Story at a glance
- Game developers for “The Sims” this week said nonbinary and gender-neutral pronoun options are well on their way to being incorporated into the game.
- Players should soon have the option to select their avatar’s pronouns independent of their sex.
- Users may also input their own custom pronouns, and a filter similar to the game’s existing profanity filter will prevent custom pronouns from being abused.
Developers for “Sims 4” this week unveiled more detailed plans to introduce nonbinary and gender-neutral pronouns to the game.
The feature, first announced in May, is still a work in progress, developers said Wednesday during a livestream on Twitch, but players will soon have the ability to select pronouns for their avatars independent of their sex.
Once players enter the game, they’ll be greeted with a “Create-A-Sim” screen with the message “hello, my name and pronouns are:,” developers said. Users will then be able to select all three grammatical forms of their preferred pronouns from a drop-down menu, which includes the gender options “they/them/their,” “she/her/hers,” and “he/him/his.”
Users will also be given the option to input their own custom pronouns, and in-game filters similar to the game’s existing profanity filter will aim to prevent custom pronouns from being abused, developers said.
Developers added that they are working closely with It Gets Better, an LGBTQ+ advocacy and suicide prevention group, and the LGBTQ+ media watchdog GLAAD.
“The Sims” isn’t the first series of video games to let players select their own pronouns, as Supergiant Games’ “Pyre” and Playground Games’ “Forza Horizon 5” also allow users to choose their preferred pronouns, including gender-neutral identifiers.
“Our language shapes the world around us and how we interact with the world,” Rae Sweet, It Gets Better’s education coordinator, said Wednesday during the livestream.
Sweet, who uses gender neutral pronouns, added: “The day that I tried on they/them pronouns for the first time was the day I was first ever able to recognize 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 said.
Game designer Rachel Gilbert during the livestream said adding pronouns to the game will hopefully make the “Sims” universe feel more welcoming and inclusive.
“It’s really validating to see your pronouns, I really can’t underscore that enough,” Gilbert said. “It’s reassuring and it’s like a little checkbox – we’re all good here, we know who we are.”
READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA