Author Topic: Nintendo Comments on Lack of Same-Sex Relationships in Tomodachi Life Localization  (Read 13152 times)

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Offline Oblivion

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Post edited by moderator because it broke several NWR Forum Rules.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 12:22:56 AM by Jonnyboy117 »

Offline Soren

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2) Deciding to not include something that actually could upset children, parents, and more because it is a minority position isn't social commentary it is applying to the norm.  (with still allowing a creative way to allow all relationships)

Applying to the norm is social commentary, though.


Seriously, how are you going to implement the sexuality gauge?  No I am serious for a second think about it.  Are you going to have in the personality quiz, This character likes boys or girls?  Or a sliding scale?  What happens if one of the characters becomes gay and the player didn't want it to happen or is upset by it.


You're overcomplicating it. You simply put the option in the player's hands.

Do you know what a normal person does...they say Wow, this is a bummer, I can't have my character in a game be gay.  Oh well.  I can still enjoy the game for what it is." 

Multiply that statement to apply to (almost) every other video game ever released and hopefully you will understand why LGBT folks are speaking up, and why that statement no longer cuts it.


I personally think people being creative and working the game system to allow things is a perfectly acceptable means of achieving your life simulation orientation.

People shouldn't have to break a game just to have something others can have during normal gameplay.

What is frustrating to me, is often activists don't want a balance, they want to tip the scales in their favor.


When the scales are tipped against you, tipping them in your favor to achieve balance is the only thing you can do.
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Offline Oblivion

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Mod -- Talkback posts should stay on-topic. Do not engage in meta-discussion, particularly about the moderation itself. Do not infer emotion in moderation.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 01:27:07 AM by Jonnyboy117 »

Offline broodwars

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Personally, I could not possibly care less about this decision. I have no problem with Same-sex relationships in general (hey,  your relationship has impact on me, so do whatever you want so long as you leave my relationships alone), so if Nintendo were to have them in the game, I'd applaud that.

However, I can't say I altogether care that they're excluded. At the end of the game, Nintendo is trying to put out a game that reflects the largest audience they can while still being within budgetary and resource concerns. Asking for same-sex relationships to be added during the localization process is not a reasonable request. That's asking NoA to put in the resources to code new content into what already looks to be an extremely text-heavy game. The time to add those relationships wasn't during the NA localization. The time to add it was during the game's original development in Japan, and I believe you already know how little Nintendo corporate cares about Western concerns in game development.

So yeah, it's a pity the option for SS relationships isn't going to be there, and I can understand why those affected would feel excluded by this. I just don't think this was the hill to fight this particular battle on given the resources required to implement it during localization.
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Offline broodwars

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edit: "hey, your relationship has no impact on me, so do whatever you want..."
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Offline StrawHousePig

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As a parent of young kids I can tell you they would've thought it was funny. Older kids already know, but if they or anyone is traumatized by having to pick who they would've picked anyway (and yet amazingly not have to be affected by any other option) then they need more than for that option to be removed. They need to learn that gay people are people. Sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers; People who need the very same things we all do. To be loved and valued. Perhaps even more so.

I don't see a problem with it either way, except if you are gay and wanted to play this game the way they claim it's meant to be played then that would suck, but it's not oppressing you. If you're straight and there was same sex coupling available... so what? Same thing. You ain't being oppressed. Who said you'd have to play it like that anyway?

I could be missing some infos, but I took the "not making social commentary" bit to mean the exclusion of same sex relationships wasn't meant to be social commentary, not that it was excluded to avoid making social commentary.
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Offline LittleIrves

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a large part of the reason Nintendo couldn't implement gay relationships/marriage is because gay marriage isn't even legal in all 50 fifty states, not to mention certain other countries? Although the social issue is unavoidable, it seems to me this was always more of a legal issue.
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Offline nickmitch

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I don't like the "this is 2014, get with the times, NINTENDO!" argument.  Clearly this wasn't a problem in Japan, where it is also 2014, and including same-sex relationships in the game to suit the climate in America was risky.  You either do the work and get slammed, or don't do the work and get slammed.  Nintendo was stuck between a rock and a hard place with this one.

