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Tomodachi Life Gay Marriage Controversy

Last posted May 10, 2014 at 01:28AM EDT. Added May 08, 2014 at 03:53PM EDT
32 posts from 16 users

So I decided to make a thread for this since it’s gaining popularity recently (I need to update the entry later for this too), just so I can get a few opinions on the matter.

Basically, some of you may have heard, but there was this thing about Nintendo removing Same-Sex relationships from the japanese version of Tomodachi Life. While this ended up being a misunderstanding (It was a bug, which could actually cause severe game-breaking problems later in the game), this provoked a movement over here called #Miiquality, with people asking Nintendo to implement Same-Sex couples in for the western release. Nintendo actually responded to this earlier, saying that They did not intend for Tomodachi Life to be a form of social commentary, and will thus not be implementing this feature (I don’t reccomend checking the article’s comments, they’re pretty toxic). I guess the question is, what do you guys feel about this? Do you sympathise with the campaigners or Nintendo?
I’ve said this here before at some point, but I’m really disappointed with this, I like to be able to be myself when playing a videogame, especially a simulation. Besides, what am I supposed to do with my Bertholdt Mii now? What’s the point if I can’t marry him?

May 08, 2014 at 03:53PM EDT
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I think people on the outside are making a much bigger deal out of it then it actually is. Some people are going “OMG teh homogays are trying to censor people!!!11one111eleven1111uno11!!” and others are saying “NINTENDO IS FULL OF HOMOPHOBIC BIGOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” What really happened is that Nintendo fixed a glitch that allowed same sex marriage. Someone else started a petition asking if same sex marriages could be implemented. Nintendo said “that really wasn’t the point but we will consider it in the future.” I think people are really blowing this out of proportion.

May 08, 2014 at 04:21PM EDT
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Bad luck for Nintendo I guess.

They put gay dating in, the game breaks.

They don’t, a shitstorm forms.

May 08, 2014 at 04:25PM EDT
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Really Nintendo shouldn’t be the people the social justice warriors go to for support on activism. Keep in mind they also are trying to dance on that very thin line that keeps them from alienating any of their consumers, ESPECIALLY with the Family Titles like these.

Not to mention, the easiest loophole is to go into Mii Maker and switch the Uke’s gender to Female and WHAZAM, you are set.


Edit: Animal Crossing allowing Crossdressing still comes at a bit of a surprise. But then again, Nintendo has been historically far more supportive of Gender Identity (Vivian, Birdo) over Sexual Orientation (The only instance I recall is the potential relationship between Ike and Soren in their A-Ranked Support Ending, as Soren is the ONLY person in Radiant Dawn to have any sort of special ending with Ike. But it was glossed over as an undertone like most anime games that dare step into that territory).

Last edited May 08, 2014 at 06:13PM EDT
May 08, 2014 at 06:04PM EDT
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Really Nintendo shouldn’t be the people the social justice warriors go to for support on activism

SJW’s are a lot like PETA. They don’t go after the real problem. They just go after whatever’s easiest and gets them the most publicity.

May 08, 2014 at 06:16PM EDT

Nintendo said that they didn’t want their game to be a social commentary. It’s a game, not some sort of profound, revolutionary tool for breaking down social barriers.

It should be left at that. Those that request gay marriage should understand this and drop it.

May 08, 2014 at 06:17PM EDT
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Nintendo had their choices simple here:

1. They release a buggy game with a game breaking bug inside, but with same sex marriages.
2. They release a working game, but have to sacrifice same sex marriages.

I dunno about you, but the smarter choice there is the latter. Now they have campaigners bombing their brand, which is still a consumer base and thus it’s normal that they listen to their wishes. If they kept the bug however, all the buyers would complain, and sexual orientation no longer matters there because that bug will affect everyone. So Nintendo decided to not ruin their product and went with the bug fix.

Because ask yourself this: Would you rather have a broken game with same-sex marriage, or a working game without them?

But does that mean I symphatise solely with Nintendo? No, of course not, so we’ll get to the other side now.

A Mii is just a virtual avatar, it doesn’t necessarily represent who you are. But in this day and age, with all the online communities that exist, and staying socially active over the web being a common practice, it is no less than normal people wish to represent themselves through these things. Whether an account on a social media website or just a Mii, they will never actually be you, but with simple details they can represent what type of person you are and how you look at things. Who hasn’t played the Sims and made their family a copy of their own family or their close friend circle?

