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The Sims 4 loosens gender restrictions

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Character creation tool updated

Electronic Arts today announced a free expansion to its The Sims 4 "Create A Sim" mode, offering new gender customization options.

Clothing items and accessories that were previously restricted to either men or women are now available across genders. Individual characteristics, such as speech-style, haircut and gait, are now more freely accessible, regardless of initial gender choice. EA says it has made 700 items that were previously gender-specific available across genders.

"The Sims is made by a diverse team for a diverse audience, and it's really important to us that players are able to be creative and express themselves through our games," offered an EA statement. "We want to make sure players can create characters they can identify with or relate to through powerful tools that give them influence over a Sim's gender, age, ethnicity, body type and more.

"We've had a ton of fun exploring how good many of the short hair male hairstyles look on the female Sims, and vice versa. And we're just getting started checking out how outfits and styles look on totally different body types."

Released in 2014 to commercial success, The Sims 4 tasks players with creating human characters and inhabiting a social universe. To access the new mode, players will need all previous updates for The Sims 4 .