UPDATE 26/10: EA has reached out to GameByte with a comment on this issue:
When it comes to representation, it’s not a destination, it’s a journey that we are continuously working towards across the board. We’ve seen and read your comments regarding Non-Binary Pronouns and their availability in-game. At this time, we can’t confirm anything in regards to timing, but what we can say is that for a long time our team has been evaluating ways to add gender-neutral language while considering how complex it would be to do so. Currently, we’ve been investigating the changes needed considering not only the size of our game, but the possibilities for all of our 18 supported languages to make sure that we do this work the best way possible. This is super important to all of us, which means we want to make sure we do it right.
ORIGINAL: Over 20,000 fans of The Sims have signed a petition to get EA to add gender neutral pronouns to the game. It’s time.
The Sims is incredibly customisable. You can fine tune and adjust the appearance of your Sim in very granular ways. Way back in 2016, EA announced that qualities such as voice, walk and physique wouldn’t be tied to your initial gender selection. It gives players much more control over how their Sims present their gender. Additionally, it unlocked all clothing and accessories for Sims:
“We’ve also made clothing, hair, jewelry, and other visual options available to all Sims. Over 700 pieces of content previously only available to either male or female Sims, have now been made available to all Sims regardless of initial gender selection.”
While giving players the freedom to use every possible option for their Sims’ appearances is a great first step – it’s still based on a binary of male/female. Now fans of The Sims are putting pressure on EA to add gender neutral pronouns to their game. It would be an important recognition of non-binary and gender-queer identities.
More than 20,000 people have signed the petition so far. The petition was started by the Twitch streamer Momo Misfortune who uses they/them pronouns themselves. They wrote in a recent update:
“Languages are always changing and evolving. Trans and Non-Binary folx are everywhere and our communities all over the world are making changes in their own communities.”
gender neutral pronouns
Using they/them as a singular pronoun has a long history in the English language – going back as far as Chaucer. It’s something we all do instinctively when we don’t know someone’s gender (If I were to say “I’m going to visit my friend in the hospital.” you might respond “Oh, I hope they’re doing okay!”). In fact, statistically speaking, English is pretty weird for having gendered pronouns at all. 57% of languages don’t have gendered pronouns. Hungarian, Basque and Kurdish have no gender distinctions, for example.
Now more and more people are rejecting the binary idea of gender and are identifying as non-binary, gender-queer or agender instead and are using they/them or other variations of pronouns to better explain who they are as individuals.
As reported by GamesRadar, the petition isn’t far off its target of 25,000 signatures. As pointed out in the petition update – Sims fans succeeded in petitioning EA to give more skin tones in the Sims using a similar method. Let’s hope EA embraces giving players more options in creating their Sims, so they reflect the awesome variety of people on this planet.
If you could petition for a change in The Sims what would it be? Let us know via our social media channels.
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Featured Image Credit: EA