The Sims 4 integrates itself as a space for LGBT+ representation – Época Negócios

With endless possibilities, the franchise launched in 2000 has become a breeding ground for diversity, giving representation to LGBT+ people. (Photo: Play/Twitter)

In The Sims you can be a mad scientist, an alien, a corrupt politician, a rich celebrity or a tax-paying waiter – the variety of characters has always been the appeal of a game whose fun is to simulate life in an electronic environment. With endless possibilities, the franchise launched in 2000 has become a breeding ground for diversity, giving representation to LGBT+ people.

Aware that it is going against the grain of the gaming industry, a space historically hostile to minorities, Electronic Arts (EA), the game’s distributor, has stepped up its tools of representation. One of the joys of the game is creating a character from scratch – and it’s clear how different types of people feel when embraced.

Released in 2014, The Sims 4 features different hair, gendered clothing, deep and high-pitched voices, use of neutral pronouns, pregnancy for males, and the ability to stop standing for females. Players determine the sexual orientation of their characters, which is important. Establishing relationships in the narrative. For the manufacturer, the more options, the better.

“We want our system to capture as many stories as possible,” Estadão explained to Jessica Croft, the game developer responsible for coordinating the sexual orientation tool. “There’s been a breakthrough in terms of representation, and we’re trying to get ahead of those demands,” he says. “And that’s the spirit of the times.”

It is a very welcome position. “The movement of The Sims is important for a game of this size,” says Carolina Caravana, vice president of the Brazilian Games Association (Abragames) and member of the organization’s diversity board. “The franchise is one of the standouts in positioning itself for diversity and gaining more representation and scale,” he adds.

preliminary concept

The flag, of course, also leads to difficult situations for the franchise. In February, EA canceled sales of The Sims 4: Wedding Stories expansion pack in Russia. That’s because the game featured a cover of two women holding hands under an arch of flowers, which violates the country’s laws against “gay propaganda.”

A few days later, after the fan community made a decision, the distributor decided to release the game there, but with a different cover. “We know that not everyone is open and receptive. But we don’t want to withdraw those resources out of fear. “- says Jessica. The developer assures that the studio is working on more news in this regard, but does not give details.


The space for diversity in The Sims has been around for over two decades – the first sign of support for the LGBT+ population was in 1999, a year before the game’s release. Games of the World showed a lesbian kiss in an unscheduled preview of the game. , which caused a lot of noise.

During the demonstration, the game’s artificial intelligence allowed a kiss between two characters without the consent of the production manager. Nevertheless, EA decided to continue with the idea without changing the game code. In this way, The Sims opened the door for many players to “out of the closet” reality in the virtual world. “It was a parallel world for me,” says art director Elvis Couto, 31, creator of the Cidade dos Sims portal dedicated to news about the franchise.

“The game was an escape,” says he, who is gay, citing episodes in his youth when he didn’t feel comfortable discussing his sexual orientation with friends and family. According to researcher Beatriz Blanco of the Cultpop Lab, there’s also another reason for this more diverse audience: the platform.

In the early 2000s, the industry focused on marketing consoles (such as the PlayStation and GameBoy) to a male audience, while PC games were aimed more at children and female audiences. “With The Sims, it created a community that wasn’t as focused on heterosexual and cisgender masculinity as it was in other niches,” he explains. Thus, fans of The Sims believe they can be immune to prejudice in the digital environment. “There is no way to be a prejudiced player of The Sims. The community protects itself,” says Couto.


The influence of The Sims on the rest of the industry in terms of representation has become inevitable. The past few years have been marked by breakthroughs, with a variety of titles featuring characters of various backgrounds and colors. The biggest is probably The Last of Us: Part II, one of the major games of recent years.

Presented for PlayStation 4, the story follows Eli’s girlfriend, Dinah, as the main character takes revenge. The value of the life simulation franchise, however, is historic. “I hear all the time from newer players who say The Sims was the only medium they could imagine. And that’s a powerful story,” says Jessica.

The newspaper publishes the information. State of Sao Paulo.


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