EA is often touted as being a champion for LGBTQ causes in their games. Sexual orientation isn’t made into a big deal, with characters able to fall in love based on personality rather than gender. However, there seems to be some homophobia built into the Sims 4. EA is working to fix it.
Picked up by German YouTuber WhyStuffIsGreat, the EA gallery appears to ban words describing characters including: queer, homosexual, gay or lesbian. The game actually kicks out an error saying that the descriptions or names contain words that are forbidden. Kotaku performed thorough tests on this and found that upon creating a character with the word gay in the name, a warning would pop up saying that the character wouldn’t be able to be uploaded to the public gallery. Change it to Straight Bob and the upload could go off without a hitch. What about Big Gay Al?
Kotaku received the following response from an EA representative regarding the issue:
The Sims has a long history of supporting stories that players want to tell, irrespective of gender preference. The Gallery uses an automated filtering program that filters out certain words, including some of the ones you mentioned below. We are aware of have been working on a fix, which will be out soon.
I’m glad to hear that a fix is coming, but I can’t help but wonder where the problem came from in the first place. It sounds like the gallery is using some sort of standard flagging system for abusing language, one that obviously wasn’t tweaked for the Sims. However, it makes me sad that an “off the shelf” solution would be flagging words like these. Here’s hoping that EA fixes it quickly, and helps raise awareness about where the issue came from so that we can deal with our linguistic homophobia in other effected areas.
Last Updated: September 9, 2014