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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Sims 4: Inclusion Add On

Hey, sorry guys. Its been a long time since I've posted anything. I've been pretty broke the last few weeks so I haven't picked up any super new games as well as too busy to get into them.
There was a recent update to The Sims 4 which added in the ability to have transgendered characters, or at the very least gender nonspecific characters. It was enough to make me redownload the game again. While I don't feel Sims 4 is a particularly bad game whenever a new title comes out I feel its a bit bland at the very least in comparison to the previous game. While the cycle shifts down and the new game is about to be released the previous title has a massive amount of DLC content and stupid little packs which add a whole bunch to the game so the new game will feel watered down in a way. Though Sims 4 was a bit more considering that they left out some content that 3 had to begin with.
However, this isn't about that but rather the new add on so I'll keep those opinions to myself. Its definitely a hot button topic right now, especially with the bathroom laws allowing transgendered people to enter the bathroom they most identify with. I'm not going to share my views on this in detail but I will say that moving forward has always been my personal view. That the freedoms of people ultimately shape the society we live in for better or worse.
From a purely economic standpoint, EA really hit the nail on this one. At the very least adding in a new and free update to get people to talk about the game for the first time in a while and might even get in some potential customers who were less than overjoyed by the lack of gender options for their personal identity. On a technical standpoint... this is where I kind of drop off. So the way to access this is in the character creation. You need to choose a binary set of standards. "Can this sim use the bathroom standing up?" "Can this sim get pregnant or get others pregnant?" Stuff like that. The main problem isn't those first three rather the fact that you ARE however limited to wearing female or male clothes. I created a new character as best to my likeness and started messing around with the outfits only to see that all the female outfits (I'm a male) were blocked out for me. I thought it was weird to say the least. While I'm not transgendered or even a person who wears clothes that wouldn't necessarily be classically be for a person like me, the idea that you have to limit yourself doesn't really seem all that... sensible. I'm not trying to start something but I personally feel the option should be left open and the player is the one who decides. Sims don't choose clothes at random like we do. The player sets their outfits and they just alternate based on the situation like everyday to swim wear and to work out clothes. Unless you change them, your sim will wear those until they die or until you decide to stop playing. So I'm kind of wondering why my sim can't wear classically male clothes for everyday life and then a dress on formal occasions? Maybe I want to do it to make it funnier or maybe that's how a person acts in their normal life. Maybe they stay home and dress as a man but when they go out they prefer to be seen as a woman. Again, I'm not the right person to be addressing these things as I do not identify as them.
I'm not saying EA screwed up but its definitely going in the right direction. I often joke with myself, usually on hot days, wishing I could wear a skirt. Its not really a gender thing I just think the freedom on certain days would be nice. Rather than have a slider that says I can or can't wear it, why not just allow me to choose as I please? Another interesting thing I noticed is that you can have a masculine or feminine body type as well as change your voice to be more feminine or masculine. The first is new but I always thought the second was pretty standard for the beginning release of the game. Sims had (and still have) a slider to make their voices higher or lower in pitch. It didn't really seem like the feature was necessary to be added in, though its not a big deal personally. I'll just end saying that I hope this stays a thing and every other Sim game from now on keeps it as a standard feature and (maybe) other games adopt the idea. Its less of a human rights thing just more of a way to help people identify better with the characters they create to give them greater immersion.

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