Friday, July 12, 2024

How MomoMisfortune led the charge for a Sims 4 pronoun update

MomoMisfortune was co-streaming the event when Maxis, developers behind The Sims franchise, revealed that an update to the game’s pronoun system would be coming to The Sims 4 during one of their Inside Maxis broadcasts. The streamer cried live on the air when they realized what the reveal entailed. After 84 straight days of tweeting at the company and gathering signatures on a petition, MomoMisfortune and queer Simmers had finally been heard. 

The call for adding pronouns to The Sims 4 wasn’t one MomoMisfortune started, but rather one they rallied to thanks to their investment in the Sims as a nonbinary person. 

Selfie of MomoMisfortune in front of an  agender pride flag
MomoMisfortune is the agender streamer who led the charge for The Sims 4 pronouns update | Provided by MomoMisfortune

“I feel like for a lot of nonbinary and trans people it’s always been a thing that we notice,” MomoMisfortune told Gayming Magazine, in reference to pronoun options in The Sims. “I wasn’t the first one to be like,’ hey, we need pronoun options in The Sims.’ A lot of people talked about it before. But nobody really did anything about it.”

The streamer originally got into this franchise with The Sims 2, but didn’t realize there was an actual community around these games until the fourth instalment. One YouTube video pulled them down a rabbit hole that would ultimately lead them to content creation and streaming. After watching Sims content, MomoMisfortune realized they weren’t seeing any trans or nonbinary people making it.

“And so instead of just waiting around to see if somebody would start doing it, I was like, ‘why don’t I start doing it and be the change that I want to see?’” MomoMisfortune said. “So that’s what drove me to do it.”

Screenshot of Sims talking in the camping update
The Sims 4 has gotten more inclusive with the addition of pronoun options | Provided by EA

That DIY attitude led the streamer to take action to get pronoun options put into The Sims 4. They noticed the lack of them early in their career as a streamer, and a couple of months later began to think about doing something themselves. It started with a tweet, or rather, one tweet with Maxis tagged, requesting the feature be added to The Sims 4 base game. One tweet quickly turned to a tweet with Maxis tagged in each day. Because of how active the Sims Gurus are, MomoMisfortune was certain that their request would be seen if they tweeted at them. Later, someone told MomoMisfortune that they should start a petition as well, so they created one in addition to their daily tweeting. 

“After they announced that they were looking into it, one of the Sim Gurus actually reached out to me privately and said that they had seen my tweets since day one,” MomoMisfortune told us.

In fact, a Sims Guru was also in MomoMisfortune’s Twitch chat after the announcement – while they were still openly weeping. Though the streamer doesn’t remember the specifics of what was said, the Sims Guru’s message was ultimately one of gratitude. 

“I don’t even remember what he said, but he pretty much was like, ‘thank you for, you know, like, pushing us to do this,’ or something like that,” MomoMisfortune said. “I think it was a generic, like, ‘I’m glad that we could do this. And like, I’m glad that you pushed for us to do this,’ something like that.”

MomoMisfortune isn’t the only Simmer who’s been excited about the update. Several community members posted the Sims they created after the update, complete with their pronouns, and tagged the streamer to thank them for spearheading this campaign.

Being able to really see themselves in a game they’ve devoted so much time to really means a lot to the folks within The Sims community. Having pronoun options has been a long time coming for The Sims as a franchise, but the fourth installment finally implementing them is pushing the series towards a positive future.

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