our presence directly affected your gameplay in any way?


  29. RB

    Jan 24th, 2004

    Of course im the RB from the boards and game that most know. lol. =P

    No im not anti-sarp, i don’t care what you do. I just respond to the flow of things as i see fit. Not everything else behind it. No, ive never run a payout house. Ive never run a $ house period. I have no time for such things. And it does not interest me.

    Your group has no affect on me either. Nothing does. I am above all, except the communist overlords at EA high command who run TSO.

    I don’t care who you are or what you are (everyone in general) , i just add my opinions to everything i think deems it.

    Good day. =)

    - RB

  30. ajdown@jp

    Jan 24th, 2004

    “I don’t care who you are or what you are (everyone in general) , i just add my opinions to everything i think deems it.”

    How about saying something positive then for a change?


  31. RB

    Jan 24th, 2004

    Like? I have only seen two relativley postive developments recently. More stuff for pets, and moving a sim to another city.

    - RB

  32. ajdown@jp

    Jan 24th, 2004

    I was referring to my interview :-)


  33. Urizenus

    Jan 24th, 2004

    Being able to move between cities seems like a nice development. I’d say the pets have enought crap already.

  34. trailblazer

    Jan 24th, 2004

    Hey just play the game you want to play, if people want to create a community that doesn’t give payouts then by all means play that way, if people want to start a community that pays people to sit there and skill, then do it.

    As far as selling simoleans on Ebay, that kinda thing has been around for a long time, Diablo had objects and characters sold on Ebay, Star Wars Galaxies has money on Ebay, all online games have people selling stuff so other players can get a leg up without going through tons of hours of playing, most who buy these thing are the casual games who don’t have hours to spend playing a game to get enough skills or money to get to a cetain level.

    THERE has seen this and instead of having money sold by third party people, they sell ingame money themselves, they have seen the market and decided to act on it, and you can bet more than likely other games will follow suit, Maxis even charges you 30 bucks to change your name ingame, I feel like reporting them for scamming.

    I do have a question for AJ and SARP in general though.

    If Maxis went the way of THERE and started selling simoleans for ingame use, would that still get outcries by SARP and others? Because this would not be money sold by using exploits, this would be money sold and offically sanctioned by Maxis, but the results would be the same, people would buy the money and use it to achieve their goals of getting to number 1 by paying or “bribing” other sims.

  35. ajdown@jp

    Jan 24th, 2004

    Interesting question….. THERE only sell in-game money, there is no way to make it any other way as far as I am aware.

    I’m not sure why it’s not permitted to sell anything TSO related on Ebay, it’s just a rule that’s there so I don’t really question it.

    I think that if Maxis sold their own, say, million simoleans for $30, then people would still buy them (in a similar way to the ‘buy a size 8 lot straight away’ hop-up) to build a property quickly (which is what many of the offline sims players Rosebudded their way to) but it wouldn’t necessarily restart the payouts.

    Once you’ve bought the mazebot, you effectively have access to unlimited simoleans free with no effort, but if you had to buy them I can’t see many people using them purely for payouts – if, for example, you are using 5 million a week to buy your way to the top (which is quite feasable in a top skill house) not many people can afford $150 every single week.

    When there is effort involved in moneymaking (in this case, paying out of your own pocket) people are far more reluctant to give it away. That was partly why payouts spiralled out of control so much – everyone was trying to outdo each other, and there was nothing to limit it.

    I don’t know if I can really give an ‘official’ view on the subject from SARP’s point of view because it’s currently purely theoretical.


    PS – I think personally that the $30 name change is a rip-off too!

  36. Tory

    Jan 24th, 2004


    I stopped believing in and supporting SARP when it stopped being about Ridiculous Payouts and became about ALL payouts. I still had _respect_ for the organization for taking matters into their own hands. You can liken this to my feelings on the Teeny Peters hood in IH a few months back. I thought it was a great idea, but I didn’t move there. Player-run movements are usually worth respecting when they really stand by and live up to what they believe.

    Throught the placement of this interview on this site (nothing against AVH, this is about SARP’s screw-up) SARP now appears to me to be fame whores, hoping that by appearing on a site that goes against everything they stand for, maybe they’ll earn a mention in the NYT or other reknown newspaper.

    Go ahead attack me, say nasty things about my momma if you want. I’m not the one contradicting myself.

    RB, Since SARP promotes itself as a morally correct organization, it is important to point out when those morals appear questionable. If they weren’t being the “moral minority” both in the game and on the message boards, then I wouldn’t have a problem with them advertising themselves anyway. The way I see it, by being morally better and promoting that aspect, they opened the door for this debate.

    I call it as I see it.


  37. ajdown@jp

    Jan 24th, 2004

    TJ, I refer back to a comment in your very first post……

    “why would SARP promote their ideas and try to ‘clear their name’ ”

    What makes you think we have anything to clear our name from? Was there any implied guilt in the interview? No.

    We don’t need to clear our name. All we are doing is standing up for something we believe in, and if that offends you I am truly sorry.


  38. Hyper

    Jan 24th, 2004

    AJ i just cant help but feel of all places u had to advertise you cause here i dislike the herald it gives a bad name to TSO and well i know ur gr8 fun on the forums but really here on this website…….really

  39. trailblazer

    Jan 24th, 2004

    I believe in THERE you can create and sell custom content, well I think they sell it by an auction system, but that is it, there is no player owned stores or businesses or any other way of making money, unless it changed since I last beta played it.

  40. Katheryne

    Jan 24th, 2004

    Aj told me about this interview, so I figured I’d better go check it out. I’m going to make a few points here and then go back to lurking, because – quite frankly – I don’t feel like being drawn into yet another drawn-out argument.