I can see Nintendo's point in their statement, but it just seems so bullshitty and insensitive.  There's no good reason for them to exclude same-sex relationships, but there had to be a better way to explain their position, even if it was just trading one controversy for another.
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Offline Ceric

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I have some materials that would answer a lot of questions in this thread but, their is a standard 5 or so item scale you could use to determine these types of things.  That would allow your character to act accordingly.
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Offline Ian Sane

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Because this is a hot-button issue you're really screwed if you put marriage in a game like this.  If they included it it would also be controversial with a different audience complaining.  You're screwed either way, though I think Nintendo could make the arguement that with same-sex marriage being illegal in most of the areas they're selling the game that not offering it is the "safer" choice.  Just following the law isn't quite making a statement.  If I didn't depict drug usage in a game does it automatically mean I'm in favour of the war on drugs?  No, but if I had characters smoking pot you could fairly interpret that as a statement about legalizing it.  If Nintendo puts gay marriage in the game then they are very clearly making a statement saying that what is against the law in a lot of areas shouldn't be.  That's a much more clear cut gesture than just following the law.  But of course same-sex relationships outside of marriage are not illegal so you can't make that arguement on that part.  NOA is also really stuck because NCL made this game and NOA has to explain what people from a different country and culture decided for a worldwide release.

Right or wrong, money talks.  Are those that upset about this actually people who were planning on buying the game?  Which position on the debate will lose more sales?  That's not a nice way to go about something but I'm not going to pretend businesses don't think like that.  They probably figure they'll lose more sales by depicting homosexuality in a family-friendly game and I think that's a correct assumption.  Not saying that's fair, I'm just saying that's how it is.

The fact the Miis are representations of us is really the core of the problem.  If Link marries Zelda and you complain about not being able to have a same-sex relationship the easy response is "well Link is hetrosexual".  You're not playing YOU, you're playing a character.  All sorts of videogame characters will do things I wouldn't do (ie: solving conflict in a non-violent way is often not offered) but I accept it because I'm playing as a character.  It's not supposed to be me.  But my Mii IS supposed to be me so a lot more free will is expected.

Offline Ceric

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...
If Link marries Zelda and you complain
...

...its about time.  Seriously, when is he going to put a ring on that.  *mmmm-hmmm*

In fact all those Nintendo Slackers.

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Offline Adrock

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...its about time.  Seriously, when is he going to put a ring on that.  *mmmm-hmmm*
If he liked it then he would've put a ring on it.

As for the rest of this thread...

Offline lolmonade

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It's a little late for this, but Nintendo sort of inadvertently provided social commentary by having a gender selection and then only made relationships possible for opposing genders. 
 
If they wanted to truly avoid social commentary, they could have not had a gender designation at-all, and then you could determine what "gender" you were by what clothing options you chose for your character.
 
I mean, I have no problem with a games company trying to be apolitical, but at least recognize how your lack of thinking of the subject could have made the implicated stance possible.
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Offline lolmonade

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a large part of the reason Nintendo couldn't implement gay relationships/marriage is because gay marriage isn't even legal in all 50 fifty states, not to mention certain other countries? Although the social issue is unavoidable, it seems to me this was always more of a legal issue.

I'm pretty sure there's nothing illegal about a video game offering virtual gay marriage to states that currently don't recognize it.  These laws usually dictate whether or not the state acknowledges or will allow gay people to marry in-state, and don't try to dictate how you're recognized out of state (virtual included).
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Offline Ian Sane

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What if Nintendo hadn't made a statement?  I never heard about any of this until they did.  There was always going to be someone complaining about it but if most of us didn't hear about the complaints would we notice?  Most of the population is straight and thus would probably not bother to attempt to have a homosexual relationship in the game and not even notice the restriction was there.  Nintendo might has saved themselves bad PR if they didn't say anything.  Most of the world probably wouldn't even know the game exists and thus the mainstream media wouldn't pick up on it, and they might now.  I'm sure Harvest Moon doesn't allow gay relationships either but Natsume isn't making awkward comments about it so it hasn't attracted any attention.

