'The Sims' Renamed a Trait Previously Criticized for Making Light of Mental Illness


If you currently play “The Sims,” or have nostalgic memories of playing when you were younger, you know part of the game’s fun is choosing traits for your Sims that influence how they act. Those who have updated their game over the past week might have noticed a controversial trait missing. Last week, Electronic Arts quietly renamed the “Insane” trait “Erratic” in a batch of updates for “The Sims 4.”

According to Newspress, the “Insane” trait first became available in 2009 when “The Sims 3” launched. Gita Jackson, a writer for the gaming site Kotaku, explained what it meant for a Sim to be insane, calling the option “a lazy joke about mental illness”:

Sims who have the Insane trait don’t have any rationality—their lives are ruled by randomness. In 3, Insane sims would reply randomly to marriage proposals, rather than it being based on their relationship to other sims. If they were broken up with, they’d also take it out on another sim at random, rather than the sim who hurt them. In 4, Insane sims mutter to themselves. When you select the Insane trait on the Create A Sim screen, they shout at the screen and make a deranged face.

According to Jackson, while the character trait has a new name, the trait itself hasn’t changed — and the icon used to indicate the trait is still a straight jacket.

Despite this, many were pleased with Electronic Arts’ decision to call the trait “Erratic.”

When asked about the name change, a representative from Electronic Arts told The Mighty:

Our game celebrates life and the people in it. As language evolves, we want to take the steps needed to ensure players feel they can have a great time without distracting language that is not always current or appropriate. We made the change to better reflect the design of that Trait.

Lead image via The Sims’ Facebook page


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