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Gaming conference admits Sims 4 game was used to push gender ideology on its young, female audience
Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Gaming conference admits Sims 4 game was used to push gender ideology on its young, female audience

A producer for the game was said to have 'more or less on purpose' injected gender ideology into the game.

Video games trade fair Gamescom pointed out that a producer for the Sims 4 purposely pushed gender ideology on gamers and "pathed [sic] the way for queer characters," including through the use of preferred pronouns.

The German trade fair posted in celebration of June 2024 Pride Month and highlighted people in the gaming industry based on their sexuality or sexual preference.

"Pride Month is almost over, but that doesn't mean that queer matters will stop being important," the company wrote on X. "Today we want to introduce just a few of the many talented queer people that are an integral part of the gaming industry. Cause, whether you want to believe it or not: Gaming and being queer can go hand in hand just fine."

'We started looking into the game itself to see how we could approach the addition of customizable pronouns.'

The company's final post included an avatar of John Faciane, who worked on the Sims games; the company noted that he carved out a special path for gender ideology in the games he produced.

"And last but not least John Faciane, who has more or less on purpose, pathed [sic] the way for queer characters in video games with his work on the Sims."

This celebratory confession led to online commentators and writers finding other remarks by Faciane about the game in which the developer wrote about working with activists to deliver in-game messaging.

"First we started looking into the game itself to see how we could approach the addition of customizable pronouns. We went through a couple of different explorations, but ultimately where we landed was to create a system that allows for pronouns to be defined by the player and have those then be used in multiple different text strings," Faciane wrote in a since-deleted blog post for Electronic Arts.

Faciane spoke on working with GLAAD about how to properly insert preferred pronouns for transgender people.

"We reached out to our partners It Gets Better Project and GLAAD and worked with them to learn more about how pronouns are used, particularly by trans and nonbinary people. Through this research and through doing a deep dive into the game, we've learned about all of the different complex areas that binary gender was present in The Sims 4."

The producer has given multiple interviews about inserting gender ideology into the games, including when he spoke to the Guardian in 2022.

"I'm an openly gay man working in the games industry, so for me I have a vested interest in greater inclusion not just in the games we play but in those who make games," he told the outlet.

"The more we include all those people, the better it is. … A big reason that I felt comfortable to come out when I did, even though I have a wonderful, supportive, loving family, was seeing representation of gay men within games," he added.

That same year, Faciane said that he and Sims executive producer Phill Ring — who is also gay — had been contemplating putting such themes into the games for some time.

"We've been thinking about this for a very long time; it's been very near and dear to a lot of us, especially those who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community," he told Queerty. "This time around, we were seeing not only internally us advocating for this, but we also saw players saying that on Twitter and social media, and we really felt like it was time for us to be up front about it and put our best foot forward and start talking with the community about what they'd like to see."

The game designer reportedly no longer works with Electronic Arts but is now employed by Netflix as a senior producer, per That Park Place.

According to Levvvel, the Sims 4 has 10 million active users, with more than 36 million people having played in total. Gamerant reported in 2021 that 60% of the user base is young women ages 18-24. This was revealed by the game designer, who reportedly said in a job posting that it has a "very unique playerbase" and followed up by boasting about the audience demographic.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
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