Nintendo's Omission of Same-Sex Relationships is Erasure

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Nintendo's Omission of Same-Sex Relationships is Erasure

Nintendo's decision for Tomodachi Life doesn;t really provide an accurate portrayal of life for this "life sim."

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I generally avoid topics of this nature, because of it's sensitivity as an issue, but that closing statement is what really irks me. To no end. That mentality of you're either with us or against us is only detrimental to the cause, it will only cause people to feel anger at being dubbed "ignorant" or "uncaring" for a plight that frankly doesn't affect them. We all have issues, some greater, some smaller, than this issue and they all affect us differently. As far as this game is concerned, I've personally always thought of the Mii's as simply non-descript avatars, it's foolish on both parties(Nintendo and those "offended") to take a stance on it naming one female and the other male or vice versa, they can all look so ambiguous it's hillarious to try and draw a distinction on what is simply a glorified avatar. As I've mentioned in the past, my Mii Lordofpi, is so perverse and ambiguously creepy that he could be his own non-descript gender. While I agree the inclusion of the "same sex marriage" would be a simple fix, I find that I agree more with the other point "That the marriage in this game is a bit off"(Though I'll admit I'm paraphrasing somewhat here.) It doesn't make sense to include the option of marriage in the first place in a whimsical whatchamacallit game.

I'd be impressed to see Nintendo escape this gaff without taking some flak from at least one side of the pond.

Great, now I'm going to have Chains of Love stuck in my head ALL DAY >:[

Edit: For Great Homodachi Justice!

For a game that is going to sell at such a low volume regardless of having or not having homosexuality in it keeping it to 1 version makes it cheaper allowing it to be more easily allowed in the 78 of 193 nations where homosexuality illegal.

Remember that by making sure that homosexuality is not in it Nintendo protects those who may wish to import the game to countries were homosexuality is illegal.

The smartest decision for Nintendo now is to just cancel the release of the game in the USA as if they release the game they will lose customers otherwise.

Here is the thing though... This is a case of 'with us or against us'. By doing what Nintendo has done, trying to sidestep the issue and say 'we don't want to be involved in social issues' while having opposite sex relationships in the game, they are indirectly saying that same sex relationships don't count. That they 'aren't normal'. Silence in this case is still picking a side, to support those that would deny or oppress LGBT people. There really is no fence to sit on in this issue, except to remove any kind of romantic and possibly personal relationships entirely.

Look, I usually support these kind of things, but to suggest that they are "excluding a large percentage of the gaming population from properly enjoying it" is just wrong. Citation needed. And if the number you come up with is less than 10%, that is not a large percentage. Suggesting that a study somewhere said 10% of people might be attracted to their own gender does not mean that those people can't properly enjoy the game.

Should Nintendo have included the option to begin with? Yes.

Are they wrong for not including it? No.

Are they wrong for not going back and changing their game that is ALREADY RELEASED because people demanded it? Definitely No.

All games should not automatically be for everyone at all times. It's that kind of design philosophy that gets you watered down generic mainstream crap.

Nintendo *should* have included the option, but I'm not about to complain that they didn't.

Nintendo's justification of not wanting "to provide social commentary" is super weak though. Whichever way you choose you are providing social commentary. Just own up to it. Say that if customers don't want to buy the game that's their choice, and then stop answering questions. These kind of people are NEVER satisfied with the answers anyways, so stop engaging them.

Nintendo are idiots. Their version of not wanting to make a political statement by omitting homosexual relationships is a political statement.

This isn't because every game needs to include it, but a game where the character is an avatar of the player and the options for getting married are included in it, the exclusion of this option is a political statement.

From a technical standpoint, it would have to have more code written to exclude it rather than allow it (assuming some good coding practices). So this leaves this as a deliberate choice.

Sometimes, what you don't say or do has a much bigger impact than what you do and say.

Remember, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing

Also remind me again, did people complain that Harvest Moon games only have a male protagonist and female romance options?

I don't seem to remember that happening.

