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GLAAD: Nintendo is behind the times

LGBT community advocacy group GLAAD has spoken about Nintendo’s handling — or perhaps mishandling — of the lack of homsoexual relationship options in upcoming 3DS game Tomodachi Life.

GLAAD National Spokesperson Wilson Cruz told VentureBeat, “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.”

This issue has a long history that began back in May 2013 when Nintendo described the ability for two male characters to enter into relationships, have children and the like a “bug” and “human relations become strange.” What came to light however was that it wasn’t two male Mii characters but rather a female Mii designed to look male. Nintendo admitted that there was no bug, but maintained that “Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary,” and  “The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world” intended to be whimsical and quirky.

Following the statement, many outlets — including this one (see Steve’s editorial here) — argued that Nintendo, by failing to take a stance and claiming they weren’t making social commentary were doing just that by attempting to remain neutral.  Nintendo issued an apology promising “that if we create a next installment 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.”

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.”

Tomodachi Life is coming exclusively to 2DS and 3DS in June.

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