When they’re not creating picture-perfect recreations of the Love Island villa, having werewolf graduation ceremonies, or putting the finishing touches on a sim resembling Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Sims players also enjoy creating regular people that they can relate to.
For many, this has long meant the use of mods which can be used to make Keanu Reeves clones have a baby and have also doubled as the only means for LGBTQIA+ players to replicate their sexual and relationship preferences.
Thankfully, a new free update set to drop later this month in The Sims 4 will offer a lot more options when it comes to sexual orientation.
Sims Players React Positively to Improved LGBTQIA+ Representation
In the dev diary announcing the update, SimGuruJessica, design lead on The Sims 4’s High School Years Expansion Pack, which is set to release alongside the sexual orientation feature, discussed its implementation.
“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.” they explained, continuing: “With that in mind, we’re delighted to bring the Sexual Orientation feature to all Simmers.”
They also allude to a recent update to the way the game allows players to configure their sims’ pronoun as part of an ongoing effort to improve its LGBTQIA+ representation, saying: “we’ve worked extensively with GLAAD and the It Gets Better Project to ensure that we’ve captured the widest possible range of viewpoints on how to approach this feature in a manner that respects and elevates the community.”
In line with this ethos, the feature won’t be able to be switched off by players once implemented, with SimGuruJessica earning the admiration of many players on social media by saying: “while we try to give players the option to toggle certain gameplay features, LGBTQIA+ identities are a fact of life and not a toggle to be switched on and off.”
In terms of how the new feature will function, players can expect to find it in Create a Sim, where it will offer three different settings to help mould who the sim being edited will be attracted to, whether they’re exploring different romantic identities and who they’re interested in WooHooing with.
Sadly, the option to create non-binary sims won’t be a part of this, with SimGuruJessica explaining: “The Sims 4 is eight years old at this point, and reliant on systems that were originally architected with a gender binary in mind” and adding that non-binary options may become available in future updates.
For those wondering if you have to buy the High School Years expansion in order to receive the sexual orientation update, don’t worry, the latter will be available free to all Sims 4 regardless of the expansions they own.