Yeah, whilst I like to believe that it was ignorance/apathy instead of malice, their "NO GAYS ALLOWED in our quirky, whimsical world" response left me really disheartened.

I mean, like you said, they could gain a lot from inclusion, instead of the exclusion they currently have.

Social commentary is either saying something one way or another, or not saying anything at all. By saying something, you're projecting your view. By saying nothing, you're leaving it to others to guess your view.

As for its relation to the design of the game, I think that is entirely up to the developers to decide. If they don't want to include it, they shouldn't have to change their design/vision for the game just because the fans ask them to. They should not be criticised for choosing not to. It's their choice how they develop the game. After that, it's the consumers choice for if they want to play the game and how they receive the game.

Should they decide to patch it back in, I imagine that would require more work than some people expect. There is a very different dynamic between same-sex and hetero relationships. Children is just a small part of it (although, that could be written off by using "adoption" instead of "birth").

Nintendo isn't excluding gays,hell the game itself had a major bug that was causing memory leakage and the fix just happened to remove the feature of gay relationships.Who is to say they won't add them back in?Then again this site seems to have a major Anti Nintendo bias so I predict my post will be ignored by those who want to induldge in their Nintendo hate.

I doubt gay people make up a large percentage of the gaming population.

...I mean what, like 10% of the population is gay? Or 5%? Or even less than that?

I mean yeah, it's bad that gay people can't be gay in a game all about life (or whatever this game is about), but don't act like it's an issue that affects a lot of people.

Andy Shandy:
Yeah, whilst I like to believe that it was ignorance/apathy instead of malice, their "NO GAYS ALLOWED in our quirky, whimsical world" response left me really disheartened.

I mean, like you said, they could gain a lot from inclusion, instead of the exclusion they currently have.

Again,the game had a major bug and the patch had the side effect of removing gay relationships.They aren't willingly excluding gay people here.

the hidden eagle:

Andy Shandy:
Yeah, whilst I like to believe that it was ignorance/apathy instead of malice, their "NO GAYS ALLOWED in our quirky, whimsical world" response left me really disheartened.

I mean, like you said, they could gain a lot from inclusion, instead of the exclusion they currently have.

Again,the game had a major bug and the patch had the side effect of removing gay relationships.They aren't willingly excluding gay people here.

You want to know the best thing about that? There actually is NO bug that allowed it to begin with. It has been a translation error that no one has bothered to fix. If people actually read that article everyone is getting up in arms about, they would realize that the article contained two different topics. The first topic talked about the game breaking bug. This bug did NOT cause men pregnant, this was the second point. Nintendo noted that some people got around the no homosexual marriage by cross-dressing. Tomadachi Life doesn't have restrictions on clothing and as such, you can have technically woman looking like men and vice versa. It noted that because of it, it looked like male miis were getting pregnant. As this was not a bug, IT WAS NOT REMOVED!

Nintendo effectively made a political statement that in quirky worlds I cannot get married, flirt, or date people as I prefer, eternal loneliness is not quirky...

the hidden eagle:
Again,the game had a major bug and the patch had the side effect of removing gay relationships. They aren't willingly excluding gay people here.

Patch removes X
"They aren't willingly removing X"

Sorry but, that is what a patch does, removes things the developer's/publisher/stockholders do not want in it

It seems fairly peculiar to look to a watered down dating sim for affirmation of one's lifestyle.

And my bet is that there are trillions upon trillions of aspect of life which this "life sim" doesn't even begin to include, so singling out one single aspect because that's important to oneself would appear rather narrow minded. It's not like there's anything harmful or unethical about two consenting adults of the same sex getting it on in the bedroom, but you sure wouldn't know it from how eager they are to justify themselves.

Also, to speak frankly, in my experience anyone whose sense of pride is dependent on forcing others to do something have absolutely nothing to be proud of.

Seydaman:
Nintendo effectively made a political statement

the hidden eagle:
Again,the game had a major bug and the patch had the side effect of removing gay relationships. They aren't willingly excluding gay people here.

