Representation of hearing loss added to The Sims 4, a popular life simulation game

Sims 4 Logo

Hearing aids have been added to The Sims 4, a popular life simulation game developed by Electronic Arts (EA).

The Sims 4 was released in 2014 and has over 33 million players worldwide. It’s marketed as ‘the ultimate simulation game,’ and gives players the chance to build their dream house, create unique characters and follow their characters on the adventure of life.

The update added a range of inclusive features, such as blood glucose monitors, top surgery scars and hearing aids. Characters in The Sims 4 can now wear hearing aids on one or both ears. They’re available in 15 colours and can be used by characters who are toddler age or older.

Representation of hearing loss added to The Sims 4, a popular life simulation game Deafblind UK

Image above: a young adult Sim character wearing a hearing aid on their right ear.

For many players, the ability to recreate yourself virtually is a huge part of The Sims 4, and the update has been well received by the community. It’s a positive step forward for greater representation and awareness of sensory loss in gaming.

Deaf creator @Golyhawhaw wrote on Twitter: “I am incredibly pleased about the addition of hearing aids in The Sims 4. Now my Sims and I have something in common. Thanks @TheSims I would love to see if I can create custom hearing aids, along with cochlear implants.”

@LuddySimmer, who is a deaf player and artist, also posted his thoughts about the update: “Never thought one day I could represent myself in The Sims but I’m glad it’s here.”

Whilst the update is a step in the right direction, there’s much more the team could do to increase representation of sensory loss in The Sims 4. Inclusive features we’d love to see added include:

  • White cane: the white cane is a universal symbol of sight loss.
  • Red and white cane: the red and white cane symbolises that someone has both sight and hearing loss.
  • Cochlear implants: a cochlear implant has two parts. One is worn like a hearing aid (behind the ear or clipped onto clothing) and the other is surgically implanted.
  • Diverse communication methods: sign language, clear speech and hands-on sign language are just a few examples of communication methods used by people who have sensory loss.

You can find out more about The Sims 4 on the game’s official website.





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