Breaking The Binary: 'The Sims 4' Expands Customization

Breaking The Binary: 'The Sims 4' Expands Customization

Players now have more freedom of expression than ever before.

"The Sims," a wildly popular life simulation game series, has always taken a progressive stance on diversity and identity, so it was excited to share the good news: Sims will now have access to all hairstyles, clothing and makeup, regardless of the Sim's gender.

Maxis, "The Sims'" developer, announced the update for "The Sims 4" on June 2, along with a short video showing off the new customization choices available to players. Clothing and accessories are still sorted by "Masculine" and "Feminine" tags in the customization library, but the availability of these items is no longer restricted by gender. The update is definitely a step toward allowing players more freedom and authenticity, showing support for the fluidity of gender expression.

"The Sims" has a long history of player freedom for sexuality and gender identity. Same-sex relationships have been implemented since the first game released in 2000. In 2004, "The Sims 2" introduced "Joined Unions" for same-sex couples. "The Sims 3," released 2009, recognized gay marriage and added the ability for same-sex couples to form autonomously between non-player characters, six years before gay marriage was legalized nationwide in the U.S. The move away from gendered character customization is "The Sims'" next step in expanding player freedom to reflect the diversity in an ever-growing community of players.

Other well-known game companies have been following suit with support for freedom of identity in their games. For example, Nintendo's newest installment in the "Fire Emblem" series is the first to support same-sex relationships, after Nintendo's "Tomodachi Life"came under fire for not including same-sex relationships. However, Nintendo's personal avatar series of Miis have never had gender-restricted customization options, giving players access to hairstyles, makeup and facial hair, regardless of a Mii's gender.

Although the game industry is still far away from getting rid of the transphobia, homophobia and sexism that characterizes many of today's most popular games, "The Sims" has always been a leading series in showing support for freedom of expression in the storm of controversy surrounding the evolving concept of gender. This update is a welcome change, challenging the gender binary in one of the most popular games in gaming history.

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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.


2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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A House Divided: America Splits Control Of Congress Between Two Parties

Democrats will now occupy the House of Representatives, while Republicans will retain the Senate


With results in from the 2018 midterm elections, Americans have decisively settled on the kind of government they want for the next two years: divided.

While Democrats made significant strides in the House of Representatives (a gain of 35 seats as of the time of writing) Republicans held onto their majority in the Senate and are in fact likely to add two seats. Additionally, a number of governorships broke for the Democrats, though their efforts continued to be frustrated in such competitive races as Florida and Georgia.

The answer that voters returned on Election Day was that there is no answer, or at least, no easy answer. With Trump still occupying the White House and the houses of Congress split between parties for the first time since 2014, gridlock is sure to become a buzzword again in the chambers of Washington, D.C.

To be fair, all of this should come as little surprise. After all, if you factor in the notion that the president's party normally loses ground in the midterms, coupled with Trump's approximate 42% approval rating, such Democratic gains in the House make sense.

What's odder is the Republican gains in the Senate. The two bodies haven't moved in separate directions in terms of partisanship since 1962, and even then they only did so marginally. But, if you peek at the Senate map that the Democrats were defending, then things make a bit more sense. That is, of the 35 seats that were up for election (33 Class I seats, plus 2 special elections seats) Democrats were forced to defend 26 of them, or nearly three-fourths. In that, 10 of those seats were in states that Trump won in the 2016 presidential election.

True to form, Republicans unseated Democratic incumbents in Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota, and likely will in Florida as well. Still waiting for the results of the Florida recount and a special runoff election in Mississippi on November 27th, it seems likely Republicans will ultimately hold a 53-47 edge in the Senate.

Now, all of this is not to say that the Democrats did not succeed in 2018. Winning the House is no small feat. And picking up seven governorships and seven state legislative chambers isn't either. That being said, Democrats did not crash the election in the way that some political novices had hoped they would, losing competitive races in the Sun Belt, where many of the party's young, new stars have emerged.

Democrat Beto O'Rourke failed to unseat Ted Cruz in Texas and Stacey Abrams looks likely to fall against her GOP opponent Brian Kemp. Andrew Gillum seems headed to the same conclusion against Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis. While Democratic pickups in the Midwest, especially the unseating of Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin helped offset such losses, things are far from clear.

As the folks at 538 opined, Democratic losses in Florida, Texas, Georgia, and the Arizona gubernatorial race indicate that things are less than set looking forward to 2020. The tentative success of DeSantis and Rick Scott (who is looking to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson) makes it clear that Florida has and can continue to vote Republican going forward. GOP wins in the gubernatorial races in Ohio and Iowa mean that despite Democratic gains, the Midwest is far from settled territory either.

All of these aspects and armchair predictions bode well for Donald Trump, even as voters in part reject what they've seen so far from him. Despite his party losing the House, wins in the south show that he can be competitive there, he'll likely need to hold such Sun Belt states as Georgia and continue to succeed in such Rust Belt states as Wisconsin in order to keep winning.

Personally, I think I'm about as tired of all these politics as anyone else. Given the uneven and often disjointed start to Trump's presidency, I welcome different views to the table, even as I'm somewhat skeptical that anything will actually come of all of it.

Here's to hoping.

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