‘The Sims 4’: Third-party ‘modders’ bring abortion features to the game

The ‘Miscarriage Chance & Abortion’ mod has been downloaded over 250,000 times since mid-2021. — AFP Relaxnews

Third-party developers have added features to The Sims that allow players’ characters to access abortions. The video game – popular for the progressive vision instilled in its simulations – had not previously opened up abortion rights to characters. These unofficial features have become particularly popular and continue to be downloaded with the recent repeal of abortion rights in the United States.

Fans of the video game The Sims have added features that allow characters to have virtual abortions. These new features have become very popular within the community of the world's most famous life-simulation game.

These additions, called “mods” are made by third-party “modders”, who are independent of the game's official creator. LittleMsSam, the creator of one popular abortion “mod”, told the American media Axios, that “Miscarriage Chance & Abortion" had been downloaded more than 250,000 times since mid-2021. The "modder" first released this feature in June 2018.

To have an abortion in The Sims 4, players must pay an amount of the game's fictional currency (1,000 Simoleons). They cannot perform the procedure beyond the second trimester of the pregnancy. The character will feel guilty “in most circumstances”, notes Axios.

With the recent revocation of abortion rights by the US Supreme Court, these abortion "mods" have become all the more relevant.

The game's development studio, Maxis, has always had a progressive stance, including, for example, romances between same-sex characters early on in the game's history. In a recent update (July 15, 2022), the game's creators sought to add a sexual orientation feature for characters so that the game would "respect and celebrate the nuance and color of everyday life."

But Maxis never took a position on abortion. On June 25, 2022, The Sims Twitter account issued a statement reading: “For those who play The Sims, the game has always been about being who you want to be, loving who you want to love, and creating the life you want to live. Our game is a reflection of our unwavering belief that everyone has a right to choose how they want to live their life without judgment, including the right to bodily autonomy.” – AFP Relaxnews

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