The Sims Just Did This Totally Racist Thing.

So, I think everyone knows that I’m a big fan of the Sims. Though the third iteration of the game has had its problems, I still spend more money than I should adding on to it. Against my own better judgment, I just bought the most recent expansion pack.  It created a whole new town, with new families already populating it.

The Sims has been pretty good about allowing for diversity. It’s easy to choose your own skin color and features, and because the characters speak their own made up language it’s not culturally specific.

They live in a suburban idyll, and weird classist things have troubled me in the past: there are “trailer parks” with characters uncomfortably close to white trash stereotypes. In the newest town, there is a black family with a single mom of two sons who has worked her way up by being a cook. She is overweight, and her bio talks about how hard it’s been to raise her boys on her own. Both the bios for the sons talk about how hard it’s been growing up without a father. I’d be willing to give it a pass if it didn’t involve every stereotype possible.

  • What the deuce!?

  • Darth Paul

    Not EVERY stereotype possible. I guess they’re being…um…white about it by showing how independent she is (re: not on welfare). Still suspect as hell, though.

    • quadmoniker

      That’s true, but it probably helps that the Sims universe is totally socialist. Every family gets 17,000 simoleons to start, there are no barriers to getting a job, and whenever there’s a university in the game students are supported with a European style system of grants and scholarships. So there was no room for them to go all the way with the stereotypes.

      But they did, in the last game, have a single mom who lived in the games “trailer park” kill her husband for the insurance money. Classy, Sims, classy.