‘Simply Simmer’ gaining popularity

A Columbia woman is gaining renown online by recreating famous fictional locations like Central Perk from “Friends” or the titular workplace in “The Office” in the video game “The Sims 4.”

Pictured is a screen shot of Megan Cavins’ YouTube channel ‘Simply Simmer.’

“I decided this was a lot of fun, and that’s how this all started – making all these cool different designs and uploading them to YouTube,” said Megan Cavins, who goes by the name Simply Simmer online.

Cavins started playing “The Sims,” a series life simulation video game in which you can customize everything from a character’s appearance to their homes.

The first title in that series was released in 2000. She was 5 at the time, but she quickly became hooked. 

“I’ve pretty much been playing ever since it originally came out,” Cavins said. “I’ve always loved playing ‘The Sims.’ I can live whatever life I want to whenever I’m playing it. I also just really love building different designs in it.” 

As she got older and started working, Cavins played the game with greater infrequency until last year when she was out of work on medical leave and stuck in bed for long periods of time. 

She started playing the game more and watching more TV, including “The Office.” 

One day she decided to combine her two pastimes and recreate the setting of the show in the game, which can be done down to the level of specific books on a shelf. 

Pictured is Columbia’s Megan Cavins, better known by
her online alias Simply Simmer.

Once she completed the build, Cavins decided to upload the video of it to YouTube.

“My husband and I have always thought about how cool it would be to be a YouTuber,” she explained. “We watch a lot of YouTube, and there’s so many cool channels out there. We kind of looked into it and there’s not really anybody who does TV show builds for ‘The Sims,’ so I was like ‘this could be a cool, fresh idea.’”

After posting the video, which shows in-depth how she recreated the fictional setting, Cavins got an abnormally large number of views for a new content creator. 

“I started with that and got a lot of really good feedback once I did upload it to YouTube,” she said. “So I decided I was going to make a bunch more TV shows and I’ve just been going nonstop ever since.” 

Since she posted that first video about five months ago, Cavins has made similar ones with locations from shows like “The Walking Dead,” “That ‘70s Show” and “Tiger King” and movies like “Up” and “Frozen.” 

Her work has been noticed by high-profile online publications in the gaming industry like GAMINGbible and GamesRadar, which have written stories about her videos and shared them on social media. 

That exposure has helped her channel have over 1,300 subscribers and get thousands of views per video, which are numbers it often takes content creators years to achieve. 

With all those views, Cavins said she has learned that people appreciate the hard work she puts into her videos, as she will pause whatever show or movie she is recreating a location from to painstakingly analyze its features. 

“I get as detailed as possible, and that’s what a lot of people really like about my specific videos,” she noted. 

While she plans to stick to TV and film for the time being, when possible Cavins said she also hopes to visit historic places in the area and recreate them in the game. 

“I think that would be really cool to be able to do that,” she said.

To view Cavins’ work, search for Simply Simmer on Facebook, Reddit or YouTube.

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James Moss

James is an alumni of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he graduated summa cum laude with degrees in mass communications and applied communications studies. While in school, he interned at two newspapers and worked at a local grocery store to pay for his education. When not working for the Republic-Times, he enjoys watching movies, reading, playing video games and spending time with his friends.
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