Recently we posted about the bee that The Sims and Maxis had adopted on our behalf. It was a good post, but it made us think. We were so quick to chime in to that, but we have not publicly said anything about Black Lives Matter. It’s not that we haven’t discussed it – we have discussed it among ourselves at length.
It’s not an easy thing to speak of, at least not in public. We are all white women, although from different backgrounds and different parts of the world, and we have all the privilege associated with that. I have always been taught not to talk about race, because “it’s rude”. But not talking about it just makes things continue as they are, and that is unacceptable. This conversation needs to happen.
But this is a Sims site, you say. What does The Sims matter in the face of the injustice that People of Color face every day? Well, this is one of the ways that we fight that injustice. If you don’t have diversity in your everyday life, and that includes the games you play and the TV/movies you watch, you begin to see people who are different from you as “the other”, and it becomes all too easy to forget that people who don’t look like you are people, just like you.
For another, The Sims has always been about inclusiveness. White, brown, black, purple, green, everyone is the same in game. That’s something we need to strive for in real life (maybe not the purple and green). It would be good to see The Sims team continue to add more BAME content, including some improvements on the darker skin tones, but they have made great strides since the game’s initial release.
But…for all that we say that, we at Platinum Simmers all noticed something about our own games. We’re not as diverse as we should be. It is a subconscious thing – we are all white and we tend to make Sims that look like us. But the fact that we don’t mean anything bad by it doesn’t make it okay. People of color are people. People who matter. People who exist. People who are not “other”. We need to show that. It needs to be normal to see diversity in the screenshots and videos that we show you.
So that is what we commit to do. We will be more mindful of making our Sims reflect all the beautiful colours that both Sims and humans come in, and we will remain mindful of that until it becomes so natural that we don’t have to think about anymore, we just do it. It is our first step, but small steps forward are better than leaving things as they are. We are open to serious suggestions for other steps we can take. Please come find us on Twitter or Facebook with your suggestions.