Sims YouTuber LilSimsie regularly renovates and makes houses for what she calls her Simsie Save, a Sims 4 save file she provides to fans so that they can play with her houses and Sims. This time, she made a notable revision to the bathrooms in the game: they’re now all all gender neutral.
People who participate in The Sims fandom often make “starter” save files to share with other players, who can then make changes to houses and add new Sims. In a video about the updated save file that she has built for her fans, Simsie said that usually she just adds new houses and makes changes to the community lots, which are businesses frequented by all the Sims in a given game. For this update, she also renovated the houses in Del Sol Valley, because she really disliked them all. Making new houses and new Sims en masse is a big enough project, so going through every lot and implementing even more changes made the project even more arduous. Throughout her video announcing her updated Simsie Save, she jokingly referred to it as her “life’s work.”
After Simsie gushed about all the changes to Del Sol Valley and the hundreds of Sims she has made, she made note of a small but important difference that she added. Some of the community lots use gendered bathroom doors. Simsie replaced all of them with gender-neutral doors.
In such a huge project, this may seem like a small change. But, as Simsie said in her video, those bathroom doors had super annoying effects on gameplay. “When you have the walls cut away, you can’t see which one’s which,” she said. “Then you go, ‘Oh, I’m gonna use this toilet,’ and your Sim’s like, “Oh no, I can’t use it!’”
Technically, every bathroom in The Sims 4 is gender neutral by default. There aren’t even any urinals in the game. But the game also provides doors that indicate what gender of Sim is supposed to go into each bathroom, and the Sims are programmed to obey those markings. If you make a room and put a door on it that has a little figure of a man on it, a female Sim won’t go in it, and vice versa.
Simsie had another reason for making the change, she said: “It’s also a really easy way to make something more accessible and to make something more inclusive.” There aren’t a lot of gendered bathrooms in The Sims 4, but after the game has changed some options in Create-A-Sim to allow players to individually select which Sims can get pregnant or pee standing up, as well as allowing all Sims to wear all clothing, it’s a worthy change to make.
In the process of making the change to her save file, Simsie also noticed something else annoying about those gendered bathroom doors. There’s only one bathroom door design that’s gender neutral, and unfortunately, as Simsie says, it “is ugly.” There are two other gendered bathroom doors that have more color options, but those other color options aren’t available for the gender neutral door. “I just don’t understand why they’re not all the same door,” Simsie says. Sure, every door can be a bathroom door if you believe, but if the game is going to provide specifically gendered doors, why only have one design for a bathroom door that can be used by all Sims?
In New York, where I live, I very rarely encounter gendered bathrooms in public places anymore. It’s not like that across the world, but LilSimsie’s starter save has made the world of The Sims 4 a bit closer to the world as I actually experience it. I’m excited to play her starter file, partially because I love her builds and I want to study them, but also because she made the game just a tiny bit more inclusive, and also way less annoying to play.