‘Sims 4’ devs explain importance of including gender-neutral pronouns

“Our language shapes the world around us"

Sims 4 developers displayed how they hope to introduce fully customisable non-binary and gender neutral pronouns yesterday (January 18) during a developer livestream.

The feature, still a work in progress, will see players be able to select pronouns independently of their sim’s sex. The plan is for the new Create-A-Sim screen to greet players with the message “hello, my name and pronouns are” before they are able to select from a drop down menu (including ‘they/them/their’, ‘she/her/hers’, ‘he/him/his’) or have the chance to input their own custom pronouns.

The ‘custom’ option will allow players to set all three grammatical forms of their pronouns, with developers also saying that in-game filters, like the existing profanity filter, will help prevent custom pronouns from being abused.

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Developers are working with LGBTQ+ charity It Gets Better for the feature, which still doesn’t have a release date.

In a conversation posted on SimsCommunity, producer SimGuruDuck, Rae Sweet from It Gets Better and The Sims game designer Rachel Gilbert, spoke about why this feature is so important.

“Our language shapes the world around us and how we interact with the world” explained Sweet. “The day that I tried on they/them pronouns for the first time was the day I was first ever able to recognise myself in the mirror. Which, as you can imagine is life changing.”

“I just know that giving people a space to play in The Sims and play with pronouns and be who they want to be just gives them so much room to explore and find themselves and be their true authentic selves. Especially in a society where they might not be able to in real life,” they continued.

“I just think adding pronouns to the game will make make [The Sims 4] feel even more welcoming and kind. It’s really validating to see your pronouns – I really can’t underscore that enough. It’s reassuring and it’s like a little checkbox – we’re all good here, we know who we are,” added Gilbert.

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In other news, Valorant devs hope to make the game “less toxic” with a player-curated muted word list, as part of their 4.01 update which went live today (January 19)

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