"Sims 4," the Electronic Arts video game that incorporates real-life drama into character-driven situations, has informally advanced the support of abortion rights into gaming.
According to Axios, "Sims 4" players have the option of implementing abortions as feature add-ons through fan-made downloadable tweaks.
A ''modder'' — that is, someone who creates modifications to video games — has the power to enact such add-ons.
According to Axios, a modder who goes by "LittleMsSam" added more complex dating options to the Sims 4 game, including the abortion modification, through the Sims 4 version of "Miscarriage Chance & Abortion," which was released in 2018 and has reportedly been downloaded more than 250,000 times since mid-2021.
Another modder, who goes by the name of "Lumpinou," wanted to construct a mod that allowed Sims to possess more complex reactions. So, in 2021, Lumpinou released an abortion mod programmed to "trigger similarly mixed emotions."
According to Axios, Sims who can terminate a pregnancy through Lumpinou's mod can feel guilt, relief, loss, confidence or stress.
"We're trying to put a little bit of reality in it," Lumpinou told Axios.
Gameizmo.com, a website that reports on the gaming industry, writes: "The Sims 4 miscarriage mod helps your sim to terminate pregnancy by enduring a miscarriage. It makes your sim wake up with cramps and makes them vomit as an indication of a miscarriage. In order to make the game more realistic, they created this miscarriage mod initially.
"The sim will wake up with pains and will be taken to the hospital with its significant other or maybe even alone where they will find out that they had a miscarriage. This is mostly likely to affect the whole household. ... A website of modders called littlemssam made this mod, hence it is also called as the littlemssam miscarriage mod."
Axios reports that "the abortion part of the [Sims 4] mod lets players pay 1,000 Simoleans [the fictional in-game currency] during the first two trimesters of pregnancy for the procedure. It will result in the Sim feeling guilty, in most circumstances."
Unwanted pregnancies were previously not a function of The Sims' virtual world. Players could either have "consequence-free sex," or make "woohoo," which is Sims-speak for trying to make a baby.
The Sims' model of life-situation video games has been around since 1989, and has sold approximately 200 million copies worldwide in the last 33 years.
Sims series are characterized as "sandbox games," in the sense that life-simulation characters don't have any tangible performance goals.
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