If you are a Nintendo fan and stayed updated to the past week news, then you already know about the social media gay awareness campaign started by a gay young man, Tye Marini, who felt his right to engage in a same – sex relationship in the life simulator game Tomodachi Life was violated by Nintendo. If you are not familiar to the case, however, let’s review it briefly.
Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life is a real life game simulator set to be released for the English speaking players in North America and Europe this summer on 3DS. The game was released in Japan last year and had quite a success, so it is easy to imagine the eagerness of the other players in the world to develop their own Mii characters and start having fun together. But one such enthusiast player noticed that the English version of the game didn’t allow people to build gay characters and engage in same – sex relationships, which, for a gay person was a bit bothering, to say the least.
Tye Marini decided to launch an awareness campaign, pressuring the Japanese publisher to modify the game so that gay players be allowed to live a normal, non – excluded life at least in the game. Marini’s social media awareness campaign rapidly gathered a lot of followers and escalated fast enough to receive the support of gay advocacy groups and organizations too. They all asked Nintendo to reconsider its policies and align them to the real state of facts: other game publishers allow players to build gay characters and engage in flirting, wooing and even marrying same – sex characters.
While initially Nintendo was pretty categorical about not changing anything related to the game, the pressure built up rapidly and the Japanese publishers together with the American party issued a public statement apologizing to the gay users for not taking them into consideration. Moreover, Nintendo promised to allow same – sex relationships in Tomodachi Life in a future installment. The official apology and pledge made Marini very happy and calmed things down, at least for a while. According to the media, Nintendo admitted they couldn’t change anything about the upcoming English version of the game, but they will take into account the wishes and needs of their gay fans in the next game installments in the series:
We apologize for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life,” Nintendo said in a statement released Friday. “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.
Moreover, Nintendo officials also stated that
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.
Keeping this promise is mandatory for Nintendo, as gay advocacy groups are keeping an eye on them. While other major publishers are friendlier and friendlier with their gay customers, Nintendo still needs to prove it is able to catch up to its fellow game developers. Even if Nintendo promised to allow same – sex relationships in Tomodachi Life if the future, the issue of virtual equality is still a hot subject many other publishers are treating with maximum of sensibility.