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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Avatar image for Patohua1
Patohua1

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I mean isn't The Sims' sole purpose for people to live out their weird social and romantic fantasies anyway,? So it really does not come as any surprise that this would be included.

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Caldrin

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I think the only thing i did in the origional game was to make two chicks get it on and then i stopped playing haha..



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00LiteYear

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More choice the better

2 • 
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deactivated-58f0b3e37f423

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YaY! More girls for me! LGBT can suck on it (Pun intended) :p

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Sentence101

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@AnNiHiLaTor808 Not if you speak like that :p

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eddieham13

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@AnNiHiLaTor808 More girls for you? How so?

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Lambchopzin

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@AnNiHiLaTor808 How exactly is it being shoved down your throat in The Sims of all titles? The ability for your Sims to have homosexual relationships is in the game but by no means is it shoved down your throat. In fact if you didn't read about it or try it just out of curiosity chances are you would never even know it was in the game.

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Nzilla

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I remember playing the first sims game at college. never did get any of the sequels.

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Ladiesman17

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no purchase, confirmed.

6 • 
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vadagar1

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@Ladiesman17 for every moron like you there are 10 good people that will make up for the negativity u create

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Avatar image for deactivated-57bcc1891a93a
deactivated-57bcc1891a93a

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@Ladiesman17 petty hang-ups, confirmed.

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Marikhen

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Edited By Marikhen

The sad part is that this didn't make it to some of the later titles. I actually managed to lose at Sims 2 on the PS2 because I wouldn't make my (in my mind at least) lesbian character get into the hot tub with "Randy Hotty."


To this day I, and others, are still wondering just how the heck you can lose at a Sims game like that. >_>

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Lambchopzin

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@Marikhen God I remember the Sims port for the PS2... That was awful.

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LJNkickstarter

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@Lambchopzin @Marikhen I did enjoy it for like a day

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berserker66666

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That's Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

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baxwam

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SIMS 4 WILL HAVE THE ONLINE DRM MARK MY WORDS. ( unrelated but we need to get ready)

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streamline

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Edited By streamline

INF1DEL maybe he meant device relationship management.

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INF1DEL

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@baxwam That's a pretty bold statement considering the first thing they said after announcing it is that it won't.

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vadagar1

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Edited By vadagar1

wow that's very interesting.... I mean i can understand that a company will have to make money of course and i can understand that if they were openly inclusive a lot of moronic bigots would hurt their sales and business.

but things are changing (see bioware games) and for the better, every day the bigot cave man fades away and humanity takes a microscopic step towards a new era.

it just pisses me off that putting a same sex option into the Sims required a stealth/cloak and dagger approach, like they had to clear teh building as though the guy was programming a nuke.

15 • 
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phrasesound

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@vadagar1 Yeah, right... poverty rises, millions hungry and irrational wars with "dictators" and "terrorists" starts, but humanity takes another step... in distorted imagination.

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Avatar image for vadagar1
vadagar1

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@phrasesound @vadagar1 hey did u see world war 2 ??!! things are improving but slowly, and we will never be rid of conflicts or other bad "stuff" but we will sure see less and less

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footballFanSan

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@vadagar1 The fact that it is an issue, even a crime in a few countries is just sad.

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vadagar1

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Edited By vadagar1

@footballFanSan @vadagar1 yah and frankly in those countries (I can name them, they ain't that far from here) people live shitty lives anyways, and you can get killed if you are not "loyal" enough

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footballFanSan

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@vadagar1 Extremism. Poor excuse for countries but for some people its the only life they know. Brings a lot into perspective.

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Evanrocknuma

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@vadagar1 Agreed. I prefer when companies are brave and put the content they feel is right out there in hopes to influence their target audience rather than bend to it. Kind of like what GameSpot seems to be doing right now xD

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Pawfalcon

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@Evanrocknuma @vadagar1 Just wish that what companies felt was "right" didn't vary so much, nice to see it vary this way though.

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Cochleadoc

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Edited By Cochleadoc

@vadagar1 It's the world we live in. Times are changing for the better, but there are always those unhinged bigots that ruin it for the rest. While I generally have distain for EA, I will say good on them for doing this.