Patch removes X
"They aren't willingly removing X"

Sorry but, that is what a patch does, removes things the developer's/publisher/stockholders do not want in it

You do realize almost every game has patches that cause problems while removing others?Some glitch is found,a patch is created to fix,said patch either removes something unintentionally or it causes bigger bugs/glitches to be created in the game code.

the hidden eagle:

Andy Shandy:
Yeah, whilst I like to believe that it was ignorance/apathy instead of malice, their "NO GAYS ALLOWED in our quirky, whimsical world" response left me really disheartened.

I mean, like you said, they could gain a lot from inclusion, instead of the exclusion they currently have.

Again,the game had a major bug and the patch had the side effect of removing gay relationships.They aren't willingly excluding gay people here.

I didn't say anything about any bug. My post was all about Nintendo's response to the Miiquality campaign. Which was "Our quirky life-sim game doesn't allow anyone that isn't straight"

the hidden eagle:
You do realize almost every game has patches that cause problems while removing others?Some glitch is found,a patch is created to fix,said patch either removes something unintentionally or it causes bigger bugs/glitches to be created in the game code.

Fair enough

Although Nintendo did not seem to indicate this either way

I don't usually comment on these things but the news reported on this story from the beginning have been one huge mess.
I really wish people would stop saying that there was a bug that allowed gay relationships and a patch that removed it. There was only ever a bug that corrupted save files and the patch they released fixed it, Those pictures that you saw of two male Mii's getting married is still possible you just have to set your Mii sex to female but the customization options allow for your Mii to look like anyone you want male or female. Its not 100% perfect but its a workaround. Nintendo should of really just kept quiet and not fueled the internet flames. Also all this your with us or against us talk is what turns people off from not only your cause but anything in general.

xaszatm:

the hidden eagle:

Andy Shandy:
Yeah, whilst I like to believe that it was ignorance/apathy instead of malice, their "NO GAYS ALLOWED in our quirky, whimsical world" response left me really disheartened.

I mean, like you said, they could gain a lot from inclusion, instead of the exclusion they currently have.

Again,the game had a major bug and the patch had the side effect of removing gay relationships.They aren't willingly excluding gay people here.

You want to know the best thing about that? There actually is NO bug that allowed it to begin with. It has been a translation error that no one has bothered to fix. If people actually read that article everyone is getting up in arms about, they would realize that the article contained two different topics. The first topic talked about the game breaking bug. This bug did NOT cause men pregnant, this was the second point. Nintendo noted that some people got around the no homosexual marriage by cross-dressing. Tomadachi Life doesn't have restrictions on clothing and as such, you can have technically woman looking like men and vice versa. It noted that because of it, it looked like male miis were getting pregnant. As this was not a bug, IT WAS NOT REMOVED!

That's not how I heard the bug thing went. I read that a switch was being accidentally flipped on female characters which made them appear male but retain the characteristics of females so they could marry men, get pregnant, etc.

Thanatos2k:
Also remind me again, did people complain about Harvest Moon games only have a male protagonist and female romance options?

I don't seem to remember that happening.

Happens with some members of the fanbase with every release, including myself. Its just that most people don't start a movement like Miiquality to bring attention to it, and attempts that have occurred haven't gotten very far.

SecondPrize:

xaszatm:

the hidden eagle:
Again,the game had a major bug and the patch had the side effect of removing gay relationships.They aren't willingly excluding gay people here.

You want to know the best thing about that? There actually is NO bug that allowed it to begin with. It has been a translation error that no one has bothered to fix. If people actually read that article everyone is getting up in arms about, they would realize that the article contained two different topics. The first topic talked about the game breaking bug. This bug did NOT cause men pregnant, this was the second point. Nintendo noted that some people got around the no homosexual marriage by cross-dressing. Tomadachi Life doesn't have restrictions on clothing and as such, you can have technically woman looking like men and vice versa. It noted that because of it, it looked like male miis were getting pregnant. As this was not a bug, IT WAS NOT REMOVED!

That's not how I heard the bug thing went. I read that a switch was being accidentally flipped on female characters which made them appear male but retain the characteristics of females so they could marry men, get pregnant, etc.

