The Sims franchise has consistently been one of the most progressive in games. The first entry in the series, The Sims, was among the first video games to ever present same-sex relationships–particularly in a way in which players would play an active role within them. In recent years, The Sims 4 has repeatedly made headlines for its free updates which have included robust gender customization, a greater variety of skin tones, and most recently, the ability to give your sims fully customizable pronouns. However, just as important as large-scale, progressive updates, is the company’s dedication to ensuring authenticity throughout the game.

The latest The Sims expansion, For Rent, is no exception. Though its title might sound a bit removed from any one culture, the expansion’s accompanying neighborhood of Tomarang draws inspiration from Southeast Asian cities. To help create its bustling night markets and form a meaningful connection between the pack’s contents and the culture it seeks to represent, the Sims team brought on musician and activist Jason Chu. GameSpot got the chance to speak with Chu about his work on the pack and how his musical background, world travels, and passion for merging entertainment with authenticity came together to elevate For Rent.

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GameSpot: What led to you working with the Sims team on the For Rent expansion? What was the process like?

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