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This bizarre story about Russia seemingly mistaking SIM cards for the PC game The Sims 3 has been causing a lot of amusement. I don't think it's down to stupidity, though - here's a suggestion for how this may have happened. /1 nypost.com/2022/04/25/rus…

(A bit of background: I'm currently writing a book about how the Church of Scientology turned itself into the world's largest private intelligence organisation in the 1960s and 1970s. This fuckup reminds me of some of the things that happened then. I'm also a gamer!) /2
Let's stipulate that this was staged. Three things had to have happened here: someone planned this, someone bought the props and someone did the public relations. Call them the Planner, the Propmaster and the Publicist. /3
The Planner writes a list of props that are needed. It includes SIM cards. In Russian that's written Сим-карта, or SIM-карта (note the Roman characters). But I'd bet on this occasion it got shortened to "SIMS x 3". /4
The list gets given to the Propmaster. He likely has no idea what any of this stuff is being used for, it's just one of many requests he's dealing with today. A gofer, probably someone junior, gets sent to the market to buy the items. /5
The gofer sees "SIMS x 3" on the list, written in Roman script. Maybe he's a gamer, so he thinks it refers to a PC game rather than a Сим-карта. But is it *3 copies of The Sims* or *The Sims 3*? He covers both bases by getting three The Sims 3 games (likely pirate copies). / 6
What makes this funnier, though, is that *none of them are playable by themselves*. They're all expansion packs that require the base Sims 3 game to play. The one on the left is the Generations pack, followed by Outdoor Living and Master Suite. They're useless by themselves. /7
The Propmaster gives the props to the Publicist, who blasts out the now-infamous claims - not knowing any better about The Sims. But I'd bet the Planner never checked it before it went out, otherwise the obvious Sims/SIMs fuckup would have been spotted. /8
This tells me that they're not sharing information with each other and not checking for mistakes. TLDR: they're not stupid, they're siloed and careless. /end
ChrisO_wiki@mastodon.social
Independent military history author and researcher. Now at https://t.co/T008p5JDEr
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