Russia Slaps 'The Sims 4' & Its Same-Sex Couples With 18+ Rating, So 'The Sims' Is More Progressive Than Putin
Last May, Russia announced that it would slap a 18+ rating on The Sims 4, due out Sept. 2. Basically, the game that you knew, loved, and spent most of your formative years playing will be illegal to sell to children and most teenagers — and all because Russia's notorious ban of "gay propaganda" apparently extends to The Sims . Just think: The Sims live in a more progressive world than Russians do.
The official Sims' Russian Twitter account posted an explanation of the rating for confused fans, which Ars Technica translated: "18+ [rating] has been assigned in accordance with the law number 436-FZ on the protection of children from information harmful to their health and development."
That law includes language that makes depiction of "non-traditional sexual relationships" for minors a criminal offense, meaning that selling the game to someone under 18 is punishable under the law.
The Sims have been able to have same-sex couples since the first iteration of the game, which came out in 2000. Meanwhile, Russia has been a country for, what, 1,100+ years, and they won't even let the children see gay marriage? Russia decriminalized gay activity between consenting adults as of 1993. The Sims, in its 14 short years, has somehow been able to top a country that was once (and if you ask Putin, still is) one of the greatest world powers, in terms of social progressivism.
The original inclusion of same-sex couples was kind of a happy accident. Developers had volleyed back-and-forth on if they should include same-sex couples in game play, ultimately pulling them. A new game developer, tasked with working on a document that dictated how the Sims interacted with each other, was handed an old design that included gay couples. Swept into a whirlwind of successful demos, his design stuck, and the Sims universe inadvertently legalized gay marriage.
So there you have it, Russia. Your centuries-old legacy isn't fast enough to keep up with the simulated world of the Sims. Hell, some of the U.S. still can't even keep up with the progressive little creatures. But Russia isn't the only country that Electronic Arts has beat. Here are just a few (there are 81 total!) of the other countries where the Sims' relationship equality just isn't on.
- United Arab Emirates
- Papau New Guinea