With same-sex relationships being possible since the first game in the series in 2000, The Sims has spearheaded queer representation in gaming. It wasn’t always perfect, with same-sex couples in The Sims 2, for example, being limited to “joined unions” rather than marriages, but it was there. One area that is lacking in terms of representation is gender, using standard pronouns based on the players’ chosen body type. That has changed since one To update (opens in new tab) Adding customizable pronouns to The Sims 4.
With this update, a brand new or existing Sim can use the Create a Sim menu to select them from the Change Pronoun drop-down list, or go to Custom Pronouns and set separate options for Subjective, Objective, Reflexive, Possessive Dependent, and Possessive Independent Pronoun. It seems like a fairly robust set of possibilities and was developed in collaboration with GLAAD and the It Gets Better Project, a non-profit organization that The Sims 2019 has partnered with.
Credit for getting the ball rolling should go to the Twitch streamer and It Gets Better ambassador Mom misfortune (opens in new tab), who began tweeting daily at both EA and The Sims early last year to request pronoun options. They also started a Petition on Change.org (opens in new tab) which collected 22,856 signatures.
in one blog entry (opens in new tab) Speaking about the update, Producer John Faciane, aka SimGuruDuck, spoke about the work that went into researching and adding this feature. “We did a few different explorations,” Faciane wrote, “but ultimately we ended up creating a system that allows the player to define pronouns and then use them in several different text strings. This was achieved by creating new tokens or reused pieces of text that support custom input from players.”
Custom pronouns are currently only available for Sims in The Sims 4 English version. Faciane noted that the rollout will take some time since The Sims 4 has been translated into 18 different languages: “With that amount of languages, there’s a lot of complexity in how different languages and cultures use pronouns, so we need extra time to to explore how we can properly integrate grammar rules into other languages the game is available in.”
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