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Jacanuk

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Ok, and this is a news story how? i know the author probably did this in response to Kevin´s article and the debate going on there.

But since the Sims also target the more feminine game and allows mods and custom skins, its not like they could prevent it anyways, and why would they, its not like they didn´t just make 2 standard "sims" and then put on the different skin ;)



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Legolas_Katarn

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@Jacanuk "Ok, and this is a news story how?"

It relates to one of the largest game developer and publishers. People who develop games. One of the most popular franchises in gaming. And to a gaming convention.

"i know the author probably did this in response to Kevin´s article and the debate going on there. "

I thought Kevin posted an article describing his experiences at the convention. I wasn't aware Kevin was debating with himself.

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Evanrocknuma

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Edited By Evanrocknuma

@Jacanuk It's gaming news because it is concurrent with GaymerX. Even if it wasn't, this site has opinion posts and such as well. I think it is a given that any news site with an official user forum will have some opinion blogging.

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Avatar image for deactivated-57bcc1891a93a
deactivated-57bcc1891a93a

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@Evanrocknuma @Jacanuk yea I think some of the more attention grabbing headlines I've seen on the front page have been opinion blogs.

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Avatar image for deactivated-57bcc1891a93a
deactivated-57bcc1891a93a

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@Jacanuk I think it is news, if EA allowed it because they had low expectations. but from quotes in this article I'd feel like I'm jumping to that conclusion. oh god, I just defended EA.

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Jacanuk

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@Kickable @Jacanuk Problem with your defending EA is that even if EA wanted to they couldn't prevent it. unless of course they removed the customization and mod option, and then we probably wouldn't have a Sims who sold 150mil copies.

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Avatar image for deactivated-57bcc1891a93a
deactivated-57bcc1891a93a

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@Jacanuk @Kickable but it would still be a big statement about what goes on in the minds at EA that many people here would consider news, or at least have a lot of people commenting on it.

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Tevin2020

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POINTLESS NEXT

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Cochleadoc

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@Tevin2020 CIVIL RIGHTS AND EQUALITY ARE SO LAME!

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vadagar1

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@Cochleadoc @Tevin2020 LMAO

so true

we should go back to 10th century Europe living style, who the F***K needs electricity and democracy and freedom of speech and all that crap, screw it

work laws BOOOOOO, women rights BOOOO burn the witches, none religious people BOOOOOOO burn them all

:/


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Cochleadoc

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@Mortoseth ? Say what?

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Mortoseth

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@vadagar1 @Cochleadoc @Tevin2020

You don't get to have rights if you can't deal with the
responsibilities that come with it.
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freedom01

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freedom01  Moderator

Ok........is this supposed to be news?

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bankai_456

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@freedom01 this was also posted in polygon first.

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vadagar1

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Edited By vadagar1

@freedom01 since my post was deleted

I will say

dealwithit XD

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Oil_Rope_Bombs

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@freedom01 Jesus christ, you guys are morons. Since when was it a crime to write gaming articles on a gaming site? Sorry that this isn't some HUGE article about how Half Life 3 got leaked, Gamespot can't magically create news like that on its own.

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freedom01

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freedom01  Moderator

Wow you are already pissed off when what? Only one guy is quesioning about the news. You need some help if you get irritated that easily

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deactivated-57bcc1891a93a

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@freedom01 normal I guess, if it's a stupid comment.

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freedom01

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Edited By freedom01  Moderator

No you dont have to take me seriously, but if you dont call a person who gets angry at one comment out of the first 4 posts " easily irritated" what do you call that person?

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Avatar image for deactivated-57bcc1891a93a
deactivated-57bcc1891a93a

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@freedom01 he may be an a-hole about it but he's got a point. what do you care what constitutes news? the front page isn't flooded with stories every minute of the day. you're not being forced to click on articles. we're supposed to take you seriously, calling another guy easily irritable? you are actually surprised someone's flabbergasted that this has to be explained to you? oh.

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keech

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What I took away from this article:

Even as far back as 2000, EA was still wildly out of touch with their user base, the video game community at large, and reality.

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aboki808

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ooohhhh myyyyyy

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