So it is perfectly normal that people wish that their online accounts and avatars share their opinions, believes, and orientations in life. If you are no longer able to act out your sexual orientation in a game that allows relationships, then it’s perfectly acceptable that you feel bothered and disappointed.

But at the end of the day, decisions had to be made, and Nintendo went with what they did here. Is this the smart decision? On the short term, yes, because that bug is still existant so adding same-sex marriages back in would ruin their product. Would this however still be a smart decision on the long term, like when the bug is fixed? No. Nintendo is still ruining a part of the experience for a portion of the consumer base, and that is going to affect both your own status and that of the product. And to then use the reason that they never wanted a simulation game with Miis to function as a sort of social commentary, is just really bad reasoning. Social commentary is a part of life, and thus a valid addition for a social simmulation.

Last edited May 08, 2014 at 06:42PM EDT
May 08, 2014 at 06:37PM EDT
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I guess if anything, I’m a supporter of the movement. Although I’ll say this, I’m not asking for it because I think it’s another stepping stone towards equality, that’s not the point. I want it in because I think I’d have more fun in the game if it was, so that I can actually play a simulation. The fact that same-sex relations is just passed off as ‘social commentary’ is what I find disappointing in all this. Yeah, I get why it’s not good for marketing, it’s a very damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation, I get it, but the point that doesn’t mean I don’t still want it. The fact that the lifestyle I live, what’s normal to me, is considered ‘social commentary’. I hate to sound like an activist, because that’s the complete opposite of who I am really, but I can’t help but feel that this presents it as ‘Straight is normal, gay is just an extra’, like being straight is the default. But I’m not saying Nintendo are being bigots, as far as I can tell, they certainly aren’t, and I definitely don’t want to get in a debate over the authenticity of gay rights, this is just what I think. Oh well, que sera sera I guess, I’m sure Bertholdt wont mind being a girl once.

Oh, and sidenote, it’s not really a case that people want the bug back in, it’s that they want the extra feature. I understand that that would be a lot of extra work, so I can sympathise in that respect.

Last edited May 08, 2014 at 06:43PM EDT
May 08, 2014 at 06:41PM EDT
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It’s Nintendo’s game, so they should make it however they want to. If people don’t like it, then they shouldn’t get it.

It’s a damn shame that everything, no matter how innocent it was intended to be, has to be politicized now.

May 08, 2014 at 08:26PM EDT
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jesus…some people are dumb

so what theres no gay in….will that make the game less fun?

May 08, 2014 at 08:52PM EDT
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@Spike:
Well, to some people it actually would be less fun. As Random 21 just explained, it removes that extra layer of life simulation to those that actually are homosexual. The lack of it wouldn’t make the game shitty by any means, but missing that extra layer is a bit of a disappointment at the end of the day.

I can respect Nintendo’s wish to not want to make a social commentary with their game, but unfortunately no matter what they do there will be social commentary involved. At least for now I can respect their decision to keep gay marriage out only because I have a feeling adding gay marriage would lead to a louder and harsher backlash from audiences, especially considering this is a game that will be readily available for children. Some parents just love to think homosexuality is poisoning the minds of the youth.

May 08, 2014 at 10:47PM EDT
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@Crimson

I think even those people who would have found it less fun would probably still enjoy the game and maybe still buy it if this issue was never brought to attention. They would have taken it as it is without thinking like they had something taken from them.

But now people feel like they’re missing out on ‘what could have been’ and are putting pressure on Nintendo to ‘correct’ that. Nintendo never asked for this. I sympathize

Someone should make a relationship game that lets players manage a same sex relationship…and I bet that’s out there already…but Nintendo isn’t the one to do that, not yet. Being what they are, there is just too much at stake for them.


So here’s the deal:

  • Nintendo makes family friendly G+ game
  • Like all family friendly games, political hot buttons like homosexuality gets excluded to the detriment of nobody. No harm, no foul. just good business sense. This is to be expected
  • A programming error puts the ability to portray homosexual relationships in the game anyway. Since this is a relationship game, this easily passes off as a feature
  • Like all programming errors, this gets fixed to keep the game stable
  • Idiots for some reason mistake the act of removing a bug in the game for the attempt at censoring the portrayal of homosexuality because they don’t understand game development and only understand arguing on the internet
  • SJW’s take to their blogs

Some things in life are only problems because of our fanciful imaginations. This is one of them.

