Earlier this week, Nintendo found itself in the middle of a shitstorm when it was discovered that its latest simulation game, Tomodachi Life, wouldn’t allow gay marriage. Apparently, you can get into a screaming match with another man and throw your snowglobe collection at him, but you can’t marry him.
The backlash was swift and harsh, and thankfully Nintendo took note. According to Metro, Nintendo has apologized for the snub and has vowed to fix the lapse in judgment in future installments. The full mea culpa follows:
“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 instalment 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.”
I said in the past that the responsibility for LGBT representation in video game would fall to publishers, but this works even better. It’s great that so many people are demanding representation for same-sex marriage in games and that Nintendo is actually willing to listen to their demands and implement them.
Nintendo has the ability to create LGBT characters — Vivian from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was actually a trans girl in the original Japanese release before that was downplayed in the North American version — and I think it’s become incredibly clear that its audience wants to see these characters featured. And really, the company would be stupid not to listen.