Maxis Studios and publisher Electronic Arts are finally adding a much-requested feature to The Sims series: preferred pronouns for your Sims. While you have been long able to choose your Sim’s sex, clothes, and overall physical appearance, fans have been asking Maxis for the ability to choose how the game and other characters refer to the Sims themselves.
— The Sims (@TheSims) May 24, 2022
When players create or edit a Sim in the Create-a-Sim mode, a bar at the top left reads “Hello, My Name Is…” to name the Sim. That option now includes a button that asks for pronouns. The initial options are They/Them, She/Her, and He/Him. A further menu for custom options asks players to type-in their pronouns for different categories labeled Subjective, Objective, Possessive Dependent, Possessive Independent, and Reflexive. There are example sentences under each of these categories to help people figure out exactly what they’re trying to use.
This first update focuses on English, but Maxis says they are working on incorporating other languages as they expand the feature.
Over a year ago, fans of the Sims took part in a campaign with the non-profit organization It Gets Better, a LBGTQ+ youth organization that describes its mission as “building a global community.” The campaign asked EA and Maxis to allow players to choose pronouns for their Sims rather than basing it on the visible sex from the character creator.
“The other aspect of research that we did was around the importance of including customizable pronouns to be more inclusive of folks from different lived experiences,” Sims producer SimGuruDuck wrote in a blog post today. “We reached out to the It Gets Better Project and GLAAD and worked with them to learn more about how pronouns are used, particularly by trans and nonbinary people. Through this research and through doing a deep dive into the game, we’ve learned about all of the different complex areas that binary gender was present in The Sims 4. From here we then worked with our team to come up with some wireframe designs to help us work on making this feature a reality.”
The Sims 4 still contains some gendered language that may not be compatible with the current pronoun integration — for example, policeman and policewoman — but Maxis notes that they’re aware of this and are continuing to work on making everything more inclusive overall.
The Sims 4 is available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.