The Sims 4 will now let you set sexual orientation

The Sims 4 takes another step forward for LGBTQIA+ representation.

Image: EA

The Sims 4 has been working diligently to keep up with the many changes made to modern society over the years. While there's still a lot of work to be done, there are more people than ever comfortable with expressing their sexual orientation. To that end, the team at Maxis are looking to implement that in The Sims 4 going forward by allowing players to set a Sim's specific sexual orientation.

The new sexual orientation feature is explained in a detailed update posted Friday to The Sims 4 website. This will allow users to set which gender Sims are attracted to, which gender they're seeking romantic relations with, or even whether they're interested in romance at all. The post explains that several members of the Sims 4 development team identify as LGBTQIA+, thus giving them a vested interest in offering these options and doing so in the right way. Furthermore, the team has worked with GLAAD and the It Gets Better Project in order to gather feedback on implementing this feature in a respectful manner.

Sims 4 sexual orientation
Image courtesy of EA

However, while Maxis is looking to represent as many different types of people as possible, there are still some glaring omissions. The sexual orientation feature remains fairly binary. While it may not be a satisfying explanation, Senior Designer Jessica Croft does offer one nonetheless, attributing the decision to technical limitations.

"I understand that there will be concerns here around the initial options being gender binary," Croft explains. "Mechanically, non-binary Sims don’t yet exist in TS4. While we made great progress in representing non binary Sims with the pronouns update, we acknowledge that pronouns are not the same thing as gender identities. We recognize that we still have a ways to go in this regard."

The sexual orientation options come as EA and Maxis reveal more details about the next major expansion for The Sims 4, which is High School Years. This expansion will allow players to control teenaged Sims as they look to carve their path through high school and beyond. Players can take part in after school activities, study for those final exams, and even prepare for prom by putting together an epic "promposal." They also have to navigate teen drama in all its forms, including young love. High School Years will also have an effect on previous Sim expansions, as the young Sims will have to prepare for college or to step into real-world careers.

The Sims 4's High School Years expansion pack will release on Thursday, July 28 for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. However, the sexual orientation feature will be available to all Sims players free of charge.

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Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 15, 2022 2:40 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, The Sims 4 will now let you set sexual orientation

    • reply
      July 15, 2022 3:01 PM

      I'm wondering if some states will ban this content/update - teachers are banned from saying "gay" in florida, so I don't know how this game content would be allowed in florida

      it's gonna be a mess

    • reply
      July 15, 2022 3:01 PM

      What about in game though

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      July 15, 2022 4:05 PM

      I'm actually kinda surprised they didn't have that option before.

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        July 15, 2022 4:12 PM

        I know for sure I had Sims in older games do gay stuff, without any settings like this

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          July 15, 2022 4:54 PM

          Yeah, I think previously the game just kind of let sexuality happen based on interactions you chose.

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