EA Pledges to Fix "Gay Filter" in Sims 4

"Automated filtering program" blamed for prohibiting players from describing characters as gay.

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Publisher Electronic Arts, a longstanding campaigner for gay rights, has pledged to fix a problem in The Sims 4 that prohibits LGBTQ-focused terms being used in the game.

The popular Maxis-developed sim features an online Gallery mode that allows players to upload their characters and houses for others to admire. However, certain words--such as "gay," "lesbian," and "homosexual"--are banned from the name and description fields.

Although traditionally considered as pejorative terms, many people now treat words such as "gay" and "queer"--when used without malice--as proper and harmless descriptions of non-heterosexual people.

In a statement sent to Kotaku, Electronic Arts said it would be updating the service to allow for certain gay phrases.

"The Sims has a long history of supporting stories that players want to tell, irrespective of gender preference," an EA representative said.

"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."

Electronic Arts has a long history of supporting equal rights for gay people. In June 2013, it celebrated LGBT Pride month, and a year prior it joined a gay marriage coalition.

In 2012, it held firm on its inclusive policies after receiving criticisms from anti-gay protesters. EA has allowed gay characters and relationships in many of its games, such as Mass Effect and the first Sims title, released in 1999.

Officials in Russia rated The Sims 4 as an "Adults Only" game. Though it did not explain its reasons, it was believed because the game conflicted with Russia's anti-gay policies.

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