Photograph: EA/The Sims
The Sims, EA s popular lifestyle simulation game, has removed binary gender categories for clothes, hairstyles, accessories and physical characteristics – such as voice pitch – in its customisation options for characters.
We want to make sure players can create characters they can identify with or relate to through powerful tools that give them influence over a Sims gender, age, ethnicity, body type and more.
When demoing the game at the E3 games show, two female characters began to kiss in a live simulation.
In a New Yorker piece, entitled The Kiss That Changed Video Games Forever , Patrick J Barrett, one of the game developers, recalled:
No other game had facilitated same-sex relationships before – at least, to this extent – and some people figured that maybe we weren t the ideal ones to be first.
But the developers decided not to alter the game code and to keep same-sex relationships in place.
In September 2014, EA fixed a bug preventing LGBT terms such as gay and homosexual being used in character names when users played online.