The simulation game just got more LGBTQI inclusive
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY ELECTRONIC ART
If you like gaming and happen to be queer, there’s a very high chance that, like me, you’ve sunk hours, months or years of your life into escaping into the vibrant world of The Sims and living out your wildest queer fantasises. It is a game that has helped many explore and accept their sexuality. Whilst the series of life simulation games has always been popular with LGBTQI users, over recent years it has noticeably become more inclusive. From a WLW love story being the focus of the premise for their My Wedding Stories promo to a range of pronouns being included in the trailer for their upcoming High School Years expansion pack which will be available from 28 July.
On the day of High School Years’ release, the gaming giant will also release a free update which will allow players to customise their Sims’ sexual orientation for the first time.
So how will this impact the gameplay? Sims who are not exploring will reject advances from genders they aren’t interested in, and those who are still figuring things out can develop over time. You will be able to choose to not select any options for romantic or sexual attraction, which means aromantic and asexual sims can now be represented in the game.
This new feature has received much praise online. Although, of course there are some who have asked why this new addition is needed and why there won’t be an option to switch it off. Senior Designer and Design Lead, Jessica Croft, spoke to Inverse about why this new feature isn’t optional: “You can’t turn off queer people. That is an important stance for us to take.”
Whilst this is a great step in the right direction, there’s still room for improvement. Attraction in the game is still very binary. Despite they/them pronouns previously being introduced, there is still no options for non-binary gender.
Of course, Simmers who play with mods (modifications) will know that non-binary genders have been included within some mods. However, whilst most mods when programmed and installed properly are safe to use without damaging game data – there is still a chance that mods can corrupt data or cause glitches. So whilst I’ll still be using mods so that my Sims can live their best non-binary finery lives, I hope that the gaming giants can implement our existences into the game soon.
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DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.