If you don’t want to make new Sims in The Sims 4, you can always download ones other players have made from the gallery. Some players are saying that unless you’re looking for characters who are white, your options are pretty slim.
The gallery has been a feature of The Sims since The Sims 3. Players can upload Sim households and houses to the in-game gallery, and other players are then able to download them. In theory, this opens players up to new and interesting kinds of Sims they might not have thought to make before, and to some degree it’s true. The gallery goes through trends, be it hot guys or pregnant teens, but recently players have started complaining that even non-trendy Sims are too same-y. Namely, they’re mostly white.
Three days ago, a Simmer posted a topic in The Sims’ subreddit titled “People on the gallery still posting their white teens when skin tones like this exist...smh.” Included was a picture of this Sim:
Although this thread has over a thousand upvotes, the comment section reveals a contentious conversation among Simmers. Some players agree with the original point being made that too many of the Sims in the gallery are white, and say that players of color are generally speaking underserved by The Sims and its fanbase. Others say that they just don’t feel confident making Sims from races other than their own, either because they don’t want to mess it up and look disrespectful, or they’re afraid of retribution from other players if they do it wrong. Others point out that the Sim being used as an example may have dark hair, but still has thin lips, a slim nose, and straight hair, which are so-called “European” looking facial features. Everyone, though, acknowledged that there are more white Sims than any other race—even the people whose opinion boiled down to “it’s just a game, get over it.”
If you open the gallery, you’ll see that while there are a few Sims of color, the vast majority of them are white. The Sims that aren’t white tend to be very light skinned. Of the top 50 households in the “Popular Now” category on the gallery, only 10 include people of color.
Simmers hoping to make more diverse Sims don’t have as much to work with in the game’s toolset, either. Free updates in February and August added new curly hairstyles and a wider variety of skin tones, but there’s still a long way to go. If you have kinky hair or wear your hair in braids or locks, it’s still difficult to find hair in the game that matches your own without downloading mods. The makeup the game provides also tends to look a little strange on darker skin tones. East Asian Simmers have also complained that the skin tone that comes closest to matching their own has a pallid yellow undertone.
Even if The Sims’ diversity doesn’t rest on the shoulders of Simmers alone, the gallery is a resource made up of their creations. If Simmers want to see more diversity on there, they have to highlight it within their own community.