The Sims 4’s latest expansion pack, “High School Years,” is launching on July 28, but it’s also getting a free update with a variety of features, mainly a new set of sexual orientation options.
Throughout its history, The Sims has been a haven for many LGBTQIA+ people, and earlier this year he became the face of its “Wedding Stories” expansion, which featured a queer couple heavily marketed was. While there was controversy – quickly reversed – over the decision not to sell the expansion in Russia due to the country’s anti-gay laws, the expansion was followed in May by an update that added the pronoun.
Each of these stages confirms people who have spent countless hours learning about themselves through their Sims’ mirrors, something that Simgurujesica, the design lead for High School Years, achieves. The Sims 4 Design Blog (opens in new tab)He spoke in depth about the new sexual orientation feature and how the development team arrived at the decisions he made: “Authenticity is a point that often comes up with regard to features like these, and rightly so… Many of the team members, me included, are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. That said, each one of us on the team represents only a narrow slice of lived experiences. That’s how we’ve tried GLAAD and it to make sure Having worked extensively with the Gates Better Project, it has captured the widest possible perspectives on how to bring this feature together in a way that respects and uplifts the community.”
The Sexual Orientation feature will allow you to adjust your Sim’s romantic and sexual attractiveness on certain axes. The first is what your Sim is attracted to, so that they’ll automatically decline any romantic conversation with someone they’re not attracted to – and since the system doesn’t require a check, you can easily than can represent them to be fragrant. In the meantime, you can check that your Sim’s sexual orientation can and will change through gameplay, which will either lock in their preferences or allow them to evolve over time, as they would sometime in life- ever do.
The last part of the sexual orientation feature is the setting aside for sex, or woohoo as Sims affectionately refers to it. You can choose which gender your Sim will falter with, and similar to the Charm options, you can easily represent your Sim’s asexuality by leaving both unchecked. Arrow and ace identities are usually unmentioned or overlooked, so the obvious choice to confirm players who want Sims with those identities is a really nice touch.
While Simgurujesica acknowledges that attraction and gender in The Sims 4 are still limited to binary, they also address this in the post’s FAQ: “TS4 is 8 years old at this point, and system dependent. which were originally architected with gender binary in mind. In the intervening years, we have made significant strides like gender adaptation, pronounciation and now sexual orientation. It is still a journey, with many more steps. Non-binary Having the proper mechanical systems to fully support The Sims is another step in that journey.”
Most importantly, simgurujesica left an amazing response in their FAQ, in response to a question I’m fully aware someone (unfortunately) would ask if they hadn’t addressed it: Can I use this feature? can i turn it off?
“No. While we try to give players the option to toggle certain gameplay features, LGBTQIA+ identity is a fact of life and is not meant to be toggled on and off.”