EA fixing homophobia in The Sims 4

2 min read

Sims 4 group

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.

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Last Updated: September 9, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • PERSONA 5!!!! (Umar)

    If only all these phobias were that easy to fix

    • mistrikelly7895

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  • The Adventures of JJ

    Some people use it to be profane, so they were probably trying to avoid that without realising it was hurting the people it was meant to serve.
    Pretty much like every single thing Ubisoft has done the past few years. Only they don’t try to correct it.
    1-0 EA!

  • Rags

    CIS SCUM!!!! Check your privilege EA!
    At least that ableist Tyson Gay can now enjoy the game.

    • lerdag lord of the underrealms

      i am not a scum

  • Kromas of City17

    I wonder if these filters ever worked in CoD chat systems. 😛

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    EA is homophobic because of an overzealous word filter? Light the faggots & burn them! Whoops… Torches. I meant torches.

    • Haha! Someone just fagged you. Flagged. I meant flagged!

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Really? And here I thought I was being clever. Damn my vocabulary & witch hunt analogy.

  • Sk3tz0

    Who the hell goes around naming their Sims Queer and gay and Lesbian.. what the fuck happened to normal names like steve, jimmy and Roberta..

  • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

    This is a real catch 22 for them.

    Think about it. Let’s say someone creates a character “Gay Tony” that’s fine. But what if Gay Tony is modeled after someone and is meant as an insult?

    I don’t think this has anything to do with homophobia. They aren’t preventing SIMS from being gay or anything. They are really preventing things slipping in where sim names can be used to be cruel and homophobic. By unblocking those words they are going to allow for a lot of pain and directed insults.

    I understand why people are upset. I understand people want to make a fasion designer looking sim with a tag of Fabulous Gay Al or whatever. But is it really needed to label it? I don’t think they should lift the ban of those words because of the directed slurs that now undoubtedly will appear alongside stereotypical and unfair comparisons.

    Just my 2c worth.

  • KD

    Anyone who has used third-party filtering software in the last 10 years should be aware of this issue, and likewise how to fix it. It really should be as simple as going into the word list for the software (which they should be able to do even if it’s third-party) and deleting those words.

    And the preventing slurs argument is just lame. If you think those words are slurs, yes you are a homophobe.

  • @BlueturtleADL

    Dear Ms grammar nazi, please correct the two incorrect words in your piece above. With kindness, Mr grammar police

    • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

      You are not the grammar police. You didn’t point out the mistakes

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