Nintendo attempts to explain why it will not allow gay characters

Game company is being accused of homophobia after it was revealed a new life simulation game would not include same-sex relationships or gay marriage

Nintendo attempts to explain why it will not allow gay characters
08 May 2014

Nintendo has said it will not allow gay characters in new life-simulation game Tomodachi Life.

A gay fan launched a social media campaign urging the game company to allow same-sex relationships, so it is true to real life.

But in an attempt to explain why, Nintendo said ‘it never intended to make any form of social commentary’.

Tye Marini, a 23-year-old gamer from Arizona, launched a campaign urging Nintendo to allow gay couples in the game.

He said as his virtual avatar, the ‘Mii’, would be unable to marry in the game he would miss out on content only for straight couples.

‘I want to be able to marry my real-life fiance’s Mii, but I can’t do that,’ Marini told AP.

‘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 added: ‘You import your personalised characters into the game. You name them. You give them a personality. You give them a voice. They just can’t fall in love if they’re gay.’

Tomodachi Life is similar to many other Nintendo games, such as Wii Sports, that allows you to create a version of yourself in the gaming world and play.

It has been a huge hit in Japan, and the firm is set to launch the game in the US and Europe in June

‘The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation,’ Nintendo said in a statement.

‘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.’

They added: ‘The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan.

‘That game is made up of the same code that was used to localize it for other regions outside of Japan.’

This is actually inaccurate. When the game was released last year in Japan, same-sex relationships were allowed. By mistake.

It then emerged a subsequent patch from Nintendo would not only fix a bug causing problems with saving the game, but also remove the ‘glitch’ allowing gay marriage.

Nintendo said it has ‘thoughtfully considered’ the response and ‘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.’

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