Nintendo rejects same-sex inclusion

May 12, 2014 2:45 AM

Nintendo have announced that it will not permit gamers to play as characters in its life-simulation game Tomodachi Life. A gay Nintendo fan from Arizona has launched a campaign advising Nintendo to include same-sex relationships.

Console giant Nintendo

Console giant Nintendo

He has stated that since his virtual avatar is not able to marry, he would completely miss out on “exclusive content”. “I want to be able to marry my real-life fiance’s Mii, but I can’t do that. My only options are to marry some female Mii, to change the gender of either my Mii or my fiance’s Mii or to completely avoid marriage altogether and miss out on the exclusive content that comes with it”, he criticizes. Tomodachi Life was released in Japan in 2013, featuring a cast of ‘Mii’ characters, especially personalised avatars of actual gamers, living on a virtual island. It enables gamers to inhabit their island with the “Mii characters of family, friends or anyone else you can think of”.

“Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life”, an American representative of Nintendo announced. “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”.

Virtual reality gaming sphere

Virtual reality gaming sphere

They informed that it was not aiming to reflect reality, but to produce an alternate world that happens to draw profoundly from realistic components of daily life, like getting involved in heterosexual relationships. “We apologise for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life. 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 out long time company values of fun and entertainment for everyone”, Nintendo revealed in a news release. Apparently, it is too late for the gaming giant to alter the game and that permitting same-sex couples would be too large and complex of an update to release for it. Their statement read, “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”. They have further announced that it will continue to work towards the feedback received by Nintendo gamers.

LGBT advocacy group GLAAD referred to Nintendo’s rejection of same-sex relationships as an “outdated and harmful stance for a life simulator”. Same-sex marriage is becoming increasingly common across the globe with countries constantly legalising this right. Thus, Nintendo’s stance may cause a public relations issue while already experiencing decreasing revenue amid weak sales for its Wii U console. Notably, it is not legal for same-sex couples to get married in Japan as yet.

Gamers portrayed as characters in virtual reality

Gamers portrayed as characters in virtual reality

The gay Nintendo fan expressed that the exclusion of same-sex relationships from a game that is deeply concentrated around relationships does insult and exclude many gamers.

Tomodachi Life is expected to make a release on June 6th in North America and Europe.

 

 

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