In The Sims 4, and the many Sims titles that came before it, players have been able to design their very own characters, choosing their clothing, hairstyles, make-up and various other aspects of their characters’ designs. However, the Create a Sim feature has limitations, with much of the CAS content (including hairstyles and clothing) being restricted depending on whether the character is male or female.
In a positive move forward, The Sims publisher EA and developer Maxis have now released a free Sims 4 update that aims to break down these barriers. The two companies also worked with LGBT advocacy group GLAAD to add other customisation options, such as the ability to change a Sims’ gender at any time. Find out more after the break.
The Sims 4 Expands Gender Customization Options via Official EA UK
The Sims 4 Updates Gender Options
With the latest Sims 4 update (PC Version 184.108.40.2060 / Mac Version 220.127.116.110) which was released for free yesterday, players will find that over 700 pieces of Create a Sim content in the base game and its DLC packs are now available to Sims of any gender. This content can also be filtered into Masculine or Feminine assets. There isn’t 100% coverage of the assets as some were “proving difficult” but the developer “chose to lean towards the ‘give access to more’ over the ‘make everything perfect’ side”, The Sims 4 senior producer Lyndsay Pearson also tweeted that the game won’t create NPCs based on this new feature.
Also added to the game is the ‘Customize Gender’ option which allows players to choose things such as whether a Sim can get pregnant/get others pregnant, whether their physical frame is masculine or feminine and if the Sim can use the toilet while standing. Moreover, Sims now have access to all six of the voice options in the game.
In a statement sent to The Associated Press, Maxis says that it wanted to “make sure players can create characters they can identify with or relate to through powerful tools that give them influence over a Sims’ gender, age, ethnicity, body type and more.” Nick Adams, the director of GLAAD’s transgender media program adds that “creating the possibility for greater gender diversity within the world of ‘The Sims’ is an exciting development. It was a pleasure working with developers who were committed to updating the game so that all players can create a Sims world that more accurately reflects the world in which we live today.”
While The Sims series has been a longstanding favourite for (cisgendered) L, G and B players as it allows for same-sex couples (and, as of The Sims 3, same-sex marriage), this latest Sims 4 update will allow transgender, non-binary and genderqueer players to better reflect themselves in the game. Very few games with character customisation include non-cisgendered characters or allow players to create them (Rock Band 4 is a rare example) so hopefully we are seeing the start of a more inclusive and very much welcomed trend.