How same-sex relationships came to The Sims

Lead AI programmer reveals how EA's low expectations for The Sims allowed same-sex relationships to be implemented.

153 Comments

EA Maxis has shed light on how same-sex relationships came to be in best-selling game series The Sims, Joystiq has reported.

No Caption Provided

Speaking on Electronic Arts' (EA) GaymerX panel about creating more LGBT-inclusive experiences, The Sims 4 lead AI programmer David "Rez" Graham revealed how lead engineer Jamie Doornbos implemented the programming.

"He just did it," Graham said, referring to Doornbos, who is an openly gay man. "He just went in there and it was a thing one day. Nobody really questioned it, which was cool."

After the conclusion of the panel, Graham revealed that the nature of The Sims as a game allowed EA Maxis to "sneak in" the feature as an optional one.

"I think it was just that homosexuality isn't new, it's something that exists in our world and we're trying to simulate people in our world. And so I think that what they wanted to do, and this is going to sound terrible, but what they wanted to do was protect the people who are basically bigoted against that kind of thing, because they want sales from everybody. So, to make it an optional thing that's essentially disabled unless you seek it out as the player, that I think gave EA the sort of permission to say that's fine. People wouldn't even find it unless they looked for it."

According to Graham, it was because of EA's view that the game was "a terrible idea" and would not sell well that allowed them to implement "all that kind of stuff."

"[Doornbos] had more permission because it was seen as a kind of casual type game, so it would've been harder to have that happen in a huge AAA game."

The Sims has been touted as the best-selling game franchise of all time, with over 125 million copies sold worldwide since its launch in 2000. The latest numbered entry into the series, The Sims 3 for PC, sold 3.7 million copies in its first month of sale.

A sequel, The Sims 4, was announced earlier this year. The game will be launching in 2014 for PC and Mac, and will not require an internet connection.

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AshTrai

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I've always wondered; who the hell is buying these sims games? I do not know a single person that's played it ...

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OtakuLiz

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Edited By OtakuLiz

@AshTrai In my experience, the people buying the Sims are (sometimes parents of) girls between ten and twenty, or girls who were that age when they got into the franchise. Then their siblings and sometimes parents try out the game, and, if male, usually deny that they like it, while playing at least as much as the girl in question. I feel like The Sims spreads now because Simmers convert other people into Simmers, rather than because all that many people just randomly decide to pick it up.

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Avatar image for deactivated-5ca4fa9105c25
deactivated-5ca4fa9105c25

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@AshTrai I bought the Sims..... for my wife.

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pal_080

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@AshTrai I bought the first one! I really don't know who's buying all these expansions though, there are like dozens of them for each Sims game...

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DJKrayz_basic

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Edited By DJKrayz_basic

@AshTrai i dont buy the expansions, but i bought Sims 2 and 3... dont really play it much, but i did buy them..

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deadkingdg

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@AshTrai You know many 15 years old girls?

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DarthLod

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Because man, same sex in games is SOOOOO important. Where have we been since pong without it? "sarcasm" God I am sick of these agenda driven clowns.

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Maxwrobinson

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@DarthLod I think this article emphasized that "they just did it". The nonchalant nature of that addition hardly makes it seem like it was "so-important" or agenda driven. I think that now that society is becoming more progressive, additions like this should feel "natural" and un-important. And they do, until they are called upon by articles like this.

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deactivated-5ca4fa9105c25

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@Maxwrobinson @DarthLod no, but the article is clearly agenda driven. I'm not sure if it's because GameSpot and IGN hire so many gays, but both sites are pushing this harder than anyone should.... gaming is for everybody, but we don't want to hear about what you do in the bedroom

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MigGui

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@jimbo6923 @Maxwrobinson @DarthLod the article? gamespot and ign? the interview wasn't even with them, this is a repost from joystiq, which reported what happened in a GLS panel for the sims 4. problem is, if some straight people didn't find same-sex relationships a problem, this wouldn't make into the news.

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Hurvl

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@jimbo6923 @Maxwrobinson @DarthLod No one is writing about bedroom activities, that's only in your head. I like to think that nothing separates gays from heteros other than sexual preferences and while that is/can be a very large thing, it shouldn't bother anyone. You don't need to do it (in-game or otherwise) if you don't want to, just skip it.

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snugglebear

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I like to think that, somewhere, someone is DLing my mad scientist sim and taking over a very small portion of the world.

