Nintendo’s refusal to revisit the heterosexual marriage requirement in 3DS game Tomodachi Life has caused an eruption of criticism across the internet.
The platform holder on Wednesday said that it would not bow to pressure to patch in the ability for players of the quirky life-sim to marry others of the same gender, claiming that "Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life.”
Added the company: "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.”
Critics, however, have rightly pointed out that preventing gay marriage in a day and age where it is increasingly commonplace is by its nature a form of social commentary.
In purposefully limiting players’ relationship options, Nintendo is not only sending a hurtful message to many of its fans and consumers by excluding them, but also setting itself way behind the times,” LGBT advocacy group GLAAD’s national spokesperson Wilson Cruz told VentureBeat.
It’s been over a decade since The Sims — the original ‘whimsical and quirky’ life simulator — allowed its users to marry any character they wanted, and many other mainstream and massively popular video games have followed their lead since. Nintendo should do the same.”
The press has almost uniformly rounded on Nintendo for its position, with sites such as Polygon, Kotaku, GamesRadar, TheSixthAxis and Videogamer joining the likes of The Guardian in expressing dismay at Nintendo’s position.