As I've said, misinformation. No one bothered to read the article and just took a third party source as granted. Nintendo themselves came to announce the translation error and the only website to report it was IGN, of all places.

http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/05/05/nintendo-on-gay-marriage-and-tomodachi-life

IGN:
"The other thing that was going on was that quite a few Japanese players were dressing up Mii characters," Trinen explained. "Essentially they would create a male version of a Mii character and assign their gender as female, and that was how the two males were able to have a baby."

The patch did not change the fact that players could do that.

It only addressed the data transfer issue according to Trinen. "Because we didn't have the DS version [in the West], there is no data transfer issue for us," Trinen said. "So it was actually two separate things that got lumped together into one piece of confusion that resulted in people not quite understanding what had gone on."

Yet everybody is screaming at the top of their lungs "Nintendo patched gay relationships" without rhyme or reason. It's making me sick.

nekoali:
Here is the thing though... This is a case of 'with us or against us'. By doing what Nintendo has done, trying to sidestep the issue and say 'we don't want to be involved in social issues' while having opposite sex relationships in the game, they are indirectly saying that same sex relationships don't count. That they 'aren't normal'. Silence in this case is still picking a side, to support those that would deny or oppress LGBT people. There really is no fence to sit on in this issue, except to remove any kind of romantic and possibly personal relationships entirely.

Exactly. Imagine if Bioware didn't allow a black-skinned Shepard or Hawke to have relationships with a white character and then said they didn't want to take a controversial stance. That shit wouldn't fly.

the hidden eagle:
Nintendo isn't excluding gays,hell the game itself had a major bug that was causing memory leakage and the fix just happened to remove the feature of gay relationships.Who is to say they won't add them back in?Then again this site seems to have a major Anti Nintendo bias so I predict my post will be ignored by those who want to induldge in their Nintendo hate.

Nintendo has *always* excluded gays, the error was in thinking that it allowed same sex relationships before the patch.

Thanatos2k:
Also remind me again, did people complain about Harvest Moon games only have a male protagonist and female romance options?

I don't seem to remember that happening.

shhhhh, dont use logic, it will make people scared and confused.

You've got to feel for Nintendo a bit here. Either way they went they'd get slammed from the other side. Put it in and the game is suddenly not family friendly to a lot of people (Nintendo's main constituents, in fact) and leave it out like they did and they get slammed from everyone else.

Here's the thing. Society is generally OK with the use of broader concepts of love and relationships being brought up around children. Movies like the Princess Bride and so many other love stories end up being fine with them. But when things get into the realm of specifics and especially non-standard romantic interactions then society starts to feel like it's getting inappropriate for children. Now, this is a double edged sword. On the one hand it is perfectly within a parent's right to try to keep more involved relationship themes away from their young children while on the other side avoiding the fact that these relationships exist gives the notion that the less standard/a-typical orientations are somehow bad. This type of taboo is hard to wave away.

Nintendo wants to own the niche of family fun and they feel like this will hurt their position. Unfortunately, that may be true. Putting controversial and politically charged themes surrounding specific romantic relationships instead of the broad norm of the "leave it to beaver" family set up can actually position them outside of their niche. So from their perspective it'd be bad business to include it. On the other hand, they have other fans who are members of the LGBT community, those who are also pro-LGBT themes in commercial art (games), and young fans who will one day realize they are part of that community too.

So where's the balance? What option do you take? Nintendo is between a rock and a hard place (aka another rock). Their safest option is likely to continue to appeal to the more vague and generic nuclear family model. Perhaps they can offer LGBT specific DLC so that it doesn't impact the core game while giving people an option to have it? I'm not sure but I do not envy Nintendo's position right now. Let's face it, if even California couldn't get enough voters to stop prop 8 then this is a very divided country on the notion of gay marriage. As I've contended before, that's moreso because of the term "marriage" in marriage license then actually wanting to stop people from living together but it still has a hell of a lot of negative views surrounding it. As such, companies like to avoid it like the plague and aren't really wrong for doing so because it's a no-win situations in most cases.