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LJNkickstarter

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Edited By LJNkickstarter

Im a big fan of this franchise, Im totally cool with same sex relationship in this game Let other people play this game the way they wanted it to be

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deactivated-5ed5ff7933d88

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"...it was because of EA's view that the game was "a terrible idea" and would not sell well..." Only Electronic Arts would project the best selling game of all time as a "terrible idea".


It is almost like they strive to be the worst company in the world...like it is an achievement goal at shareholder meetings. I am not even an EA basher...I just don't see any other conclusion one can draw based on the mile long chain of evidence.

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001011000101101

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@cjtopspin So if some guy walked up to you and said "I want to make a family simulator where you send virtual people to work and make them go to the bathroom", you'd be all like "Sure! Sounds like an excellent idea and I can totally imagine people wanting to pay for that!" Or what?

It's always easy to look back and say stuff like you just said, but honestly, no one knew the game would be such a huge success. Especially not with how the gaming world looked back then.

I'm all for bashing EA, when they DESERVE it. This is one of the few instances where they actually had a reason to act like they did.

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pal_080

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@001011000101101 I don't know though, throw in the parts where you can design an entire neighborhood from scratch, build your dream home, and then interact and live in it... it really sounds like a genius idea that any game company would be crazy to call "terrible".

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001011000101101

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@pal_080 @001011000101101 Sounds like a genius idea to you, yea.

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RedLegZeff

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Edited By RedLegZeff

@001011000101101 @cjtopspin I think we can bash EA for trying to give us exactly what we already have. Give us new interesting stuff and we might be all over it. Sure sims would be hard to be predicted to be a hit. Another call of duty clone would be what you'd predict as a hit. That's failed for the most part so far.

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ghost590

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@Simplythebest12 your an asshole and for the four people who liked his comment. you guys might as well join the neo Nazis

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Avatar image for deactivated-57bcc1891a93a
deactivated-57bcc1891a93a

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@Simplythebest12 is there something wrong with putting a label on hatred focused on one specific thing all of a sudden?

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daabulls23

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I figured it was always because the social interaction system didn't care if it was a man or woman. I didn't' think it was because someone actively made the decision to put it in. I thought it was because they didn't bother to put in differences between male/female in the relationship tree. At least, that's how it felt. Interacting with a man or woman had the same exact options.

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HyperWarlock

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EA really do make me sick to the stomach, there should be a criminal investigation into the company.

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sgt_hunter

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I wonder when they will release the expansion that's about sim girls getting their period.

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deactivated-57bcc1891a93a

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@sgt_hunter good one bro

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Anigmar

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Edited By Anigmar

I'm a big fan of The Sims franchise (basicly I own them all) and I have no problem with same gender relationships although it's not my thing. What is odd is that Gamespot hasn't reviewed many of the Sims 3 latest expansions and now all of a sudden this article appears. Focus more on the games.

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OldKye

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@Simplythebest12 Because in all animals close to us genetically females dominate society, and them as well as a large % of all sexually reproducing organisms have been shown to engage in homosexuality due to sex drive.

Further more there are thousands of species that have the feminization of males as well as a few fun viruses that both kill males and turn the rest into half male girls.

Actually wolbachia which is one of those that kills and feminizes men has aloud species in which males had begone to become infertile(like we will one day due to how male genetics work) continue to reproduce symbiotically.

Basically males are going away at some point lol sad but true(I'm one so very sad though more women is nice hehe).

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OldKye

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@Dredcrumb9 @chuckles471 voted against Obama he signs things that lets Americans be taken prisoner without trial honestly don't like the guy oh and come back and read real facts lol.

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OldKye

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@chuckles471 Chimps - female lead sociaty thought you'd argure one of the few male lead monekey but guess your slow lol nice try read more books. "It is often the females who choose the alpha male." wiki too(I got 30 articles but for if you argue back I find people who don't read books like wiki though)

" Some host species cannot reproduce, or even survive, without Wolbachia infection." right out of the wiki look again.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2302865/Is-end-men-Expert-predicts-males-extinct--says-process-started.html

Male DNA can not fix damaged to the DNA structure due to how it's shaped(Y chromosome has too little DNA X does not) causing it to decay over generations.

long post with no scientific bases is just sad.

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OldKye

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@chuckles471 yes it is whats your point lol sad troll is sad would you like a virus reference too or a parasite?

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chuckles471

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Edited By chuckles471

@OldKye @Simplythebest12 Also forgot to add Wolbachia is a bacteria, not a virus. Also mistake by me saying ancestor, I meant relative.

