Thursday, June 11, 2009

Same-sex Sims tie the knot  

I never thought to write a post on this, but after I recently purchased and played (many) hours of The Sims 3, I thought, "Why haven't I written about this yet?"

For those of you who don't know, same-sex marriage is now "legal" in the popular computer game, The Sims.

When The Sims 1 originally came out waaaay back in 2000, same-sex Sim couples could only move in together, but they couldn't tie the knot. Still, in the Sims 1 and in all expansion packs thereafter, "straight" and "gay" seemed to not exist. When you made your Sims, you couldn't pick their sexual orientation; Sims would fall in love with whoever they found appealing, regardless of gender.

The Sims 2, which came out in 2004, allowed same-sex couples to be "joined," which was the Sim version of civil unions. But now, in The Sims 3, which was released just at the beginning of this month, all adult Sims couples can be married, regardless of gender. Lyle Masaki at says it well:

It may seem like a small step for a game series that has always been LGB-inclusive, but games that treat gay people equally are still pretty rare. Homophobia is still sadly common among video game communities and, worse, some companies' attempts to deal with anti-gay harassment have ended up being even more repressive to queer players.

Though The Sims didn't always allow same-sex marriage, I always, even in my pre-feminist years, thought it was surprisingly progressive that the game allowed same-sex romances. And though some could plausibly argue that the game excluded any talk of sexual orientation out of fear, I think that, regardless of their motives, Electronic Arts created a world ahead of its time, in which sexual orientation does not exist, because love is simply love.

What next?

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