GLAAD Issues Statement on ‘Tomodachi Life’

GLAAD (an advocacy group for people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] community) issued a statement yesterday lambasting Nintendo for not including a same-sex relationship option in its 3DS game, Tomodachi Life. Nintendo's Mii-based "life simulator" for 3DS releases on June 6 in the United States.

Fans in the United States and Europe are upset that there's no same-sex relationship options in the game, so they asked Nintendo to add them. In response, Nintendo issued a statement that seemed to do the company more harm than good with the LGBT community and those who support it:

"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. 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 localize it for other regions outside of Japan."

In its response, GLAAD says that Nintendo is in fact making a "social statement favoring opposite-sex relationships over same-sex ones," and that the company's decision is outside of societal norms.

"In Nintendo’s 'playful alternate world,' our relationships do not exist as they do in “real-life,” and LGBT players get the message that we aren’t welcome in that world."

GLAAD closes its statement on the matter by noting that games such as The Sims series, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, The Elder Scrolls, and Fable have included same-sex relationships, and even AAA titles like The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto have included narratives about same sex relationships.

The group closes by saying that it has reached out to Nintendo and will let the community know if there are any further developments on this topic.

"Nintendo would be taking a positive step forward and invite more players to join in," the group said in closing." GLAAD has reached out to Nintendo, and will update if there are any further developments."

Source: GLAAD.org by way of Andrew Eisen

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