However, The Sims series of games have long been considered to be fairly progressive in their representation of sexuality and orientation: same-sex relationships have been a feature present since the release of the original game, with each successive installment taking steps forward and giving the player more agency in that department. The Sims 3, released in June 2009, was the first in the series of games to allow gay marriage, the same year it was legalized in Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Washington D.C.
The Sims 4, released September 2014, has thus far allowed the most player agency in any of franchise installments. The Create-A-Sim mode is as far from The Sims as that game was from Alter Ego. Players are no longer limited to three skin tones from which to choose, but are instead presented with an array of pigmentations that cover a much larger spectrum of racial backgrounds. Body type is also customizable, with sliders and options to create a wide range of physiques; because like the players they may (or may not) reflect, not all Sims fit in an “average size” box.
In June 2016, a patch was released for The Sims 4 that added, among other things, a drop-down menu to Create-A-Sim that allowed for the creation of transgender Sims. The options given are simple: players can choose whether their Sim has a masculine or feminine physique, whether the Sim prefers masculine or feminine clothing. Furthermore, players choose whether the Sim can become pregnant or get others pregnant (a third “Neither” option, is also available), and finally, whether the Sim uses the toilet standing or sitting. Additionally, all voice options, both feminine and masculine, were opened up to all characters.