The Sims finally loosens up its gender restrictions

Prior to last week, characters in The Sims 4 (2014) were at a bit of a paradox. They could have any skin color the player wanted—including nonexistent ones—move and present themselves in a variety of cartoonish manners, have one of dozens of slightly different styles of eyebrows or chin lengths (yes, chin lengths), and could even have different interests and life goals tailored to the player’s choice. But a man with long hair? That, apparently, was just too much. Of course, it wasn’t that the game didn’t have any options for long hair available. In fact, there were almost as many…


Did Rust just become the first transgender MMO?

Unlike many other online multiplayer games, Rust doesn’t give players any control over what their character looks like. Instead, it randomly generates a set of features and ties them permanently to the player’s Steam account. This means that, even if they leave the game, their character will look the same when they return. It’s a fitting choice, given how primal the world of the survival-based Rust is. Just as in real life, Rust doesn’t let you choose what you want to look like, but instead spits you out naked into its world with a body you had no say in, and tells…


Now we can all participate in the kitschy nightmares of Sonic fan art

Sonic is a gross island. His fans sit atop his belly and cast lines out into the vast pools of the internet, reeling in fetishes you’ve never heard of. The result is Sonic fan art: trashy Microsoft Paint sketches, dodgy amateur photoshops, and more creepy porn cross-overs than should ever be possible. There’s so much Sonic fan art that an internet pastime is typing your first name into Google Images followed by “the hedgehog,” and seeing yourself transformed into the ghastly Sonicverse. (It works because fans have created an unfathomable number of Sonic variants with alternative names—almost all names, it…


Women redesign female characters to show what videogames are missing out on

“Suppose, for instance, that men were only represented in literature as the lovers of women, and were never the friends of men, soldiers, thinkers, dreamers; how few parts in the plays of Shakespeare could be allotted to them; how literature would suffer! We might perhaps have most of Othello; and a good deal of Antony; but no Caesar, no Brutus, no Hamlet, no Lear, no Jaques—literature would be incredibly impoverished, as indeed literature is impoverished beyond our counting by the doors that have been shut upon women.” – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own When Virginia Woolf was asked…


This genetic testing firm wants to import your DNA to videogames

Wouldn’t it be great if we could import our genetic code into games and zap virtual clones of ourselves into software? Um … maybe, or probably not, considering the risks to privacy and security that would involve. But that’s not stopping a DNA testing firm that wants to use genetic testing to import your personal traits into a videogame.  DNA Diagnostics Center, Inc., out of Fairfield, Ohio, has filed a patent for technology that does just that. It’s called Helix Profile and not much is known about it, but the obvious use would be avatar creation. A game that knew…