Black Simmers have been making The Sims more extraordinary for years now and it’s about time they get credit for their contributions.
I was on Twitter when I discovered the Black Simmer community. A post had gone viral that had screenshots of The Sims in urban wear with nails, accurate depictions of Black hair and most importantly, rich, brown and dark skin tones.
I immediately got The Sims 4 again and sought out who, what, and where this content was coming from. I then discovered there was an entire community of Black gamers called Black Simmers and I found myself in Tumblr world of never-ending Black custom content and mods that made my game more enjoyable.
Imagine…Me just wanting to make darker sims for a damn let’s play evolved into this. ???? https://t.co/et9pQfpjAB— XmirrorMirror (@Xmiramira) December 7, 2020
That’s how I discovered Xmiramira. She had went viral quite a number of times for creating a gaming community for Black gamers who not just love The Sims but who want to find custom content that they can easily relate to. One of her most famous packs are the Melanin Packs which gives you the ability to have a beautiful palette of variations of Black skin tones to choose from outside that basic base game skin tones.
Black Simmers have been complaining about the lack of skin tone options for years—decades even. To be frank, old school player like myself even stopped enjoying the game for a while because the game was too white. Besides, who wants to purposely select whiteness as part of their escapism? I know I don’t and many others can agree that The Sims was turning fans for a long time.
Of course, the skin tones aren’t the only issue with The Sims but it’s one of the easiest issues to address. So why has it taken so long? When The Sims rolled out their latest update to include their newest Create A Sim (CAS) update, gamers were overjoyed. Instead of gamers having a limited selection of skin tones and makeup options, the latest update offers users a slider that will give you the option to make skin tones warmer or cooler based on the color scale.
According to EA Sports and The Sims team, they brought on some of the most popular content creators and modders in The Sims community including Xmiramira and EbonixSims. Here’s the statement from their website:
It’s our goal to ensure the representation in The Sims 4 is more inclusive. To do so, we’ve been working with consultants, including prominent community members like Game Changers Mia Zaff, EbonixSims, Rao, Xmiramira, and CatherineGames. They’ve been advising us in our endeavors to create a more inclusive game for everyone. It was their suggestion to add additional hairstyles without baby hairs in the December update, which is why there are three rather than the two we previously announced.
I want the Black Simmer modders and custom content creators to get all of their coins and roses. Even though the Black Simmer community is one of the most engaged fandom communities I’ve been part of, I’ve seen other POC and white creators try to build a following off of the Black Simmer aesthetic. Before the Black Simmers, I didn’t see big afros, beautiful African print dresses and baby hairs. The increase of Black culture within the Sims community is not only strong but it’s pushing the game developers to recognize the importance of Black gamers and how their influence contributes to the success of their games.
I hope in the near future Black Simmer creators will be allowed to contribute more as far as gameplay is concerned in The Sims. Black Simmers are now an unstoppable force and I hope other game companies use this as an opportunity to embrace the Black gamers and fans in their respective communities.