The Sims developers have created a new LGBTQ+ update for the popular game.
On 15 July, Maxis announced that players will soon be able to give their Sims a sexual orientation in a brand new update.
The inclusive feature comes a few months after developers rolled out an update that allowed players to add customisable pronouns for all Sims.
“As a team, we hold creativity, discovery, inclusivity and play as core values and strive every day to celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion for our people and community,” SimGuruJessica said in a statement via the EA website.
“With that in mind, we’re delighted to bring the Sexual Orientation feature to all Simmers.”
Maxis also revealed that they collaborated with LGBTQ+ organisations like GLAAD and It Gets Better to capture the “widest possible range of viewpoints on how to approach this feature in a manner that respects and elevates the community.”
Under the inclusive feature, Sims will now reject interactions with other Sims that don’t match the gender they’re attracted to.
For Sims questioning their orientation, they’ll be allowed to participate in various romantic interactions with Sims of different genders.
“As your Sim experiences romantic interactions, they may find themselves in a very different place than where they started,” the developer explained.
Players will also be able to customise their Sims to not be romantically or sexually attracted to other Sims – effectively making them asexual or aromantic.
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While this is the most LGBTQ+ inclusive update yet to The Sims, the feature is limited regarding the gender binary.
“Further down the line, we’ll be able to expand this to include additional gender identities that we don’t have at this time,” SimGuruJessica said.
Towards the end of their announcement, the developer revealed that a non-binary Sim has yet to be introduced in the game due to “technical limitations.”
“As stated above, mechanically, non-binary Sims don’t yet exist in TS4. You still have to make a binary gender selection for your Sim at creation, regardless of pronoun settings,” SimGuruJessica continued.
“We hope that we’ve shown our commitment to improving representation of gender identities with features such as Gender Customization.
“We look at the pronouns update as another important step toward better representation of non binary genders, but we also acknowledge that pronouns are not the same thing as gender identities.
“It’s a journey still in progress, with many more steps to go. Proper mechanical systems to fully support non binary Sims is another step in that journey.”
The new sexual orientation update for The Sims 4 is due for release on 28 July.