Sims 4’s Next Big Patch Lets You Customize Sexual Orientation is a big update for the whole game. The latest expansion pack in Sim’s 4, “High School Years,” would be launching on July 28, but it also would be getting a free update with tons of features, chiefly a new set of sexual orientation options.
Over its history, the Sims has been a haven for tons of LGBTQIA+ people, and earlier this year they became the face of its “wedding stories” expansion with a queer couple featured heavily in the marketing. While there seems to be controversy over the quickly reversed – decision not to sell the expansion in Russia due to the anti-gay law in the country, the expansion was followed by an update that includes pronouns.
Sims 4’s Next Big Patch Lets You Customize Sexual Orientations
Each of these steps reaffirms all those that have spent countless hours learning about themselves via the mirror of their sims, something that SimGurujessica, the design lead for High School Years, seems to get.
On the Sims 4 design blog, they discussed in depth the new sexual Orientation feature and how the development team arrived at the decisions that they made: “Authenticity is a point that often comes up in regards to features like this, and rightly so. many members of the team, myself included, are part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
With that stated, each one of us on the team represents only a narrow slice of lived experiences. As such we’ve worked extensively with GLAAD and the It Gets Better Project to ensure that we’ve captured the widest possible range of viewpoints on how to approach this feature in a manner that respects and elevates the community.”
Sims Sexual Orientation Features
The Sexual Orientation features would allow you to make some adjustments to your Sim’s romantic and sexual attractions on a few axes. The first one is who your Sim is attracted to, and this would have them automatically reject any romantic interactions with someone that they are not attracted to – and since the system does not need a check, you can easily represent them and bring aromantic.
Meanwhile, you get to check if or not your sim’s sexual orientation can shift and change via the gameplay, and this would lock their preferences in or allow them to evolve with time, as they sometimes do in life.
The final part of this sexual orientation feature is the separate setting for sex or WooHoo as the sims affectionately call it. you get to select the gender that your sim would go for a tumble with, and similar to the attraction options, also you can easily represent your sim’s asexuality by leaving both unchecked. Aro and ace identities usually are not mentioned or ignored, so the explicit choice to affirm the players that want sims with those identities is a really nice touch.
Sims 4 Gender Customization Features
While SimGurujessica acknowledges that the attraction and gender in Sims 4 still remain limited to the binary, they also address it further in the post’s FAQ: “TS4 is 8 years old at this point, and reliant on systems that were originally architected with a gender binary in mind. In the intervening years, we’ve taken important steps such as Gender Customization, Pronouns, and now Sexual Orientation. It’s a journey still in progress, with many more steps to go. Proper mechanical systems to fully support non-binary Sims is another step in that journey.”
Most importantly, SimGurujessica dropped an interesting response in their FAQ, in response to a question I absolutely know someone would ask if they had not gotten it addressed: can I turn this feature off?
“No. While we try to give players the option to toggle certain gameplay features, LGBTQIA+ identities are a fact of life and not a toggle to be switched on and off.”