Simply not portraying same sex couples is not a problem let alone a controversy, just like it isn’t for everything else in the world that doesn’t need to show it. And this would have remained the case, had the game never portrayed same sex couples in the first place.

People are only making this a problem because the subject matter was accidentally exposed and then suddenly everyone has to have an opinion on it and run with that despite no foul actually being committed, thus artificially manufacturing a controversy out of nothing. What was going to be a matter of “simply not portraying” was transformed into “taking away and censoring” by way of pure illusion.

Nintendo is guilty of nothing and they don’t need to address this. They clearly do not want to deal with this bullshit. They don’t and never want any of their games to become a center of any political subject. That’s bad for business. If they are reacting dead-pan to this issue, it’s probably to avoid the Streisand effect.

Everyone else needs to stop overreacting

Don’t get me wrong, I’d support a movement for equality. But not one that unfairly criminalizes someone or some business that had nothing to do with inequality and/or attempts to force them into potential political hot water that they don’t deserve to be in

Last edited May 09, 2014 at 01:02AM EDT
May 09, 2014 at 12:57AM EDT
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Lil B wrote:

Bad luck for Nintendo I guess.

They put gay dating in, the game breaks.

They don’t, a shitstorm forms.

That’s when you know that you just can’t win and just give up already.

May 09, 2014 at 02:04AM EDT
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@Blue
I noticed it way before it came to the eye of the SJWs. A lot of people asked when the game was announced, “Will the game have gay marriage in it?” after they saw the relationships. Like I said, I think seeing this as a stepping stone to equality is overreacting, but wanting it in because it’ll make it more fun is not.
It’s worth checking the Miiquality page page. There’s a video that explains more about the project, and the guy (a gay guy at that, not some “well I have friends who are gay” SJW) shares the same opinion as me. He’s not doing it because of the above reason, he wants it because he feels that excluding it breaks the immersion we could have in the game, meaning he is not allowed to be himself, or marry his real-life fiance. It’s an opinion can sympathise with more, and while I understand Nintendo’s side of the argument, I also sympathise with this one.

May 09, 2014 at 02:12AM EDT
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@Random

Alright then. I was getting the impression that the movement was about making demands or accusations.

But I’ll believe you that is really just about making a polite request. If that’s the case then that’s all well and good and it’s up to Nintendo’s executive decision to respect that. They may or may not in the future, but at least it’s showing Nintendo what their public wants and where they can go from there

After all it would be nice if the feature was there. So long as people don’t go crazy about it anyway….

Nintendo still has a big hurdle to cross when it comes to the subject though, being such a huge an influential company that’s watched by so many diverse cultures, they have to watch their step very carefully in every game design decision.

May 09, 2014 at 02:33AM EDT
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@Blue

“What could have been” is all nice and easy to say, but fact remains that at one point the feature was available in the game. If you make a mistake, you should also be responsible for the consequences, that’s common understanding. That it was accidental still matters of course, but Nintendo doesn’t take the entire responsibilty of their accident by only fixing the bug and then ignoring the reactions by “we never planned it anyways”.

You say that homosexuals wouldn’t have complained if Nintendo directly released a product without same-sex marriage, but are now complaining because it was taken away. So then why would others complain if Nintendo released a product with same-sex marriage? It’s possible that customers have complained to Nintendo about the option being there, but is it a smaller or bigger number than the people who complain that it isn’t present now?


@Blue & Random

Sure this isn’t some big stepping stone towards equality, we all realize that quickly enough, but I believe in order to eventually reach that goal of equality, even something like allowing same-sex marriage in simulators should be looked upon as standard.

Is that moment there in this day and age? No, but we’re getting there, and even small steps help.

It’s unfortunate though that SJWs kinda ruin the possibility to have proper discussions about this. Because SJWs, a possible vocal minority, replied like they did, people ignore the actual case and just sweep it under the big “trivial stuff SJWs rant about” rug. Various replies in this thread work by that logic, which is unfortunate. I’m not a SJW, but because I share an opinion on various aspects in this case with SJWs, I suddenly feel like my opinion is looked upon as less.

Last edited May 09, 2014 at 05:59AM EDT
May 09, 2014 at 05:05AM EDT
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As a business major, whoever wrote that statement ought to be fired.

Their best course of action would have been:

a)Remain silent.

b) Explain that the game has already been released in Japan for over a year and no further development is ongoing, simply localization.

But they had to wade in on “social commentary” and make themselves look horribly out of touch.

