In a groundbreaking move toward inclusivity, the latest update of the iconic video game series, The Sims 4, introduced a significant feature, including vitiligo skin options. This innovative step toward representation comes with the support and collaboration of Winnie Harlow, a prominent figure known for advocating diversity and breaking beauty standards in the fashion industry. 

According to Essence, the new feature lets players give their Sims characters vitiligo patches in the Create-a-Sim function. Several choices are available, each offering different degrees of coverage for the face, upper body, lower body, arms and legs.

“Altogether there are 61 pieces ranging from a light to heavier coverage,” The Sims 4 associate producer Ash Wait told Mashable. “Some of the heavier body patterns will have multiple swatch choices so players can make one side heavier if they wish. Simmers can also add these to any age of Sim, from infants to elders. This comes out to 305 patterns total!”

Harlow also shared her thoughts on the new feature and praised the company for creating options for people with the autoimmune disease.

“It’s magical to see The Sims 4 team introduce this new vitiligo feature,” Harlow said in the feature announcement. “As a child, I spent a lot of time playing The Sims and I think it’s so beautiful to be able to represent your true self in-game. This partnership is a powerful statement encouraging players to embrace what makes them unique — both in-game and in real life.”

With her experience living with vitiligo, the 29-year-old brings authenticity and insight to this endeavor. Harlow’s collaboration with The Sims signifies a powerful union between the gaming world and real-world activism, aiming to promote diversity and celebrate individuality within virtual communities. 

According to Britannica, Will Wright created The Sims for personal computers and released it on February 4, 2000. It was developed and distributed by the American companies Maxis and Electronic Arts as part of the SimCity gaming franchise. Since then, video game enthusiasts have crafted their digital realms within the widely enjoyed life simulation game.