Paralives Puts The Sims' Race Options To Shame
While we're all the same underneath, the issue of race in video games is an important one to tackle. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, Electronic Arts' The Sims continues to be called out for a lack of diversity in its character options.
As EA and developer Maxis vow to tackle the issue head-on, it seems they keep stumbling over themselves. Thankfully, there's a Sims clone called Paralives that is showing the big boys how it's done.
Is Paralives More Progressive Than The Sims?
Paralives has just shown off its "Paramaker Overview" that gives us a myriad of character creation options. Already putting The Sims to shame, Paralives even lets you tweak body hair for a more rugged look. As well as adjusting height with a slider, you can add tattoos and beauty spots.
The big pull comes to Paralives' race options. For longer than we care to remember, race and The Sims have performed a juggling act. Starting from the ground up, it looks like Paralives has it nailed already. Alongside premade skin tones (with more on the way), there's a colour wheel where you can give your character whatever look you want.
Another unique feature that we love to see if the fact you can give your residents heterochromia - meaning they have two different coloured irises. After much complaining, The Sims introduced 100+ new skin tones and a slider option around this time last year. Still, that didn't stop it from being embroiled in a whitewashing row earlier this year.
What's The Deal With The Sims And Race?
Since the release of The Sims in 2000, we've had years and years of mainline games and expansions. However, although you've been able to add everything from dogs to wizards to your town, the franchise has repeatedly been dragged for a lack of black skin options.
People of colour say they aren't fairly represented in the world of The Sims, and what options are available have been branded "ashy" by many. If this wasn't enough, a recent update that was supposed to add South Korean and Mumbai culture was then accused of locking itself behind a paywall.
Even if Maxis says it's working on all of the above, some players are angry that progress is slow. Neither The Sims nor Paralives seem to have nailed the accessibility of disabled character options just yet.
For too long now, The Sims has dominated the market. It would be easy for Paralives to appear as a cheap knock-off, but from what we've seen so far, Maxis could have some serious competition. If Paralives can get its race options right, it's already one step ahead of The Sims.