‘Tomodachi Life’ Gay Marriage: Nintendo Comes Out To Explain

David Cornell - Author

Nov. 3 2016, Updated 2:12 p.m. ET

In the game Tomodachi Life, gay marriage was apparently shut down when Nintendo patched the game last year and stopped allowing it. This spawned a wave of anger from the gay and lesbian community who simply wanted their sexual preferences fairly represented in a video game.

Most video games are based on heterosexual relationships, a generally accepted concept that seemingly wasn’t so widely questioned before. However, after what happened in Nintendo‘s virtual life simulator, the truth turned ugly. The LGBTQIA (non-hetero) movement is very much alive and has seen great strides in US pop culture, but it seemed that Nintendo wasn’t having it. There was an option in Tomodachi Life for gay marriage until Nintendo patched out what they considered “strange relationships.”

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Nintendo’s actions drew protests from the growing community as said group created an online petition requesting that Nintendo reinstate the option.

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Nintendo released the following public statement in response to the online petition:

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“Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life. 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.

“We have heard and thoughtfully considered all the responses. We will continue to listen and think about the feedback. We’re using this as an opportunity to better understand our consumers and their expectations of us at all levels of the organization.”

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The idea behind the removal of Tomodachi Life gay marriage was less a stance against the idea as much as a decision to keep it “quirky” for the Japanese fan base. Overseas, it apparently isn’t as much of a problem. Nintendo also claimed that the patch was intended to fix a data leak, and not to impose on their fans’ preferences.

The US and surrounding countries are apparently getting their own version of the game on the Tomodachi Life release date of June 6. It is unknown whether Nintendo may be fixing it to allow for same sex marriage for an audience who holds it in much higher regard.

Do you agree that Nintendo’s actions toward gay marriage in Tomodachi Life weren’t meant to be a statement against a particular group? Could its Summer release see the option back in place to appease the fans?


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