EA’s The Sims Plants its Flag on LGBT Issues
Gamer discourse around LGBT+ representation is… well, you’ve seen it already. You know what to expect. A couple days ago, Electronic Arts announced its overhaul the malleability players had over their Sims. Specifically, their romantic and sexual attractions. As of this latest design, you’ll be able to separately target which sex a given Sim will “Mess Around” with. Additional options let you pick where that Sim will aim their romantic attraction, and where they may or may not experiment. Each option acts independently of the other, letting players design the exact combination of romantic/sexual attraction they want.
Of course, not all were happy with this decision. The usual suspects made their distaste for the system known, asking for the old system to return. The omnipresent gamer solution of “just add an extra toggle to the game” was proposed. It was promptly rejected by higher-ups in the Sims’ development chain.
“While we try to give players the option to toggle certain gameplay features, LGBTQIA+ identities are a fact of life and not a toggle to be switched on and off,” design lead Jessica Croft wrote.
The company has released a Sims QnA regarding the issue of Sim sexuality. According to the document, “If you change none of the Sexual Orientation settings, your Sim will romantically behave as they currently do prior to the release of this feature.”
What do you think of this move? Is this a good step for The Sims? Is the direction justified, or not? And for the systems as they stand, do they do a good enough job of representing the modern social landscape? We’d love to hear from you in the comments down below!