Photo from TheSims.com
Right now, The Sims 4 stands to be one of the most gender and race inclusive games on the market. There are few other, if any, games out right now that let you be whoever you want, whatever color and size you want, and pursue whatever career and hobbies you want. Even same-sex relationships were an option early on in the Sims franchise. However, trans and nonbinary folks still remained invisible and unrepresented in the gaming world.
(Full disclosure: I’m a cisgender woman who’s always identified as such. I cannot speak personally on the issues faced by trans and nonbinary folk. However, I do believe that this is a small step in a very necessary direction for the visibility of all gender identities in the gaming community.)
Two days ago, EA/Maxis pushed a base game update to the Sims 4 that basically removed gender restrictions from newly created and existing characters. For existing characters, you can choose the option in any mirror to edit the character, and it brings you to the CAS (create-a-sim) screen where you can modify literally every physical thing about that Sim. You can choose whether the Sim is male or female, whether their body frame is masculine or feminine, whether they prefer masculine or feminine clothes, if they can get pregnant or get other sims pregnant (or neither), and whether or not they can pee standing up. You can put facial hair on women and men can wear makeup. The hairstyles and all clothing have been unlocked to be worn on either male or female bodies and all of the voices and ranges have been unlocked to use for any gender. I haven’t played any trans or genderqueer characters yet, but I made a quick video of a randomly created Sim and cycled through some of the options on them.
As you can see, some of the options are still very limited. Even though a plethora of combinations are available, the gender options are still very binary. Also, the breasts: a male Sim with a feminine frame cannot have breasts, while a female with a masculine frame cannot get rid of their breasts no matter what clothing you put them in. Maybe this is something that will be remedied in a future update, and I only hope that The Sims franchise continues to be so progressive and inclusive. I stand by my belief that EA is a shit company, but this was huge of them, and I only hope that future games from them and other developers follow suit for visibility and inclusiveness.