Despite having marriage options for straight players in their newest life simulation game, Tomodachi Life (originally released as Tomodachi Collection in Japan some time ago), Nintendo has foregone an option for same-sex marriage within the game, defending their decision by claiming that the game is a whimsical fantasy removed from the real world.
An odd defense given that the game chooses to recognize straight marriage, then, when if it were so “whimsical” in nature, they could have easily done away with a marriage option at all.
The game features all kinds of bizarre and potentially offensive scenarios, such as players being able to seduce underage girls, pose in front of mirrors dressed as furries, and (apparently) stick their heads out of airplane windows miles above the ground.
When a Western Nintendo fan came forward petitioning for gay marriage to make an appearance in the American release of the game, Nintendo execs claimed they “thoughtfully considered” the request before ultimately denying it, which, unbeknownst to Western media, is Japanese for, “Our PR guys told us we have to pretend we care.”
This seems like an odd step down for what is generally considered a pretty socially progressive company. Nintendo, after all, is widely regarded as the gaming company to feature the world’s first (and possibly only) sympathetic transgender character in gaming. Mario 2‘s Birdo, while technically a villain, was originally described in Japanese game manuals as a boy who wanted to be a girl and whose motivation for fighting Mario was less bloodlust and more, you know… just regular lust.