Video Game Lets Kids Breastfeed Their Babies

Both of my children nursed into toddlerhood, so I've dealt with looks and (inappropriate) questions. I've lent an ear to other nursing mamas who've struggled with breastfeeding their sweet babies in public due to rude or misinformed strangers. Before kids, I didn't understand the need to normalize breastfeeding.

Even in a place like video games.

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I've been playing video games since I was about 5 years old, and I can't deny that a lot of games don't portray women in the best light. Certainly not in a way I'd want my daughter to emulate. Of course, I know it's fantasy, but a lot of things I've accepted as normal are the very things I'm questioning as my children begin to show interest in gaming.

Since college, one of my favorites was The Sims. I probably spent more time creating people than actually playing the game, but it was fun to control these virtual people. I especially enjoyed growing my own Sim family and naming the babies. The whole process was loosely based on reality. It was pretty easy to get pregnant, the baby bump popped way too early, and when it was time to give birth, you just walked in and out of the hospital. Once home the baby was a great sleeper. (I did say loosely based on reality.)

So all these years, I never questioned that the only feeding option was to give the baby a bottle. Even in video games, it's become normal to expect babies to be bottle-fed.

Not anymore!

Moms can now choose to breastfeed their babies in The Sims 4. That's right -- a video game simulating life now offers the choice to breastfeed or bottle-feed. Your Sim even receives positive interaction with their baby while nursing them.

It may seem like such a small thing, but I think it's a huge victory in the re-normalization movement. While the game is not an accurate depiction of real life in all aspects, it is a game in which you simulate life for fun. It puts breastfeeding out there as a normal option when caring for a Sim baby. Some claim that the game sends the message that breastfeeding moms need to cover up because they pixelated the animation to blur it out. I think that misses the bigger picture. The game could have gone on without ever allowing Sims to nurse their babies. Instead, they've added it and didn't create an unrealistic animation of baby being brought up to a shirt.

It's an option that was long overdue and I'm so glad they included it. I think it reinforces how normal it is to everyone -- to our youth especially -- as they play the game. 

Do you think breastfeeding should be an option in a kids' video game? Why or why not?


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