Same-Sex Relationships in a Game! The Sims: Fun, Interactive and Gender-Sensitive

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Will Wright once said, ?It occurred to me that most books and movies tend to be about realistic situations, ?Why shouldn?t games be??. Will Wright, The Sims? lead programmer, moved away from typical non-realistic games and together with EA, he believed that gamers do have guilt of seeing themselves in an environment where they have total control over making their own life stories.

The Sims life-simulation game is one of the ideal games where players can create people called ?Sims? and eventually start a virtual real life in a house. Players can also direct their moods, provide what the Sims want and need, and interact with other people and what is interesting is you can have a romantic relationship with other Sims —- even a same-sex relationship.

How it all started

According to The New Yorker, the idea of same-sex relationship flickered doubts and debates among the team yet the concept eventually pushed through accidentally. An old design document including gay relationships was given to programmer Patrick J. Barrett III to work on the social interactions among sims. EA was about to kill the design when on 1999 during a demo-run in E3, two female sims passionately kissed and caught the attention of E3 attendees. It became the talk of the town and secured the game?s future.

Problem encountered and the Solution

To put simply, the team was clueless at first on how to decide the sexual orientation of virtual people. He, in due course, created user-directed actions system. “Certain social interactions were tagged as romantic,” Barrett said. “The game kept track of whether these were performed by same-sex or opposite-sex Sims. The formula was a little more complicated, but, over time, as a Sim developed a relationship, his or her preference was set.” Barrett said that once the team saw the system working, the topic was ignored and was not brought up again.

Some games with LGBT themes or characters: ( Birdo in Super Mario Bros. 2, Poison of Capcom, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Final Fantasy IX, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Assassins?s Creed Brotherhood, Harvest Moon and Mathew & Walter of The Walking Dead )


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