Numerous online games send messages to lapsed users in an attempt to get those players to come back. Sometimes, they try to guilt you into going back; other times, they look to entice you into returning by offering free goodies. In the case of the Facebook game The Sims Social, EA and Playfish opted for the former tactic in an email sent today to players. But somebody should’ve looked this one over first.
The message, penned by “Your Sim,” a cute, slim, winking redhead with her arms in the air, begs her man of the house to return. She’s lost without him, and assumes that his leaving was her fault. But if he’ll just come back into her life, she’ll do anything for him — and first on the list is cleaning the entire house “from top to bottom.” In fact, the top of the email (see screenshot below) says that without her man, she was so bored that she already cleaned the house. Then there’s the last line, which suggests that the return of her hubby would inspire her. To do what? EA leaves that part to the (presumably male) player’s imagination.
As if the email’s sexist language and imagery weren’t bizarre enough, the letter looks stranger still in the context of The Sims Social. Facebook is the world’s largest gaming platform, and The Sims has perhaps the most mainstream, cross-cultural appeal of any of EA’s properties. So why would EA send something like this to former Sims Social players? Who at EA and/or Playfish approved it, and what were they thinking? Wouldn’t a less chauvinistic strategy, let alone a gender-agnostic approach, make more sense?
We’ve reached out to EA for comment on the sexist undertones in this email, and will update this post with any response we receive.
[Screencap of email via @DinosaurPizza]