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THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2014 10:52 AM -0300

Hey, Nintendo: Recognizing

gay people isnt social
The company gives the worst excuse for rejecting LGBT relationships in a new




A screenshot from Tomodachi Life (Credit: Nintendo)
Note to Nintendo: When we straight people engage in our daily activities of being
heterosexual, are we making a social commentary? When we form relationships with
members of the opposite sex, are we being political? When we exercise our legal right to
marry, are we doing something controversial? Nope? Guess what its actually exactly the
same for gay people.
Nintendo has responded this week to calls for the English language edition of Tomodachi
Life which releases in the U.S. on June 6 to allow for same-sex relationships and
marriages with a firm, and boneheaded, no. Last month, gamer Tye Marini launched a
lobbying campaign for the life simulation game in which characters can rap, rock, eat
doughnuts and fall in love as long as its love with a member of the opposite sex to
broaden its vision. Because the game has such a huge focus on relationships, this is a
problem for many LGBTQ gamers, he explained to Kotaku. If a mass audience Nintendo
game like this supported same-sex relationships, it would be a huge step forward for the
industry. But Nintendo disagreed.
Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of
Tomodachi Life, the company said in a statement Thursday. 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. Yeah, why cant we just be
playful and whimsical and quirky in our exclusive little world that doesnt recognize
the existence of people of different sexual orientations? Isnt this fun?


Same-sex unions are recognized in 17 states and same-sex relationships happen in every
single one of them. That is not political; that is not commentary. That is fact. And while
marriage equality has not yet reached Japan, Im pretty sure homosexuality has. As Marini
explained to the AP Tuesday, The characters are supposed to be a representation of your real
life. You import your personalized characters into the game. You name them. You give them
a personality. You give them a voice. They just cant fall in love if theyre gay. To ignore
that is tantamount to restricting which shade of character youre permitted to form
relationships with. Its just not cool.
More insultingly, Nintendos response dismisses gay and lesbian gamers with a Hey, were
just here to play; this isnt real and dont drag us into your politics, wave of the virtual hand.
It suggests that the business of existing and loving is normal and fun when its opposite-sex
oriented, but part of an unfun debate when it involves LGBT people. It suggests that asking
for equal representation is just picking a fight and dampening the mood.
Plenty of other companies and their games now include characters of varying orientations,
with no earth-shaking effects. And while changing the traditional narrative takes a little work,
it tells players of all stripes that love is love and respect is respect. And whod want to live in
a world any world where thats not the case?

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My
Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.

Acesso: 12/05/2014