You can customize your Sims' pronouns now

With same-sex relationships a possibility since the first game in the series back in 2000, The Sims spearheaded queer representation in gaming. It's not always been perfect, with same-sex couples restricted to "joined unions" rather than marriages in The Sims 2 for instance, but it's been there. One area where it was still lacking in terms of representation is gender, with default pronouns applied based on players' chosen body type. That's changed as of an update adding customizable pronouns to The Sims 4.

With this update, a brand new or existing Sim can use the Create a Sim menu to choose They/Them from the Change Pronouns dropdown, or go into Custom Pronouns and set separate options for subjective, objective, reflexive, possessive dependent, and possessive independent pronouns. It seems like a pretty robust set of possibilities, and was designed with consultation from GLAAD and the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit organization that The Sims partnered with in 2019.

Credit for getting the ball rolling should go to Twitch streamer and It Gets Better ambassador Momo Misfortune, who began tweeting daily at both EA and The Sims account to request pronoun options early last year. They also started a petition on that accumulated 22,856 signatures.

In a blog post about the update, producer John Faciane, AKA SimGuruDuck, discussed the work that had gone into researching and adding this feature. "We went through a couple of different explorations," Faciane wrote, "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. This was achieved through creation of new tokens, or bits of text that are reused, that support custom input from players."

Custom pronouns are currently only available for Sims in the English version of The Sims 4. Faciane noted it's going to take time to roll out given that The Sims 4 has been translated into 18 different languages: "With this amount of languages there is a lot of complexity around how different languages and cultures use pronouns, so we'll need additional time to research how to properly integrate grammar rules into other languages that the game is available in."


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Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.