May 09, 2014 at 08:27AM EDT
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Hold on hold on hold on.

I looked at the next article and there goes the argument

So there’s no bug. Nothing was changed. You can still have manbabies is the game, and apparently that doesn’t break anything at all

Granted, how it works isn’t official. You just design a female Mii as male. The game doesn’t see the difference so you get a gay relationship in the game anyway with that method.

This is how it’s always been and you can still do this.

Nintendo are just saying that they don’t intend to programmatically make it so you can couple two males as opposed to a male and a trap. And they stated their reasons why. They don’t want to get involved in the politics and they probably already used all their available funding on the games programming budget

This negates my argument about “bugs” and that’s good, otherwise i would have lectured RM on the difference between a feature and a bug.

But I retain my position on overreactions because this goes to prove that the situation is an even greater misunderstanding than before and that a controversy has been made over a situation that has been fine for a year and literally has not changed…making that controversy even more pointless.

My opinion on the controversy is not directed at the #miiquality movement, which I’m now viewing as a separate case

Last edited May 09, 2014 at 09:15AM EDT
May 09, 2014 at 08:52AM EDT
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That’s what we’ve been talking about BSOD. That’s the game breaking bug we’ve been referring to.

The fact you can go into Mii Maker and simply switch genders has never been touched but the transfer bug also allowed true homosexual relationships within the game (IIRC).

May 09, 2014 at 09:11AM EDT
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There isn’t much elaboration across the internet on what the data leak bug did aside from corrupt the games data. It’s hard to find details that explain that data leak bug allowed you to do that.

But even if it did, that goes back to what I was saying: A bug is a bug. it gets fixed regardless of any politics associated with it. Though I could be bias because I look at this from a programmers perspective: Bugs get fixed. That’s what Nintendo owes to the public. What they don’t owe is political commentary if they can avoid it.

Also back on this note, RM

So then why would others complain if Nintendo released a product with same-sex marriage?

I didn’t say others would or wouldn’t complain, but the reaction to that doesn’t matter. I’m not going to debate how such a theoretical scenario would turn out. What matters is what Nintendo’s plans on doing from here forward and what their current responsibilities for this are. Whether they take the risk of entering a political situation to appease a western demand or play it safe to appease the legal status back at home

At least they are saying this:

“We have heard and thoughtfully considered all the responses,” Nintendo said of the #Miiquality campaign. “We will continue to listen and think about the feedback. We’re using this as an opportunity to better understand our consumers and their expectations of us at all levels of the organization.”

And this is the right way to go about it:

“Marini isn’t calling for a boycott of “Tomodachi Life” but instead wants supporters to post on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #Miiquality, as well as write to Nintendo and ask the company to include same-sex relationships in an update to “Tomodachi Life” or in a future installment."

And for these notes…

I believe in order to eventually reach that goal of equality, even something like allowing same-sex marriage in simulators should be looked upon as standard.

I do as well. And this is that day and age, as more and more games stop being shy about it. One article does point out the many other games that let you gay it up already. One thing I notice though is that this is more common among western games. You can get away with that easily in the west.

My understanding is that it’s harder to get away with that in Japan. Being a major family friendly game company that is native to that nation: Nintendo has more of a reason to respect their right not to portray homosexuality if they don’t want to. Should they? Possibly. And you can ask them nicely for it. But ultimately they don’t have to. They aren’t just trying to please the baptist church in Texas. They gotta please a Japan where gay marriage is still isn’t legal which at this point might be a bigger concern to them than a western movement.

Anyone else however, is free to spearhead equality and game developers are doing that right now.

Because SJWs, a possible vocal minority, replied like they did, people ignore the actual case and just sweep it under the big “trivial stuff SJWs rant about” rug. Various replies in this thread work by that logic, which is unfortunate. I’m not a SJW, but because I share an opinion on various aspects in this case with SJWs, I suddenly feel like my opinion is looked upon as less.

I admit that I opened my initial post under that presumption too hastily. I’ve been hearing about these kind of drama’s so often I seem to naturally suspect SJW shenanigans afoot. I feel you are right that this may be blinding my first judgement.

But disrespecting opinions is something I do not do. You should express your opinion anyway.

Last edited May 09, 2014 at 10:08AM EDT
May 09, 2014 at 09:36AM EDT
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Interestingly enough, I should point out that other then your main Mii, you can’t set relationships between other Mii’s, meaning if you put your family in, they can have incest.

…yeah.

