Sims Dev: "Nobody" Questioned Inclusion of Same-Sex Relationships

StewShearerOld

Geekdad News Writer
Jan 5, 2013
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Sims Dev: "Nobody" Questioned Inclusion of Same-Sex Relationships



The inclusion of same-sex "woo-hooing" in The Sims wasn't much of an issue during the game's development.

When you get down to it, The Sims has always been about two things: selling expensive expansion packs and giving players choices. Generally, the series has done a good job with the latter, presenting players with a playground in which to create their own characters and guide them through life's mixture of drama and drudgery as they see fit. In a lot of other series however, the "as they see fit" portion of the game can still carry some caveats, especially in the realm of sexual preference. Even today, the idea of incorporating same-sex relationships in a game is one that can lead to controversy. That said, the decision to include same-sex "woo-hooing" (aka: sex) in The Sims was almost nonchalant.

"He just did it," said David "Rex" Graham, lead AI programmer for <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/123778-Electronic-Arts-Unveils-The-Sims-4>The Sims 4, speaking at a panel on LGBT-inclusive gaming. "[Lead Engineer Jamie Doornboos] just went in there and it was a thing one day." If you were to assume the introduction of homosexuality by Doornboos, an openly gay man, led to internal conflict at Maxis, or the game's publisher, Electronic Arts, you'd be wrong. "Nobody really questioned it, which was cool." The lack of controversy is something that Graham attributes in part to the nature of The Sims itself. "Homosexuality isn't new, it's something that exists in our world and we're trying to simulate people in our world." The optional nature of the same-sex choices may have also made it easier to "sneak" into the game. "[EA wanted] sales from everybody," said Graham. "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."

Source: <a href=http://www.joystiq.com/2013/08/05/how-the-sims-got-its-same-sex-relationships/#continued>Joystiq




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Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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Is "woo-hooing" a term specific to The Sims, or am I falling behind on my modern slang?
 

Roofstone

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May 13, 2010
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Zhukov said:
Is "woo-hooing" a term specific to The Sims, or am I falling behind on my modern slang?
It is their PG term for sex.

OT: I agree, nobody questioned it because of what it is. Life. And life has homosexuality.

If it didn't have gay relationships people would question it more than if it did.
 

Piorn

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Dec 26, 2007
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Fascinating how a game community that does not consist mainly of teenage boys can be so mature about homosexuality.
They're too busy being forced into homosexuality in Mass Effect 3 or something.

And we seem to live in a time where no homophobic backlash is worthy of a headline, geez.
 

Legion

Were it so easy
Oct 2, 2008
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StewShearer said:
"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."
Or like me in the first game when I had two Sims of the same sex in the hot-tub and accidentally clicked on the option to kiss. I expected the other one to say they weren't interested but I was wrong. I was more surprised than anything else, because I hadn't done anything to try and pair them up in the first place. Apparently they must have just had hidden homosexual interests.
 

Sarge034

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I figure no one spoke up because it was someone pretty high up on the totem pole that put it in there. Internal lay offs and department mergers/streamlining are a *****, aint they?
 

Best of the 3

10001110101
Oct 9, 2010
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It's weird to think when you have homosexual relationships in a simulated reality then it's perfectly fine but introduce it into someone's favourite fictional world then there might be problems.
 

Caiphus

Social Office Corridor
Mar 31, 2010
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StewShearer said:
People wouldn't even find it unless they looked for it.
To be fair, that hasn't stopped people complaining about it before.

Both in real life, frankly, and in other games.

Still, good on the development team for getting it in the game without a fuss.
 

frobalt

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Jan 2, 2012
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I'm now wondering, is it only a big deal on certain games because the creators of said games felt the need to announce the inclusion of same sex relationships?

I mean, it shouldn't need to be announced any more than heterosexual relationships are.
 

Bindal

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May 14, 2012
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Zhukov said:
Is "woo-hooing" a term specific to The Sims, or am I falling behind on my modern slang?
It's in fact the given term for it since Sims 2.

Still, I am surprised that people still make it some kind of big deal... as said in the news, it was "just there" in Sims since Sims 2 (in fact, with the right programs, one could see the preference a sim had for the genders. Default was a slight favor of the opposite one)
 

Chessrook44

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Feb 11, 2009
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I think there was no controversy about it because nobody made a big deal about it. When someone says "Our game will have deep, in-depth relationships, including at least one homosexual relationship" people will start flipping. If you put multiple clues that such a path can be taken in the dialogue people will pick up on it quickly and throw a fit. If you provide no clues to it happening and say nothing about it and people have to look for it or accidentally stumble upon it, nothing's gonna happen.

The only people who would even know that Homosexual Woohooing was a thing is the sims are people who were LOOKING for it. As opposed to, say, Mass Effect or Dragon's Age where simply being nice can lead towards "You're so nice I love you now, do you love me?".
 

MetalMagpie

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wombat_of_war said:
the sims franchise has sold upwards of 46 million copies, been around for close to 14 years and i havent actually heard anyone actually make an issue out of the fact you could have same sex relationships in it
I've seen one ultra-Christian site complaining about it as part of a "presenting homosexual relationships as normal behaviour in products aimed at children" rant. One. Just one.

The thought that The Sims has always included same-gender relationships and (practically) no one has ever commented on it has always made me feel a little bit better about humanity.

On a related note, I've been secretly hoping for them to add a Kinsey scale slider to the Sim Creator since personality attributes were added. I suspect that might be a step too far for EA, but I can dream.
 

Psychobabble

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Aug 3, 2013
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Nobody? Well hell, maybe someone should then. I'm just off to find my pitchfork and an angry torch wielding mob. Or not.

Fine. Good for them, don't honestly really care. Same sex stuff has been a part of the game for the entire series, with more adult "hardcore" content being added on by third party modders. Adding same sex woo hooing seems a pretty tame step in comparison. My only worries about the game is will Maxis try the same "always on" garbage that ruined SimCity 5 for so many fans. Wish they'd talk about that.
 

omicron1

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Mar 26, 2008
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Ok... But.. Where's the option to play a trans sim? With all the pills and surgeries and genetic lotteries and interaction difficulties that go with it?

...Maybe in Sims 4? *Hopeful*
 

PunkRex

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Feb 19, 2010
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omicron1 said:
Ok... But.. Where's the option to play a trans sim? With all the pills and surgeries and genetic lotteries and interaction difficulties that go with it?

...Maybe in Sims 4? *Hopeful*
Isn't that the player creation menu?

OT: Sims, you just went up a notch in my book... you on notch one.