Jewish and Muslim Representation in the Sims!

by poptart52
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Original Post

Jewish and Muslim Representation in the Sims!

[ Edited ]
★ Apprentice

Salaam and Shalom! I'm posting this on behalf of Jewish and Muslim simmers everywhere. 

 

Many cultures have had amazing and ample representation in The Sims, with more representation forthcoming! We have seen drops for Christmas, Dia de los Muertos, Diwali, the Lunar New Year (Year of the Pig), Lunar New Year (Korean), updates to Black Sim hair texture and skin, a Juneteenth drop, and more! We even had a small drop with a couple CAS items for Muslim sims, and recently a SDX with a better hijab for base game, and a new Afro-textured beard. 

However, even with all of this wonderful representation and inclusion, with Hindu and Chinese wedding practices added into the game, and a wedding dress that is finally appropriate for Jewish and Muslim Sims, Jewish and Muslim simmers are STILL woefully underrepresented. This needs to change, especially in light of the antisemitic microaggression committed by a SimGuru (likely accidentally) on the recent live stream. While we did get an apology via GrimSuluDoi (who did not make the comment), there is more work to be done. 

I (@RivkaZee on Twitter) and @HufflePom on twitter would like to spearhead this. It appears there are no Jewish or Muslim GameChangers for The Sims 4, nor are there any Jewish or Muslim SimGurus. We would like to fill in and provide experience and information in order to allow our communities to have representation. 

Because MANY cultural drops tend to fall around holidays, Pom and I thought that a wonderful time for a Jewish Culture SDX drop would be Rosh Hashanah! Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New year. Our calendar is a soli-lunar calendar, and our new year falls at the end of September this year. This holiday is celebrated by secular Jews around the world, and is not a religious holiday - in fact, I grew up with it (my family is Reform and non-practicing Jews, and my father's family was Catholic) and still celebrate it even though my religion is Islam! Jews celebrate the holiday by eating sweet things, such as Challah (a special braided Jewish bread that can be made many different ways, including with raisins), kugel (a sweet noodle casserole that is more like a dessert), and apples with honey, for a sweet new year! Families generally will offer other, more savory foods for celebration as well, such as brisket (Greg LOVES brisket!), chicken kishke, or even matzo ball soup! Other desserts may be present as well. 

This would be a great time to drop some traditionally Jewish foods into the game, as well as some CAS items which could help our Jewish players, such as undershirts (in the glove section), other tichel (hair covering) designs, and yarmulkes/kippot for masc Sims (this is a small hat similar to the kufi which was provided for the Muslim clothing drop). 

As stated previously, Pom and I are extremely willing to come teach the Sims Team about our cultural identity! We are willing, ready, and prepared to fly ourselves to you to teach you how to make things like Challah, babke (a delicious, braided dessert bread - trust me, it's A-MAZE-ING), latkes, matzo ball soup, and even hamantaschen (a special cookie made for another holiday - Purim, where Jewish children dress up in costumes and eat sweets). I am willing to provide assistance with CAS design (I make clothing for Queer Muslims and run a Queer Mosque irl, and am an artist) and ideas on what can be done to better represent both of my communities via CAS. 

We will be continuing to post about this on Twitter, and I will continue to do my Twitch streams on the topic, but I wanted to post here because I am unable to email the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team directly.

I would also like to mention here that the terms "Jew", "Jews", "Jewish-Muslim", and "Jewish/Muslim" are still banned on the Gallery, while actually offensive words (and references to the Israeli/Palestinian "conflict") are allowed. Some of these terms include, but are not limited to: "Terrorist", "Murder", "Muslim Murder", "Islamist", and more (full list can be found here: https://answers.ea.com/t5/Bug-Reports/COLLECTION-THREAD-Unjustified-disallowed-words/m-p/11291600#M2...). 

Thank you so much for your time. I may continue to update this thread with information and ideas related to this campaign. 

Rivka Sajida (this isn't my last name) (EA ID: Poptart52)

Message 1 of 8 (397 Views)

Re: Jewish and Muslim Representation in the Sims!

Community Manager

@poptart52 

 

I have edited your post to remove your last name, please do not post personal info on any public forum. 

 

Thanks.

barry.png
Message 2 of 8 (357 Views)

Re: Jewish and Muslim Representation in the Sims!

[ Edited ]
★ Expert

Hi!


