Metro Weekly

The Sims 4 throws gender rules out the window

An update to The Sims 4 gives users more freedom to customize an avatar’s gender expression

The Sims 4's new gender expression options, Credit: Maxis
The Sims 4’s new gender expression options, Credit: Maxis

“The Sims is made by a diverse team for a diverse audience, and it’s really important to us that players are able to be creative and express themselves through our games.”

The Sims publisher, Maxis, in a post on The Sims website.

For the first time in its 16 year history, The Sims is removing gender boundaries. An update on Thursday for The Sims 4 will allow users to create an avatar with any body type, walk, or voice, regardless of gender. The Sims has given users the option of same-sex relationships for years (that earned it an ‘adults only’ rating in Russia), but until now, users have been restricted to certain clothes and hair options assigned to the respective gender of the avatar.

Rachel Franklin, executive producer of The Sims 4, announced to the Associate Press that the 700 options previously restricted to only male or female aviators will now be made available to ‘Sims’ of any gender. The expansion of gender customization options will allow male ‘Sims’ to wear heels and skirts and female ‘Sims’ to dress in suits and short hair. The update will also allow users to change their gender at any time.

Franklin worked on the update with director of GLAAD’s transgender media program, Nick Adams. “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,” Adams said. With the update, The Sims will join the ranks of the small but growing list of video games that allows users to cross gender boundaries.

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