Sims is a milestone in most young peoples childhood. I began playing the computer game back when Sims 2 had just come out. It was my cousin, who introduced me to the game.
She’s a year older than me, we spent many-a-day and tens of hours playing the virtual game together. I like to think it’s one of the reasons we’re so close today – and man I loved playing that game, I got my own copy shortly after playing with my cousin.
For a little while, I even wanted to be a home designer because building the houses was so fun to me – I have made the families, designed the faces, done it all.
Ever since I have played Sims there has been an acknowledgment of the Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay communities. You can make Sims that are married to a figure of their own gender, you can make Sims that virtually flirt with either gender. That was able to be done ever since I started playing the game, which is when I was around 13.
Now, I for one think that is progressive – it’s pretty wonderful that a computer game something that is virtual is embracing of diversity because that influences the standard of the real world. But, despite being progressive by some standards, there is something that is missing and I realised this only a few days ago.
You see, I thought about Sims randomly the other day and decided to download the new version, Sims 4 – I had never played the third installment of the game, but I felt like giving the new installment a go. I downloaded it and began playing.
I was really proud of the game when I started playing again. I always thought it to be progressive and when I saw that you could now make Sims that were gender fluid – or Sims that identified as feminine while having a masculine anatomy and vice versa, that made me believe once more in its progression as a game and its acknowledgement of our moving forward as a society, it was being representative of real people – of minorities.
Having gender fluidity as an option in the game, it says to gender fluid players of the game, that they are accepted in what is designed to be a microcosm of our world and by extension it sets up players to be accepting in the real world of gender fluidity, even just in peoples subconscious, it has an effect.
It’s saying “this is valid, this is real, an option for people in this game, which is designed to reflect our world”. Sims acknowledges the LGBTQ+ community, it has a varied spectrum of skin tone, a way to change the physical stature [height and weight] of the Sim – there is some acknowledgment of groups of minorities which is amazing and how it should be.
But let me ask you, where am I?
You cannot make a Sim that uses a wheelchair or has any kind of disability – from the outside looking in you might think, why does that matter. Here’s why.
The validity of disability is already questioned in society, as much as we move forward with the intent of progression, the mindset is to fix or feel sorry for disability. And that mindset is not alive just among the mainstream community it is also alive within some aspects of the disability community.
I believe we go about changing this mindset, by living as wholly as we can, seizing every opportunity – to live – to show and act for the eventuation of an entirely diverse and accepting society. That includes computer games because computer games are the things that young people play, they are the culture that we’re invested in – even a little and so if we do not have disability represented in those small aspects of culture how we will be able to see it accepted in the big wide world. Basically what I am saying is that if it, disablity, is in the microcosm, we might see more acceptance on a larger scale.
If a computer game is going to represent some minorities and be progressive in some areas, then it should treat all areas the same and with the same attitude of progression. I don’t know why there aren’t disabled people on Sims, kind of like I don’t know why there isn’t alternate access into some buildings will staircases, but I do know that answers come when someone is brave enough to ask the question, so here I am, asking… Why aren’t I represented in Sims?
This post is to my knowledge, I have researched, but if I am wrong please let me know.