I do understand that the Sims avoids religion (and then adds a bunch of churches with the wedding pack as optional wedding venues), but Judaism is both an ethnicity and a religion, and I agree that it would be nice to get some cultural representation. The main thing I do with my starter save is include my Sim-ified version of Jewish holidays. I always get a huge kick out of dressing my Sims up in costumes and having them drink and dance and exchange gifts before going to the holiday service for Purim, for example. There are so many that it became annoying to set them up every save. 🤣

I’ve tried not to harp on the churches because I know some people would be heartbroken to not give their Sims a church wedding, but it does kind of feel like “we avoid touchy subjects like religion unless it’s church weddings and Winterfest because Christianity is the neutral default that offends no one.” I don’t want to deny anyone’s Sims a church wedding! It just grates a little. 

I will say that I very much appreciate the two Hanukkiahs that are in the game  if you have the holiday pack, but Hanukkah is a minor holiday that’s only really prominent because of its proximity to Christmas. (Also, lighting the Hanukkiah gives you a happy moodlet… with a picture of a Christmas tree on it!) The most important holidays are Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, both of which are in the fall. I’d love for the Team to add things like a chuppah (wedding canopy) and more foods, especially a round challah for Rosh Hashana. ❤️


(One Hanukkiah is base game and the other is with the free Holiday pack, which I avoided downloading forever because I read it as “The even more Christmas stuff pack!” It has some lovely things in it so I’m glad I finally downloaded it. That said, despite the Menorah it’s absolutely “The even more Christmas stuff pack.”)


Speaking of DLC, I’d even be willing to buy a kit for some of these items. I know you’ve done some cultural representation in kits before…

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Re: Jewish and Muslim Representation in the Sims!

[ Edited ]
★ Apprentice

Sajida isn't my last name. I have two names as my first name.... Many Ashkenazi Jews do. @EA_Barry 

Message 4 of 8 (274 Views)

Re: Jewish and Muslim Representation in the Sims!

★★★★ Guide

I love to see lots of different cultures represented in the game and these are really interesting ideas. I hope your suggestion is taken on board.

I really like the element of adding different recipes and decorations and clothing to represent different nationalities and faiths. I like to add Sims that are nothing like myself. I may be a white Geordie girl but none of my Sims are lol. I try and do my homework before creating a Sim of another culture to get it as accurate as I can even though I'm the only one playing it because it really interests me. 

A kit is a really great idea to expand on it and why not, when it's been done.

I like that when new recipes are added for example, there's that little paragraph that pops up explaining the origins. I actually pinch some of them and make them myself.

Good luck with your suggestions!

 

Message 5 of 8 (240 Views)

Re: Jewish and Muslim Representation in the Sims!

★★★★★ Apprentice

I really hope that we will get more. It is nice we got new hijab, but it is still not enough - we need more styles and more stuff, like khimar. Modest typical Muslim clothing is also needed.

 

Also, the Slavic and Native American cultures are literally non-existent for The Sims 4 - how its possible that Native American culture is still not in game? How can america centric game exclude important first nation of american continent is beyond me.

 

Also about cultural kits - big no. Representation isn't something people should pay for and its really bad already we have one cultural kit - when it comes to transfering hairstyles from DLCs to base game, The Sims Team keeps excusing themselves by saying they don't want to gatekeep inclusive content, so why they made a cultural kit in a first place

Message 6 of 8 (219 Views)

Re: Jewish and Muslim Representation in the Sims!

★ Apprentice

YES! 100%. But unfortunately I'm not Native so I don't feel like I can do anything on that front.

I also agree we shouldn't have to pay to get our culture in the game. Especially when most of the cultures are free drops. We should all have those base game!

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Re: Jewish and Muslim Representation in the Sims!

★★★★ Guide

I take your point about the kits, you're possibly talking more about the kind of culture drop we got with the Brazilian recipes and South American items. I'm more talking about the Oasis Kit as an example which adds a lot more inventory because they charge for it and I was happy to pay a fiver to add that to my game. But when you want to see your culture reflected in it, well it would be frustrating to be charged for that.

I'd like to see these things in an update if the team felt so inclined but I'd also like to see it done effectively and as accurately as possible. For people who don't know much about some cultures other than what I see on US TV (which I can see is often stereotyped) it's important it's done right. I've seen an excellent description on another thread of how some Asian festivals need some work done to be more accurate.

I'm a little jaded by some of the pushback on some threads about inclusive content though, I see the term PC being used when changes are made to make the game more diverse so I just say ok fine, if not everyone wants it then I'll happily just buy it for my game because I personally do want to see as much diversity and culture as possible. It's what makes the game a living and vibrant thing for me and I love that. I like beige for a wall colour...not for my world.

But yes, I see what you mean about being charged for your culture. However it's added though, I'd like to see it and I support what you're trying to say here.

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