Same-sex relationships still a no-go for new game, Nintendo says

Posted May 8, 2014 by Nora Meszaros
Despite a fan-made petition to get the company on board for same-sex relationships in a new game, Nintendo says it is not here to provide social commentary.
Shares in Japan's Nintendo plunged 18 percent at the open on Monday after the gaming giant warn...
Shares in Japan's Nintendo plunged 18 percent at the open on Monday after the gaming giant warned it would swing back into the red
Robyn Beck, AFP/File
A new life simulation handheld game, Tomodachi Life, has Nintendo in the spotlight over same-sex views. While the game is aimed to engage social interaction and life-like scenarios, an issue has come up with a current Nintendo fan.
Twenty-three-year old Tye Marini launched a campaign last month in effort to persuade Nintendo Co. And Nintendo of America, Inc. to add same-sex relationship options to the English versions of the 3DS handheld games, CTV News reports. Tomodachi Life features gamer-made characters, modeled after real people.
In a statement with Alternative Press, Nintendo explained it is not aiming to present any form of social commentary with the release of Tomodachi Life.
“The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation,” Nintendo said. “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.”
Marini’s petition to get gay marriage support is by no means an effort to boycott the new game, Game Stop reports.
Marini, who is gay, said the issue is misrepresentation of “your real life” in the game life, according to Game Stop.
“It's more of an issue for this game because the characters are supposed to be a representation of your real life. You import your personalized characters into the game. You name them. You give them a personality. You give them a voice,” he told AP. “They just can't fall in love if they're gay.”
According to Game Stop, Marini is urging other gamers to post on social media using the hashtag #Miiquality, with the intent of letting Nintendo updates or future options on same-sex relationships would be well-received.
For the record, there are plenty of games which allow same-sex interaction and courting, so to speak. The Elder Scrolls and The Sims come to mind. Fable can classify as same-sex-friendly. Furthermore, games focused on narration like Grand Theft Auto IV and Gone Home include specifically gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters.
Tomodachi Life was released in Japan in April 2013 and is slated to make its way to North America and Europe next month. Game Stop reports the game has sold 1.85 million units in Japan, making it one of the 3DS's best-selling games to date. The game is a sequel to its 2009 counterpart, [i]Tomodachi Collection[/i].