We are not here to discuss the reasons why people like to play life simulator games, but we are here to discuss the fact that game mogul Nintendo seems to deny its loyal customers the right to engage in gay romance and relationships while they play the much awaited new Nintendo life simulator game Tomodachi Life.
A few short comments on Tomodachi Life, in case you are not familiar with the game, are perhaps mandatory:
The game was originally released in Japan last year and features a cast of Mii characters — Nintendo’s personalized avatars of real players — living on a virtual island. Gamers can do things like shop, visit an amusement park, play games, go on dates and encounter celebrities like Christina Aguilera and Shaquille O’Neal.
The problem seems to emerge from the paradox of the game letting users to create characters that go on dates, fall in love and spend time together, even marry and have children, with the small amendment that these characters are always of opposite sexes. In other words, your Mii character can’t fall in love, nor flirt or marry another Mii character that shares the same gender.
As you can probably imagine, in a world where gay marriage started to be more and more tolerated and even legal ized and in a gaming world where other major game developers allow users to choose or create gay, lesbian or bisexual characters (or at least character that can flirt with other characters of the same gender), the new Nintendo life simulator game seems to throw the world back into the dark age it barely crawled out of. Of course, these decisions weren’t left without a powerful echo: Tye Marini, a young gay male player, started last month an awareness campaign, pressuring Nintendo Japan and Nintendo of America Inc. to add the choice of same – sex relationships in the English version of the game which is set for release in less than a month, on June 6 on 3DS.
The issue stirred the waters, as Marini’s campaign seems to be quite active on the Internet. Unfortunately, the last news clearly specify that Nintendo isn’t going to change its mind about the requested equality in the game. While the American office of Nintendo defends its position by stating that they never thought to make social comments related to the gay community and there was never about any form of discrimination, the Japanese officials had a more straightforward approach: while they are willing to listen to the voice of their customers in the world and take note of their feedback and suggestions, they won’t change anything about the Tomodachi Life.