I'm sure no small part of this is due to the fact that Japan is even further behind on legalizing/normalizing gay marriage than the U.S.
NOA recently released another statement that's a bit more encouraging. The question of course becomes, will they make and localize another entry in the series? After all the new statement only says "if" they make another one they'll make it more inclusive. It'd be interesting to see the response if the next Tomodachi game stayed Japan-only like the previous ones were. Would people see it as just an excuse to avoid adding same-sex marriage to the game?
On the other hand, there is also the question of whether this will affect other game series- the only other one I can think of that involves marriage is Fire Emblem. I remember some brief interest in the idea of adding same-sex relationships to that series. And that series sells really well.
Reminds me of ChristianMingle, where you must choose one of the following: "I am a man seeking a woman" OR "I am a woman seeking a man".
"Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of 'Tomodachi Life,'"
Regardless of which choice they make, it's social commentary.
Exactly, even from a corporate try-to-offend-as-few-people-as-possible market, choosing to allow gay marriage is the option that the demographic they seem to aim for would approve of.
The worst this could really do is get One Million Moms and their ilk to start boycotting Nintendo, and that's more likely to HELP them, via both the support from practically every other group that is (or wants to look) socially-conscious, AND the possible boost in popularity with rebellious kids via being something their parents disapprove of.
Kind of a shitty headline to them saying 'whoops, our bad, we'll make sure to include this next time'.
In America yes. But this is a simple localization/translation from a Japanese market game and therein lies the rub. From what I gathered from the slashdot comments it allowed same sex marriages but when they figured out and that it was against the law and culture in Japan they fixed it. I imagine it is getting a North American release because it did well in Japan and they are being cheap and just localizing the existing content rather than reprogramming it back.
If I'm remembering correctly, they patched it because it caused a game breaking bug.
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."
That sounds fairly reasonable.
Besides that lets face it, they simply can not accommodate everything and everyone. No game maker can. Should their game include BDS&M options? How about trans gender options? The list could go on and on, but you get the idea. They made a game, it's vanilla. Not terribly surprising given that vanilla is what nintendo does. This seems like another non-issue being trumpeted for political points.
Do you really not consider gay relationships "vanilla"?
Without knowing anything about my sexuality, would you really like to try to score political points off me?
@rossleonardy then asks:
Do you really not consider gay relationships "vanilla"?
I appreciate your question, but let's not beat around the bush here.
Thecorrectline is straight up saying that gay marriage is a lesser form of marriage and gay relationships are to be compared to sex acts involving bondage, sadism, masochism, etc.
These lesser gays cannot be "accommodated" for without having to include "everything and everyone" else under the sun.
Thecorrectline is now in the company of these bigots that also gives us some further ideas on who and what this "anyone and everything else" is:
This is... the correct line.
I'm disappointed to see you jump on this bandwagon Xeni...
Making their life sim simulate real life by including same sex relationships would have been less of a 'commentary' than deliberately excluding a group - which makes a much more overt statement. As does their 'excuse' that the game was designed to represent a "playful alternate world" where gay people don't exist. Which is pretty fucked up.
Not true. There were several Japanese gamers doing the workaround mentioned above and having a male character assigned a female gender so that same-sex couples could marry and have a baby. At the same time, Nintendo released an unrelated patch to fix a memory leak bug. The two stories were erroneously conflated.
The Japanese version of the game was not designed with same-sex relationships included. Depictions of LGBT folks in Japanese popular culture are, if anything, in a more dire state than they are in US culture.
Also, Nintendo of America were not "being cheap and localizing existing content" with this game. The game, which contained many idiosyncratic Japanese cultural elements, was extensively adapted/altered in localization . This included some major changes to in-game assets, and even the redesign of some of the in-game activities.
Couple of false equivalencies there.
BDSM relates specifically to a type of sex act, which would make it a subject matter not appropriate to a children's game (LGBT and straight people engage in BDSM - because it's not an orientation, it's a sex act). Gayness as such is a sexual orientation and no less appropriate or 'vanilla' than straightness. Obviously, gayness and straightness both connote types of sex acts, too, but they more broadly connote sexual identity. Parents wouldn't hide their gayness or straightness from their kids, but they'd probably hide their bondage gear. If including gay relationships is too risque for this 'vanilla' family game, then including romantic relationships AT ALL is.
As for trans gender options - they're kind of built in already. As with many games where identities can be constructed, trans folks have the option of playing as a gender that may not align with their physical/birth sex. The 3DS doesn't analyze the player's genitals and force them to create a cis-gendered Mii avatar.
Where is the option for me?
☐ I am a man seeking a woman
☐ I am a woman seeking a man
☑ I am a homosexual seeking the eternal fires of damnation
'I am a bisexual woman and although it's sinful to be with another woman, girl-on-girl is hot and men don't have to be jealous of seeing another man with me so it's OK'