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Electronic Arts and Maxis are removing all gender barriers found in The Sims 4

First reported by The Associated Press, The Sims 4 will be getting a free update this Thursday that will remove all gender boundaries in the game’s character creation. What this basically means is that newly created Sims will be allowed to have any physique, voice or attire available to them, and will also allow players to change their Sim’s gender whenever they wish, all by the player’s choice. In addition to this, the update will also allow players the ability to designate which Sims in the game can also reproduce.

This update has been in the works for over a year, according to Sims 4 executive producer Rachel Franklin. She noted that this work was in close association with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) on the update, which contributed to some suggestions included in the update. “Female Sims can wear sharp men’s suits like Ellen [DeGeneres], and male Sims can wear heels like Prince,” states Franklin. 

The Sims 4 Diverse Cast

Nick Adams, the director of GLAAD’s transgender media program, stated that “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.”

 This will be the first official time that The Sims series will have fully customizable options for sim creation that is not based on gender lines. Prior to this update, The Sims series was often modded to remove gender boundaries by the community.

The removal of gender boundaries is not a new concept in games- titles such as Saints Row 2 (and subsequent games) have purposefully removed gender lines in character creation, and titles such as the Mass Effect series can have you change the gender of their titular character, Commander Shepard between games, although otherwise gender restrictions still apply. 

What do you think about this news? Leave your comments below

Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.

  • So Sims can crossdress now. That’s neat, but I feel they may be slightly overblowing the cultural significance; no one who is sitting around fingering their hoop and playing the Sims all day is out there changing the world.

  • SomeCollegeStudent

    It’s about normalizing the existence of gays, lesbians, and transgenders for people. People are less likely to think something or someone is abnormal if they’ve seen it before in some form of media.

    Edited: 2016 June 2

  • BakedBagel

    “also allow players to change their Sim’s gender whenever they wish”

    Just like real life :^)

  • SevTheBear

    Well that’s one way to get cheap points

  • Garbagio Dumpsterino

    This increases player choice. I approve of this solution to diversity-pandering.

  • Dr.Weird

    absolutely disgusting.

  • Dr.Weird

    which is why it should be discarded out of hand, and EA mocked for it. Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.

  • Saints Row did it first.

  • Dave

    Yep, good idea. Now any Sim can wear anything without having to resort to custom content. I wonder how this will affect content creators though…

  • Assurbanipal The Great

    I hope you can choose Mayonnaise as your gender.

  • Everyone is already aware gay and lesbian people exist, you don’t have to allow putting a man’s suit on a female character model to normalise this fact in people’s minds; if anything I see that as re-enforcing the butch lesbian trope.

    I’m not complaining EA have done this, by the way, I just don’t think it carries the weight of significance they’re virtue-signalling about.


    No, Patrick, mayonnaise is not a gender.
    Horseradish is not a gender either.

  • BurntToShreds

    Agreed, Rob. Yeah, it’s a nice thing that they did it, but it feels more like a “Huh, that’s cool.” thing rather than a “Truly EA are the paragons of progress!” thing.

  • Robert Grosso

    Maybe not to yourself to be fair, but for others, it could be a big deal. Got to remember, a woman in a suit is not necessarily gay or transgender or something of that nature, it’s just a style or dress of choice, and I know a few women who enjoy wearing suits because they like that style, maybe it’s a NY thing.

    For a lot of people, it does kind of go beyond the LGBT stuff I feel. Otherwise, why did so many folks make mods about it you know? As for EA and all that, I don’t think it really matters and no one is really saying they are paragons of progress, as BurnttoShreds noted, but they are making a lot of progressive moves that are non-regressive, altruistic intent or no.

  • Lepito

    >This update has been in the works for over a year

    THAT’S where your effort was put? Not into adding content into a shitty, redundant game that is inferior to its predecessors in every way possible, not the least of which being the amount of content the game has?

  • Galbador

    How about purple?

  • Galbador

    EA: Look, we allow you to make gay people!! We are PC as fuck and cool, right????

    Nope, EA. You just want to sucker people back to your shitty games by acting like you deliver what they want, while other games did much earlier and without this “EQUALITY FOR EVERYONE” bullshit. All you do, is to suck SJWs off, nothing else.

  • Rogar the Greater

    Oh look, EA is trying to win brownie points again.

  • Scionyde

    Whatever, I won’t say no to having more player options in a game.

  • I played a ton of Saints Row 3 and a little bit of Saints Row 4. It’s funny how what amounts to a B-Movie version of GTA ended up being one of the most equal games in existence in terms of civil rights.

    Wanna be a woman with a man’s voice? Go for it. Wanna be a dude who runs around in a dress? No problem. Wanna be a green-eyed, blue-skinned fat chick with a zombie voice? No problem!

  • Only the tiniest of game companies work on one thing at a time. They likely mean that they had an internal team working on it for a year. I don’t think it took their entire staff to implement this feature.

  • You’ve been able to have gay relationships since at least The Sims 2. All they’re doing is allowing more options for gender here.

  • Why did they make mods, though? Maybe for the same reason anyone else does: to customise their gaming experience.

    They could have just pitched this as The Sims now being fully customisable, but instead they brought in GLAAD and, like it or not, that adds a political and/or ideological angle to it, whether I agree with their motives or not.

    And this comes back to the point I was making: Not everything has to be part of the great identity politics war and, to be honest, I find the fact an organisation like GLAAD are dedicating time and resources to something as trivial as the fucking Sims when there are actual real, credible threats to the rights and wellbeing of LGBT still present in the west utterly infuriating.

    It just feels like the very worst kind of slacktivism to me: “Yeah, yeah, gays are still openly discriminated against in certain parts of society, but look: Ladies can wear suits now, in The Sims! Yay progress!”

  • SomeCollegeStudent

    I don’t expect earth shattering results from this move either. But then again progress is rarely done in such ways.

  • Lepito

    That makes it even more pathetic that their game is a fraction of what it should have been, and that this is all they have to show for it.

  • Wisdomcube2000

    Purple is the best gender.

  • Rumble Red

    Yeah. The back-patting’s a little silly considering games like Saints Row 2
    and Dragon’s Dogma beat them to the punch by years and didn’t feel the
    need to make it a ~statement~, but the less limits there are in any
    character customization system, the better.

    This definitely beats the hell out of the changes Nintendo made to Xenoblade’s character creator.

  • Saints Row won’t get any credit, though. Doesn’t fit the narrative.

  • Galbador

    This is just a way to please people; a fake facade.

  • Galbador

    Thank you, my good sir.

  • I’m happy players are being given more customisation options, so it’s a win for everyone.

  • Robert Grosso

    Being earth-shattering you mean?

  • SiliconNooB

    What about attack helicopter?

  • Obviously Chaos Undivided is where it’s at.