The Sims 4 | Accessibility & Representation. - Her Gaming World

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12/03/2019

The Sims 4 | Accessibility & Representation.


I don't want this post to come across as me moaning or being a dick towards The Sims 4 because that's not what this post is about, it's delving into the world of accessibility and The Sims which is something I feel needs to be taken more seriously. As a lot of you know I discuss accessibility and games a lot and tend to go on rants when people say that an easy mode is an accessibility option and people should just "get gud" this isn't about that, this is me addressing why sims need more accessibility option especially as they're easier to implement on PC which is what the majority of Sims players use in order to play The Sims 4.

Recently they added UI settings, this will allow people to see the interface on a larger scale or a smaller scale whichever suits them best, this is a great setting and it's one that I have been using to scale smaller or bigger depending on how bad my eyes are that day from fatigue. There is one big issue I have found with it though, your screen doesn't adapt to how much you zoom in and cuts off text so if you're visually impaired and need it at an even bigger scale you still miss out on seeing text as it's cut off as well as this you get a warning pop up about UI scaling not recommended for a certain resolution so it's accessible to a certain extent.


Another issue I have come across is there is no other settings for players who are disabled, since they are able to add UI scaling I thought they could maybe try to implement a colour blind mode much like games Destiny has, I have gone through several forums for this mode to be added in the Sims 4 and from what I can see it hasn't happened yet and people have been asking for a long time for it. I know it's hard to give every player what they want but this is a minimal ask, in my opinion, it can not only help those whoa re colourblind but also those who suffer from migraines, sensory overloads and even epilepsy.


One thing I see brought up time and time again for the Sims is representation, now this is pretty important when it comes to games because we see abled people being represented all the time so what I would like to see is disabled Sims, wheelchair users, walking frame users, walking stick users, prosthetics etc. My reason for this is some people can feel very isolated and want to put themselves in a world like sims where they can see themselves represented in a world where they can maybe control and experience in a different way but unfortunately this hasn't been made possible.

It's strange how I can see Sims riding bikes but not using a wheelchair, they don't even have ramps in the game to try and make the game accessible the only way you would probably see this is with CC (custom content) but even then why should the users have to make it possible why can't EA? Surely they can see how much this would appeal to their players and with the new sim University pack it would be interesting to see a disabled Sim be able to attend an accessible university, which is something some people in real life struggle to find. Although last year there was talk about eventually adding wheelchairs, which has given me hope that they will add disability aids and maybe a disability pack to the game:


Now don't get me wrong Sims is a great franchise and has grown vastly over the years but at times it can miss the mark when it comes to what players are requesting and it shouldn't have taken this long to add UI settings. The game came out in 2014 which makes it 5 years old so why are these accessibility requests going unheard? Using a PC is something a lot of disabled players tend to do as it's the most accessible platform to play games on and players shouldn't have to use their PC settings to make a game playable for those who are colourblind, if they're around a friends house playing and their friend doesn't have the options to change the colour scheme then the game should at LEAST have this in place.

There is one request which I'm not sure would work with Sims as they have their own language and that's to add subtitles, but even then they could have subtitles to explain what is happening in-game along with a screen reader explaining what's happening for the visually impaired, this in no way would have to impact players who aren't visually impaired like a lot of people who worry about easy mode in a game, just don't use those settings and play the way you want. I don't mean to ruffle feathers with this post as Sims is a great franchise, it's just that I along with many others want to see more representation when it comes to disability.

There are far too many games that portray disabled characters as the enemy so for a game like The Sims to portray disabled people in a good light and have the representation would be a huge thing in the gaming world. I would love to know more peoples thoughts on this topic as I know a lot of CC creators try to go above and beyond to add content that the developers themselves haven't and possibly won't add in the game. Hopefully, we will get to see more accessible options within TS4 menu and not just UI scaling, perhaps they're working on it right now as I type this post but who knows! I hope you're all enjoying the latest Sims university pack, I haven't got it myself but I have seen a lot of what people have been making and watched some of the gameplay on YT, you're all very creative and It's amazing seeing how helpful Simmer's have been towards each other when they've asked for help!



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