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chuckles471

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Edited By chuckles471

@OldKye @Simplythebest12 Dude, I am all for same sex stuff. But your grasp on Biology is shit.

Chimps (our closest ancestor) have a male lead society. Homosexuality is a nothing thing in nature, they don't get to pass their genes on and will have no part in the future.

Also Wolbachia has also been seen as the cause of weeding out certain species. So if it was to get into humans(even though it only attacks pretty simple organisms), it may actually cause us to go extinct.

Another thing it isn't a truth that males are going away. It is only a theory right now. We would need a perfect storm for that of environmental, political, physiological, technological, a huge amount of time(hundreds of thousands of years) and just plain luck(what drives most of nature). For that scenario to even happen.


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Maui_Lion

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It's kind of interesting to hear how it happened, really.


"Homosexuality exists, it's a thing, so I put it in."
"OK, cool. What's for lunch."


That's how it pretty much sounds like to me how it went down, anyway. Not making a huge deal, just saying it's here, cool, moving on. Pretty much how it should be, really. Maybe someday.

10 • 
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vadagar1

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@Maui_Lion hopefully one day it wil be like that in real life too

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Maxwrobinson

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@Maui_Lion completely agree. well put.

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kiddoblivion

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Edited By kiddoblivion

Homophobia is just another form of "Us Versus Them" that has existed since humanity's cave-dwelling days. If it's not us whites against them blacks then it's us muslims against them christians or us men against them women etc.

The motivation for this type of irrational hate really is irrelevant as it exists solely to facilitate this ingrained behavior, yet people fail to realize this. A perfect example of this is in Russia where different shades of white people are discriminated against because Russia as a nation has become or have always been so homogenized.

When will humans outgrow this destructive tribalism? Probably never because hating something that differs from yourself seems to be programming humans love clinging to far too much.

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OldKye

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Edited By OldKye

Lol Russia is not the only to mark people by shades of light and dark, it fact they aren't even the main one.

Look at Brazil not only do they have many shades of white and black(black, black, black is purple) but the collages there have expert panels of racists to judge how black people really are(not making this up lol).

Racism, and Sexism aren't going away the real concern is when people pretend like it has or want to stop marking peoples race on censuses and birth certificates.

When you do that you lose your ability to see it happening and it becomes much much worse.

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hardeeharhar86

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Edited By hardeeharhar86

I have a feeling a lot of trolls are viewing this with enjoyable context, but commenting with insult.


I, for one, don't give a shit about VIDEO GAME relationships in general.

6 • 
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eddieham13

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If a conservative saw my save they'd have a stroke. Two women raising a child! Oh NO!

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vadagar1

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@eddieham13 omg u unraveled the fabric of time and space itself

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Dredcrumb9

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@eddieham13 it's not about conservative vs liberal you moron. Obama is just as Evil as Bush. It's about thinkers vs morons like you.

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eddieham13

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@Dredcrumb9 @eddieham13 Obama isn't liberal. Just because he supports same-sex marriage or whatever doesn't make him liberal. Also I'm not from the US.

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deactivated-5ca4fa9105c25

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@eddieham13 @Dredcrumb9 not for nothin - the Affordable Health Care Act is quite liberal...

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Mega_Skrull

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I wonder if I could sneak into Bethesda's offices and code away those damned children's and essentials' immortality powers...

Anyway, props to the guy, more options and freedom is always good, I don't think this detracted from anyone's game experience

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xsonicchaos

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Edited By xsonicchaos

@Mega_Skrull You know what mods are, do you?

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bankai_456

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@xsonicchaos @Mega_Skrull shh. maybe he plays the console version.

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vadagar1

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@xsonicchaos @bankai_456 @Mega_Skrull lol

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Mega_Skrull

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@xsonicchaos @bankai_456 @Mega_Skrull

Aw please, keep it peaceful you two and don't bring the silly elitism now, shall we?

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xsonicchaos

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@bankai_456 @xsonicchaos @Mega_Skrull Oh, that's... sad!

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banana23man

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Sad to see that a game company has more empathy and rationality than whole countries put together. You know what pisses me off? LGBT are discriminated because bigots claim "it's just not natural", while driving around in man-made cars made of man-made material, wearing man-made clothes and adhering to man-made doctrines and social guidelines.

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CptYoutube

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Edited By CptYoutube

@banana23man Don't forget eating man made food. The shit most people eat definitely isn't natural.

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anja1234

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Edited By anja1234

@CptYoutube @banana23man i have nothing agaist gays. BUt that argument is so stupid, they are made from natural materials.

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