Offline Enner

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Great editorial on Gamasutura that explains the issue and details how Tomodachi Life plays:
http://gamasutra.com/blogs/ChristianNutt/20140508/217351/Understanding_Nintendos_Tomodachi_Life_problem.php

Choice quotes:
Quote
At any other time in the evolution of the game industry, Tomodachi Life would have been treated as the goofy little curiosity it is. But with the world of game criticism expanding thanks to the democratization of the means of expression, controversy around the game became a fait accompli.
...
It's almost immediately apparent that the game was created not as a simulation of life or social interaction as much as it is meant to be a comedy sandbox: "She married him?" Marriage is an option not because the characters are meant to be living realistic simulated lives, but because it's another opening for a punchline. It's more banal but no more real than this "news story" from the Japanese version of the game which stuck my Mii's head on the body of a deer.
...
Tomodachi Life is dumb but it's clearly supposed to be dumb, in other words: It's a lowest common denominator comedy generator as a game, not a serious simulation. It is a vague approximation -- a gesture toward a thing that isn't even really there. These aren't really your friends, and they aren't really living lives. It's not even really a game; it's a toy. It's a virtual anthill as Chuck Lorre might envision one, by way of Japan.
...
In the end, I find it difficult to sum up all of my feelings and thoughts on what Nintendo could have done or should do with Tomodachi Life into a neat package. Things are more complicated than that.
 
I'll leave you with an observation instead: There's a world out there that these games enter into once they've been completed, and Nintendo can show a surprising lack of understanding of that, sometimes.
 
In Japan, it's easier: Things are a bit smaller and more manageable. It's easier to pretend they are, anyway. In the West, the company is swiftly finding that the reality it lives in is not the one it wished for, and that is something that applies not only to Tomodachi Life.

The whole editorial is a nice read that explains why this has upset or disappointed people.

It's no different than Nintendo changing Birdo from a transexual to a female end of story, in the US gay marriage is still a hot button issue so it was not something people are ready for in a kids game.
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Offline pokepal148

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At the same time I feel like considering all of the other injustices going on towards the LGBT community there are bigger fish to fry atm, which makes it hard for me to justify going on a social justice rampage over a Nintendo game.

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Offline pokepal148

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It's no different than Nintendo changing Birdo from a transexual to a female end of story, in the US gay marriage is still a hot button issue so it was not something people are ready for in a kids game.
I think it's even worse then Japan.
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Offline pokepal148

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It's no different than Nintendo changing Birdo from a transexual to a female end of story, in the US gay marriage is still a hot button issue so it was not something people are ready for in a kids game.
I think it's even worse in Japan.

God dang it, stupid no post editing system.
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Offline Ian Sane

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It's no different than Nintendo changing Birdo from a transexual to a female end of story

It's funny because when Super Mario Bros. 2 came out I was seven and had no idea what a transexual was, never had heard the term, but and just thought "Oh he thinks he's a woman?  That's funny!"  I just thought it was a goofy quirk for the character which was probably Nintendo's intention and probably exactly how every kid playing the game saw it.

Offline Enner

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Nintendo responds with what should have been the first response:
http://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/c4FWbi-Uave2T9R1h7SFzX0aoa-d4pgx

Quote
We are committed to fun and entertainment for everyone

2014-05-09
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.

Offline Fatty The Hutt

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This issue is more divisive in this forum than I thought it could be. I certainly have lost a great deal of respect for a few of you.


Nintendo responds with what should have been the first response:
http://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/c4FWbi-Uave2T9R1h7SFzX0aoa-d4pgx

Quote
We are committed to fun and entertainment for everyone

2014-05-09
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.
This is a much better response and may quiet down some of the noise but a braver and better response would be to commit to patching the current game. That action would be consistent with the message that they are committed to "fun and entertainment for everyone".
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Offline Oblivion

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Fatty, why would you lose respect for someone who has a certain opinion? That makes no sense.


But yeah this was a much better response.