Have you ever wanted your Mii Character to accurately reflect your life style? What about being able to live your normal life through your carefully crafted avatar? Furthermore, what if you are a homosexual, and you would like to carry that over into virtual space? Seems reasonable, right? Is the presence of politically correctness and real world sexual preference important to convey in virtual space? Is it possible for me to pack another paragraph with consecutive questions, that cannot be answered outright?
A few days ago, Nintendo of America teased the release of "Tomodachi Life", which is set to launch on the 6th of June in the North American market. Tomodachi Life launched last year in Japan and became an instant hit. This life simulation takes place on a virtual island, where you can leisurely shop in the trendiest shopping malls, visit amusement parks, and even date celebrities. In this seemingly free reign simulator, the sky is the limit...except for same sex marriage. The game's code does not allow two Mii Characters to date and fall in love, which has initiated some controversy and stirring the pot with gays and lesbians.
A social media campaign for same sex couples, was launched by fans last month, urging Nintendo to recognize equality, even in the gaming world. Tye Marini, a gay 23-year-old Nintendo fan from Mesa, Arizona, launched the campaign, asking supporters to post on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #Miiquality, and to write to Nintendo. "I want to be able to marry my real-life fiancé's Mii, but I can't do that," Marini said in a video posted online. "My only options are to marry some female Mii, to change the gender of either my Mii or my fiancé's Mii or to completely avoid marriage altogether and miss out on the exclusive content that comes with it."
"Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of 'Tomodachi Life,'” Nintendo of America said in a statement. In a statement, Nintendo said: "The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan, and that game is made up of the same code that was used to localise it for other regions outside of Japan.”
After both sides had a chance to say their peace on the subject, I have to say that I sympathize with both sides. On the one hand, I feel that Nintendo made a seriously narrow minded miscalculation in regards to the reception that this aspect of the game would have among the population of Americans. America has become a utopia for political correctness (sometimes bordering on nauseating), and the fact that Japan is so out of touch with what the people want out of one of their largest fan base is an incredible oversight. This appears to be a prime factor into the declining popularity among Americans in regards to Nintendo products. Japan has lost touch with our demographic, and it is not helping their cause.
On the other hand, this just shows the tremendous gap in relation to both countries, does it not? I do not believe that Nintendo intentionally made it impossible for same sex Mii Characters to marry. I imagine it is as simple of an answer as, they just didn't think about it. This may be cause for concern here in the states, and I agree with that. However, this proves the differences between the two cultures. Homosexuality is not spoken of or mentioned much in Japan, so why would they implement something that seems to not be a mainstream issue.
Overall, I do not think that this should become an overblown issue against Nintendo. I am sure they are hard at work to remedy the situation, and their programmers are throwing together a same sex tolerant patch, to be downloaded from the eShop as soon as they can.