[Update] Nintendo, Tomodachi Life, GLAAD And #Miiquality

A month ago, Nintendo held a special Nintendo Direct, dedicated to a fun looking 3DS game called Tomodachi Life, in it you use your personal Mii character and travel a Sims like universe, doing various things like hanging out with your friends, meeting celebrities, having relationships and getting married, here is the Nintendo Direct regarding the game:

The game looks like fun, doesn’t it, but it has gathered some problems, since the video above was released, the main problem being that same sex marriage is not allowed, which also means you cannot raise a child in a same sex marriage, now some people might be wondering what the big deal is, its just a game.

#Miiquality

Well this video by #Miiquality creator Tyeforce will explain the reasoning why someone would find a problem with not being allowed to marry someone of the same sex:

#Miiquality from Tyeforce on Vimeo.

Nintendo

Nintendo did make it known that they have seen this video and know of the #Miiquality movement, by releasing a statement, here is a quote from that statement:

Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of ‘Tomodachi Life.

The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that ‘Tomodachi Life’ was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary.

The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan, and that game is made up of the same code that was used to localise it for other regions outside of Japan.

We will continue to listen and think about the feedback. We’re using this as an opportunity to better understand our consumers and their expectations of us at all levels of the organization

GLAAD

This statement led GLAAD an advocacy, support group for the LGBT community to release their own statement, here is a quote from the GLAAD website, which contains that statement:

But by telling users that the US release will not include these options despite demand for them, they are very much making a social statement favoring opposite-sex relationships over same-sex ones. In Nintendo’s “playful alternate world,” our relationships do not exist as they do in “real-life,” and LGBT players get the message that we aren’t welcome in that world.

More than that, Nintendo is also setting itself outside of mainstream video games by doing so. Earlier today, GLAAD’s Wilson Cruz told the blog Venture Beat that ““In purposefully limiting players’ relationship options, Nintendo is not only sending a hurtful message to many of its fans and consumers by excluding them, but also setting itself way behind the times. It’s been over a decade since The Sims — the original ‘whimsical and quirky’ life simulator — allowed its users to marry any character they wanted, and many other mainstream and massively popular video games have followed their lead since. Nintendo should do the same.”

The Sims was one of the first games to allow characters of the same gender to enter into romantic relationships with each other, but many others have also done so. Among them are blockbuster game franchises like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, The Elder Scrolls, and Fable. More recent narrative based games like Grand Theft Auto and The Last of Us have also included openly LGBT characters.

Sources/More Information

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Nintendo
Nintendo Says No to Virtual Equality in Life Game
Nintendo defends decision to disallow gay relationships in game

GLAAD
GLAAD to Nintendo: Lack of gay characters in new life sim is ‘hurtful’ and ‘behind the times’
Nintendo releases statement saying same-sex relationship options will not be included in ‘Tomodachi Life’

UPDATE

Nintendo have released a further statement regarding this situation:

We apologize for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to change this game’s design, and such a significant development change can’t be accomplished with a post-ship patch. At Nintendo, dedication has always meant going beyond the games to promote a sense of community, and to share a spirit of fun and joy. We are committed to advancing our longtime company values of fun and entertainment for everyone. We pledge that if we create a next installment in the Tomodachi series, we will strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players.

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