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Mesa man’s campaign for gay virtual relationships fails to sway Nintendo (for now)

Posted by on May 7, 2014 – 10:45 pm

Tomadachi LifeA Mesa man has been leading an online campaign for same-sex relationships in the upcoming U.S. release of the Nintendo 3DS game Tomodachi Life.

On Wednesday, Nintendo officially squashed the effort which was started by Tye Marini — announcing that, just as in the original Japanese version, there will be no gay romance options in the popular life simulation game.

From The Associated Press:

“I want to be able to marry my real-life fiancé’s Mii, but I can’t do that,” Marini said in a video posted online that attracted the attention of gaming blogs and online forums this week. “My only options are to marry some female Mii, to change the gender of either my Mii or my fiancé’s Mii or to completely avoid marriage altogether and miss out on the exclusive content that comes with it.”

Nintendo, responding to the social media campaign and news coverage, issued a statement noting that “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.” They further said: “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.”

Marini, 23, said he’s not boycotting Nintendo, but the “Miiquality” campaign “will continue to raise awareness of the issue” of gay gamers seeking the same content as straight gamers:

UPDATE: Nintendo apologizes for not being inclusive, but says it cannot change the game:

We apologize for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to change this game’s design, and such a significant development change can’t be accomplished with a post-ship patch. At Nintendo, dedication has always meant going beyond the games to promote a sense of community, and to share a spirit of fun and joy. We are committed to advancing our longtime company values of fun and entertainment for everyone. We pledge 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.