'Sims 4' Computer Game Gets Russian R-Rating for Gay Characters

Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:51 AM

By Michael Mullins

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The "Sims 4" computer game has received the Russian equivalent of an R-rating for reportedly allowing users to program gay characters into the life simulation video game.

The ruling isn't all that surprising given Russia's controversial anti-gay laws, which consider homosexuality to be harmful to children.

The "Sims 4" rating was tweeted out earlier this month by Sims Russia, which wrote that a rating of, "18 + has been assigned in accordance with the law, No. 436-FZ, on the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development."

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While Russia has forbidden anyone under the age of 18 from playing "Sims 4," the United States gave the game's predecessor "Sims 3" — which also had gay characters — a T rating for teens, citing crude humor and sexual themes in its rating.

"These avatars often interact socially, which can sometimes lead to mild flirtation or more intimate encounters," reads the "Sims 3" rating information from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. "Players can choose to 'try for a baby' or 'WooHoo' with another Sim — the latter option being available to both heterosexual and same-sex couples. These two actions cause the selected avatars to jump into bed and go under the covers, where they wriggle, giggle, and moan until confetti bursts over the bed."

Across the pond, Britain said the game is suitable for children as young as 12 years of age, The Daily Mail reported, while Germany gave "Sims 3" a rating that makes it appropriate for ages 6 and up, PCGamer.com noted.

In response to the Russian mature rating for "Sims 4," Electronic Arts, the game's creator, said it has no intentions to alter the game.

"We have no plans to alter 'Sims 4.' One of the key tenets of 'The Sims' is that it is up to the player to decide how to play the game," Electronic Arts spokeswoman Deborah Coster said in a statement, Yahoo News reported. "We provide the simulation sandbox and player choice and creativity does the rest."

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