    First, having one’s interview posted in a publication does not automatically imply endorsement of any advertisement or links within said publication, just as much as if you had an article published in a real magazine, it doesn’t imply that you endorse everything that’s advertised in that magazine. To think otherwise is just plain silly.

    Secondly, TJ, at no point in time have we ever promoted ourselves as a “morally correct organization”, as you have put it. We are not “morally correct”, “morally superior”, or any other such labels that a few trolls have tried pinning on us. Nobody is on any sort of “moral high horse”… At least, nobody from SARP. We are a group of people united under a common belief and common principles, nothing more. Not once have I or any SARP Representative ever said that people who do visitor-payouts are bad people. What we do believe, however, is that visitor payouts are causing harm to the game, and that these payouts helped make the maze exploit so popular. My basis for that belief is that very shortly after maze was disabled, nearly all of the houses giving visitor-payouts either dropped their payouts dramatically or have stopped altogether. Coincidence? I think not. I also believe that it has created a whole culture of unbridled greed within the game. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and tell that houseful of visitors that you’re not going to pay them for being there, and see what kind of reaction you get.

    TJ, your arguments would be amusing to me, if they weren’t so misleading. They are lacking in logic and substantive evidence to back up these egregious claims of yours. The USENET has a name for people who make groundless arguments just for the sake of arguing: Trolls.

    Aj: Good interview! Now, just one word of advice: Please don’t feed the trolls. :)

    Uri, I want to thank you for the interview, and for providing the space on your blog for us to express ourselves. SARP and its beliefs truly seems to be a very emotionally-charged hot-button issue for reasons I still don’t understand, and probably never will.

    And to those who think we mis-stepped by “advertising” in the AVH because the Herald represents everything anti-SARP… Think about this for a moment: Which is going to get you noticed more – Making yourself known to people who already know you? Or making yourself known to people who don’t? Are we trying to get noticed? Of course we are! How else can anyone make informed decisions about anything if they never hear of the alternatives? We’re not here to tell anyone how to play the game. We’re only here to let people know that there is another way.

  41. aurora

    Jan 24th, 2004

    TJ, you must have been using the cheats and anything else you could buy or else you wouldnt be so upset

  42. Marian

    Jan 25th, 2004

    The only way I get news about goings on in the game is via the AVH. I had no idea who the SARP was before I read this article and now I know!

    This is my ONLY news source so if folks want to get a message out about something they’re involved in why not give interviews here? I don’t know where else to look so as it stands to me this is the only place I come for information.

    On that note, what’s this about being able to move your SIM to a new city?? Huh? First I’ve heard of it!


  43. aj

    Jan 26th, 2004

    Glad you found the interview interesting :-)

    “Move sim to another city” is something that’s been tentatively announced by Maxis on the stratics message board, but we don’t know how it works or how much it’s gonna cost.


  44. Lola

    Jan 27th, 2004

    Again, lots of replies, I haven’t read every word of all of them, but has anyone yet said that maybe AJ wanted to be interviewed by the AVH, or granted an interview to the AVH, because it is a major (or only) source of information for residents of Alphaville, where his organization is based. Argue about his motives or his forethought, but he has gotten all of you to read what the SARP believes in and the facts about the group

  45. Cocoanut

    Jan 27th, 2004

    I believe his organization is based in JP.


  46. Tory

    Jan 28th, 2004

    Anyone who is foolish enough to get ALL their news from this particular source is an idiot, plain and simple.

    Anyone who plays TSO – in ANY city should get their news primarily from Maxis or Stratics. Those are the ONLY sources that aren’t going to MAKE THINGS UP because of their fame whoring. There are a few other fan sites that have so far proven themselfs to be reliable, but not very many.

    Obviously you haven’t been following Urizenus very closely or reading the discrepancies in the newspaper articles. All of those things PROVE that this is not a trustworthy news source. You may get info that you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten, but to state and promote that this is your ONLY or primary news source for AV is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

    Do you get your RL news from the Weekly World News, primarily? Because that’s pretty much what you’re doing here.


  47. ajdown@jp

    Jan 28th, 2004

    Yes, SARP started life in JP, and very successful it is too, and part of our ‘plan’ (for the want of a better word) was to introduce SARP into other cities. There are several fledgling SARP’s out there, and originally I spoke to Uri because the AV co-ordinator had decided to leave the game, and it was a good opportunity to bring it to the attention of at least some AV players.

    But it’s like has already been said, although the AVH does link to many things that we in SARP are against, it’s an opportunity to make ourselves known. We’re known in JP, we’re known on Stratics, but not here. It was, I believe, a welcome change from all the Evangeline stuff that has been reported, and for a change something POSITIVE! OK, some people still blame us – and in some cases me personally – for the removal of Maze, which was a lucrative second income earner for some, despite the facts indicating this was never the case. In fact, many people are in agreement of what we believe in, even if not enough to support us publicly. I’ve said my piece in the interview, you’ve all debated it, generally, in a respectable manner, and lots of people now at least know what SARP is.

    Anyone wishing to know more about us is more than welcome to visit the Stratics board and look me up, and the various threads about payouts and whatever that started it all.

    Payouts are declining. They’ve almost gone in JP. Not because of anything we have done, but because the source has dried up and players are realising that buying their way to popularity does not help in the long term. Easily verifiable fact, just look at the top tens and see for yourself.


  48. lala

    May 1st, 2004

    You are married to a merrill in JP?

  49. ajdown@jp

    May 16th, 2004

    No, our friend Janette made a fake me and a fake of Hyper from DG, and made the usual scam welcome house with us living in it. Thankfully it’s gone now.


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