Players of the video game The Sims can now bake a challah or dish up a bowl of matzah ball soup, after updates made by the game’s creator that are designed to increase Jewish representation.
The new updates add traditional Jewish foods to the expansive menu available to users of The Sims, a best-selling life simulation game in which players customise characters and build homes and communities.
“Get ready to dig in because today’s Sims Delivery Express adds matzah ball soup & challah bread to The Sims 4 recipe book for the whole family to enjoy,” the game announced on Twitter.
The announcement elicited gratitude from the community of players, known as Simmers, who had been pushing for Jewish additions to the game.
Sims players have long come up with creative workarounds to permit Jewish practice in the game, such as letting their Sims keep kosher by changing their characters’ traits to “vegetarian”.
Some players let their Sims celebrate Shabbat by baking bread and setting it on a table and lighting decorative candles.
But other than a chanukiah that permitted players to light individual candles for each night of Chanukah, there was no Jewish content provided by the game’s creator. Players had noted gaps in other additions over time: An expansion set aimed at providing culturally diverse wedding options, for example, did not include a chuppah.
An online petition launched last year noted that the community simply wants what others have received, stating “This has been done for other cultures like Muslims and it’s important for all cultures to feel represented in their beloved life simulation game.”