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GLAAD Issues Statement on Lack of Same-Sex Relations in Tomodachi Life, Nintendo Apologizes

Tomodachi Life
Nintendo

Nintendo has apologized for the lack of same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life in response to public outcry from both fans and GLAAD.

According to GamePolitics, GLAAD, the advocate group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, publicly announced its outcry in response to Nintendo’s lack of same-sex relationship options in Tomodachi Life, the company’s upcoming life-simulator coming out on Nintendo 3DS on June 6, which debuted in Japan more than a year ago. In response to the thousands that asked Nintendo to add the option into the game, Nintendo issued the following statement that only exacerbated its relationship with the LGBT community than to try and fix it:

Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of ‘Tomodachi Life.’ 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. The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan, and that game is made up of the same code that was used to localize it for other regions outside of Japan.

GLAAD responded to Nintendo’s statement claiming that the company has chosen to favor opposite-sex relationships over same-sex ones.

“In Nintendo’s ‘playful alternate world,’ our relationships do not exist as they do in “real-life,” and LGBT players get the message that we aren’t welcome in that world,” a GLAAD representative stated. GLAAD summed up its argument by saying that flagship games such as the Mass Effect, Dragon Age, The Elder Scrolls, Fable and The Sims have all included the option for same-sex relationships, while games like Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us might not give you the option to seek them, same-sex relationships are a part of the games’ narratives. Unfortunately, all of the games mentioned by GLAAD were made from Western developers, which hints at the indifference potentially held by many other Japanese developers.

UPDATE: Nintendo has just issued the following statement in response to the public outcry it has faced as a result of Tomodachi Life’s lack of same-sex relationships (courtesy of Kotaku):

We apologize for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life. 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. 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 our longtime company values of fun and entertainment for everyone. 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.

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