The Philippine Simulator thrives in transforming boring news into bite-sized patches
Good day, guys — these are the latest headlines for today:
- [GM] DU30 to name those players involved in PCSO exploits.
- [ADMIN] Tolentino defends Duterte-Xi “verbal fishing agreement”.
- [GM] DU30 names [ADMIN] Duque as #PHSim Coconut Authority chief.
- [Tournament] “Idol Philippines” names it’s top 3 players.
- #UKSim’s “Global Witness” declares #PHSim as dangerous.
- #CHSim appeals for “patience and peace” on sea disputes with other Sims.
- Players residing in Valenzuela City [MAP] are to receive E-Trikes.
- Players dependent on PCSO Guild Funds switches other guilds due to PCSO system maintenance.
…mass media does not format their headlines like these.
This is how you will view The Philippine Simulator, a Facebook page dedicated to morphing today’s news into bite-sized “patch notes,” which in gaming parlance is either a fix, update, or bug report.
~nukurin leads a group of people who are responsible for producing these patch notes. He handed me over available public records about TPS for this feature, and I shall cite a lot of info from these records.
Born out of frustration
The project was simply born out of frustration. “After getting tired and frustrated by how the mainstream media delivers the news, he decided to spice things up by converting news headlines into something that digital natives can understand.”
~nukurin plays games — among his most-played is Ragnarok Online. RO, as it is fondly called, was a pop culture catalyst: Kamikazee’s “Chixilog” was based on the online MMORPG culture that has put the Philippines in a frenzy.
It was this culture that people missed so much in a time where Facebook is more dominant than the usual internet bulletin board system (forums), and TPS appealed to that crowd easily. “It didn’t take long for people to catch on this style of news delivery, and the page’s followers grew over the years.”
TPS’ Content and Scope
By combining news and memes, TPS has expanded to 51,000 fans on Facebook, 544 followers on Twitter, and 1,044 subscribers on YouTube over the past 4 years of existence.
“TPS creates its content by effectively combining pop culture catchphrases, memes, and sometimes weird and obscure references. It also thrives in covering events concerning social issues, and takes a borderline approach in its unique mixture of socio-political commentary with video game jargon.”
TPS is a curator of great content. One day, you will see link posts in their page about the weirdest headlines posted on mainstream media. TPS also takes pride in making memes — after all, they produce the wildest, rarest kinds of memes the Filipino has seen… probably.
“Over the course of its almost 5-year run, the page spawned some of the most original and well-thought content never before seen in meme pages in the country, making it worthwhile for people to just follow the page for updates without having to worry about spammy content.”
What makes TPS unique?
“By pretending that the entire Philippines is one huge game and each person in it as a player, things become easier to sort out, and problems people never thought they could relate to suddenly become relatable.”
There are many meme pages that can be normal or mundane depending on the content, but what TPS has is an idea. “[…] the page’s alternative purpose is to educate people about reality.”
When it reached its fourth year anniversary, TPS expanded to creating its own content. Starting with Tapsi-chan, short for Teresa Almira P. Silangan, TPS has made its own universe. “Fast forward to today, and as of writing, the page has 6 official mascots, each being somewhat of a personification of the countries who are related to the Philippines.”
Tapsi-chan’s repertoire of content spans from the sporadic “Tapsi’s Logs” diary to her first two virtual YouTube appearances. TPS even sells its own merchandise which will then be invested in upgrading its production.
The Philippine Simulator leveraged on pop culture in producing and curating content, inspired a lot of people, and even inspired others to make their own simulators — there’s one for Indonesia — and it aims to go beyond the status of being the casual meme page it was when it started.
Now, this is a good example of thriving in the age of content.