I'm always up for people to be given the option. What is it to me if someone else chooses something else in a game? Do we have to be that insecure?

Requia:

the hidden eagle:
Nintendo isn't excluding gays,hell the game itself had a major bug that was causing memory leakage and the fix just happened to remove the feature of gay relationships.Who is to say they won't add them back in?Then again this site seems to have a major Anti Nintendo bias so I predict my post will be ignored by those who want to induldge in their Nintendo hate.

Nintendo has *always* excluded gays, the 'error' was in thinking that it allowed same sex relationships before the patch.

No they haven't,as many people have pointed out there are several gay and transgendered character in their games.The gay Hiker in Pokemon B/W,the transgendered female trainer in Pokemon X/Y,Birdo from the Mario series,the Cucco mini game guy from LOZ:Twilight Princess,etc;.

That does'nt sound like exclusion to me.

I'm sorry but this is dumb. Making things the status quo isn't eraser. Unfortunately it's a no-win situation for Nintendo because they were going to be attacked for it no matter what they decided. If anything, its this kind of drivel that proves the Escapist is just looking for click-bait and tumblr reblogs.

Mahoshonen:

nekoali:
Here is the thing though... This is a case of 'with us or against us'. By doing what Nintendo has done, trying to sidestep the issue and say 'we don't want to be involved in social issues' while having opposite sex relationships in the game, they are indirectly saying that same sex relationships don't count. That they 'aren't normal'. Silence in this case is still picking a side, to support those that would deny or oppress LGBT people. There really is no fence to sit on in this issue, except to remove any kind of romantic and possibly personal relationships entirely.

Exactly. Imagine if Bioware didn't allow a black-skinned Shepard or Hawke to have relationships with a white character and then said they didn't want to take a controversial stance. That shit wouldn't fly.

Bioware never lived in a society that had different cultural norms compared to the West so that comparison does'nt fly.Besides they have been shit on by both sides for how they include and treat gay relationships,

xaszatm:

Yet everybody is screaming at the top of their lungs "Nintendo patched gay relationships" without rhyme or reason. It's making me sick.

That was an understandable mistake a few days ago, but it's not acceptable that a featured article can be written and released with factually incorrect information that wouldn't be there if the author read the first half a page of the ongoing news room thread on the same subject which gave reference to the same information in the gaming forum thread.

Featured content should have higher standards than reporting false details cleared up by recreational forumgoers 2 days ago. Speaking to the supreme overlords, can we get an edit or two on this article to put an end to this trainwreck of misinformation?

Thanatos2k:
Also remind me again, did people complain about Harvest Moon games only have a male protagonist and female romance options?

I don't seem to remember that happening.

Someone usually brings it up on the Gamefaqs forums for Harvest, Moon, Rune Factory, or just about any game with such an aspect, but it's rare the press catches on

the hidden eagle:

Requia:

the hidden eagle:
Nintendo isn't excluding gays,hell the game itself had a major bug that was causing memory leakage and the fix just happened to remove the feature of gay relationships.Who is to say they won't add them back in?Then again this site seems to have a major Anti Nintendo bias so I predict my post will be ignored by those who want to induldge in their Nintendo hate.

Nintendo has *always* excluded gays, the 'error' was in thinking that it allowed same sex relationships before the patch.

No they haven't,as many people have pointed out there are several gay and transgendered character in their games.The gay Hiker in Pokemon B/W,the transgendered female trainer in Pokemon X/Y,Birdo from the Mario series,the Cucco mini game guy from LOZ:Twilight Princess,etc;.

That does'nt sound like exclusion to me.

None of those are the specific game we're talking about.

Secondly Pokemon is not actually a Nintendo game, Nintendo claims Birdo is a girl and there's something deeply deeply wrong with you if you think Falbi is an acceptable example of gay characters.

I shudder at the blowback that Nintendo would get had they allowed same sex marriages. This was the better choice, no matter anyone's feelings on it.

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