The Sims 4 Adds Character Diversity - Behind A Paywall
It's been a long time coming, but The Sims is finally expanding its Dulux colour chart to add some much-needed diversity to the fan-favourite simulator. It's been 21 years since we first stepped onto Sim Lane and decided to make or break those unknowing Sims' lives.
As the years have gone on, we've been able to do everything from becoming a wizard to a Hollywood A-lister, Olympic athlete to enjoying the humble pleasures of running your own farm. But still, some of us have struggled to be fairly represented in terms of race. All of that was supposed to change with The Sims 4's Seasons of Selves expansion, but there's a major problem.
Why are fans angry at The Sims 4?
Electronic Arts just announced the Fashion Street and Incheon Arrival Kit - coming to Seasons of Selves on October 5. According to a press release, the South Korean and Indian-inspired sets will add "new content that defies borders and norms, encourages self-expression and creativity, adds new dimensions to Sims’ spaces through color and facilitates play in entirely new ways."
Looking closer at each pack, Fashion Street has bangles, henna tattoos, and Sarees from Mubai's "premier shopping destination", while Incheon Arrivals is inspired by the minimalistic fashion of Korea's Incheon airport. It all sounds promising...if you didn't have to pay.
When the official Sims twitter announced the kits, the comments section was quickly filled with angry comments. One disgruntled Sims player wrote, "If this was a charity initiative (eg India COVID relief) it would be one thing, but charging for it straight up leaves a bad taste in my mouth..." Another added, "The point of sims is to be a life simulation game...yet players from different backgrounds can't do that when it's solely based in America or European culture/setting..."
Is The Sims 4 going to diversify?
Supporters of the game pointed out that the base game has added "some" Indian and Korean-themed styles, however, this hasn't taken away from the notion you'll have to pay to fully experience the latest kits. With The Sims 4 now being seven years old, there's still a cloud hanging over the franchise's diversity in general.
Players of colour have frequently called out the limited colour wheel in the Create a Sim builder, meaning the majority of those who want to be fully represented have to resort to mods. Maxis recently promised that it was going to keep expanding The Sims, but if this continues to be with cosmetic tweaks and keeping us shelling out for cultural appropriation, the argument is only going to swell.
Only recently, Maxis addressed claims that it's been "whitewashing" families since the series started. It definitely looked like the likes of Bella Goth have undergone a revamp, but the developer was keen to distance itself from this idea.
Whatever is going on with The Sims 4, it seems the largely American fan base continues to be a deciding factor in what does and doesn't make the content cut. Just when we seemed to move past the last race row, The Sims' not so colourful rainbow rears its head once again.