Anyways, I’m hoping that Nintendo keeps an eye on this situation, and while the relationship feature wasn’t a deal in Life, I hope that if they do make a third game in the series, they do add an option for same sex relationships.

This is going to make having Elton John in my game super duper odd since I’m going to have to set him as a female in order to make this work.

May 09, 2014 at 11:33AM EDT
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I guess in this way it’s kind of refreshing that we have a campaign that’s not calling for boycotts and presided over by SJW. It’s still a pain though. It says a lot that most controversies can just be brushed as SJW BS due to first impressions, it means that a lot of the more genuine complaints can be just ignored. Oh, and here’s the BBC story because IGN is icky.

May 09, 2014 at 12:07PM EDT
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BREAKING NEWS Nintendo gives an expanded explanation on why this is not possible. I have to applaud Nintendo for this, it’s certainly eased my mind on the matter a little.
And if I’m interpreting this correctly, they will also include same-sex marriage in the third game, should it come into existence. Hopefully it will, I mean, Tomodachi Life has nearly sold 2 million in Japan alone, so hopefully there will be some success over here (should marketing work this time)

Last edited May 09, 2014 at 05:21PM EDT
May 09, 2014 at 05:14PM EDT
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Good for them, I was going to get the game either way, and I do hope they look into adding that ability if a third game does get made.

I might suggest adding the ability to set family relationships between non-main Miis as well so they can’t get into romantic relationships.

May 09, 2014 at 05:17PM EDT
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Ashki wrote:

Good for them, I was going to get the game either way, and I do hope they look into adding that ability if a third game does get made.

I might suggest adding the ability to set family relationships between non-main Miis as well so they can’t get into romantic relationships.

I can introduce you to various weeaboos on this website alone who probably like to do wincest with their waifu nee-chan.


Anyways, good job Nintendo. This certainly puts some understandable closure to the case and the future promise shows that the campaign didn’t go to waste.

Last edited May 09, 2014 at 06:13PM EDT
May 09, 2014 at 06:12PM EDT
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RandomMan wrote:

I can introduce you to various weeaboos on this website alone who probably like to do wincest with their waifu nee-chan.


Anyways, good job Nintendo. This certainly puts some understandable closure to the case and the future promise shows that the campaign didn’t go to waste.

Oh lawd, I forgot where I’m at, in the Internet.

And it’s funny, as there was a troll on GameFAQs going in and on about how same sex relationships aren’t natural and done other BS like that, but I think I shut him up when I mentioned that the game unintentionally allows incest if you don’t keep on top of your Mii’s relationships.

May 09, 2014 at 06:36PM EDT
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Random 21 wrote:

BREAKING NEWS Nintendo gives an expanded explanation on why this is not possible. I have to applaud Nintendo for this, it’s certainly eased my mind on the matter a little.
And if I’m interpreting this correctly, they will also include same-sex marriage in the third game, should it come into existence. Hopefully it will, I mean, Tomodachi Life has nearly sold 2 million in Japan alone, so hopefully there will be some success over here (should marketing work this time)

Nintendo right now:

May 09, 2014 at 07:13PM EDT
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Crimson Locks wrote:

@Spike:
Well, to some people it actually would be less fun. As Random 21 just explained, it removes that extra layer of life simulation to those that actually are homosexual. The lack of it wouldn’t make the game shitty by any means, but missing that extra layer is a bit of a disappointment at the end of the day.

I can respect Nintendo’s wish to not want to make a social commentary with their game, but unfortunately no matter what they do there will be social commentary involved. At least for now I can respect their decision to keep gay marriage out only because I have a feeling adding gay marriage would lead to a louder and harsher backlash from audiences, especially considering this is a game that will be readily available for children. Some parents just love to think homosexuality is poisoning the minds of the youth.

Ironically by not wanting to make a social commentary, they still made a social commentary.

There is a loophole to make gay Mii’s, but that makes all the straight male Mii’s quite possibly gay, and at times, it’ll put the Mii’s head on a female’s body, which looks really…odd to say the least.

I really, really, REALLY hope that Nintendo looks at this situation and thinks about it should a third game in the series gets made and exported around the world, ya know?

May 10, 2014 at 12:09AM EDT
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Dr. Coolface wrote:

Well Nintendo is God’s chosen vidya company, and God hates fags.

Well, I’m not really to big on cigarettes myself, but I don’t know what that has to do with Nintendo.

May 10, 2014 at 01:28AM EDT
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