By Steve Wright
The LGBT community is saddened this week to learn that Nintendo plans to fix a "bug" in their Japan-only Tomodachi Collection: New Life that allows same-sex relationships between male characters.
Tomodachi Collection: New Life is like The Sims. Using Nintendo's own Miis, the goal of the game is simple: live your life. Woo a potential partner, and later, get married. Most of all, you're to find happiness. To say that Gay and lesbian gamers were delighted about the functionality is an understatement; Kotaku reported earlier in the week that many Japanese players were excitedly taking to Twitter and Facebook to show off their same-sex Tomodachi couples.
Sadly, Nintendo's official word on the inclusion of same-sex relationships in New Life is that they're unintended; simply, a "bug." Describing the erroneous functionality, Nintendo merely stated, "human relations become strange." A patch is currently being worked on that will limit relationships, marriages and pregnancies to heterosexual couplings.
If intended, this would have marked the first time a first-party Nintendo game allowed same-sex relationships. To Nintendo's credit, the functionality is a tad flawed and currently allows two men to become pregnant without the assistance of a female party, so a tweak of some sort is needed; adoption instead, perhaps?
Additionally, homosexuality is still rather taboo in Japan itself; other games that hint at gay themes, like Persona 4 Golden, choose to belittle effeminiate male characters like Kanji to the point where they feel the need to essentially man up and find a more pleasing heterosexual relationship.
Those affected by the "bug" can simply choose to avoid Nintendo's planned patch to continue to have happy homo families. The problem with that mentality is that the patch also fixes real issues that Nintendo has described as follows: "game won't boot," "random error messages" and "inability to save."
What do you think of Nintendo's decision to patch this functionality?