Nintendo: Tomodachi Life is “a whimsical, quirky game,” not a space for “social commentary”

Wednesday, 7th May 2014 20:39 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Tomodachi Life allowed what appeared to be same-sex relationships between Miis due to a “bug” before it was “fixed”, and despite the popularity of the accidental option, Nintendo has zero plans to make it a legitimate practice in the simulation title.

Tomodachi Collection New Life 050113

Speaking with the Associated Press, an NoA representative said the game’s purpose is not to “provide social commentary,” as it is a whimsical title which takes place in an alternate world than our own.

“Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life,” said the representative in the statement. “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 statement was provided to the Associated Press due to the company being asked for comment over the Miiquality social media campaign started last month, which is calling upon Nintendo to allow a same-sex relation shop option.

“We have heard and thoughtfully considered all the responses,” Nintendo said regarding the Miiquality campaign. “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.”

There’s more through the link.



  1. salarta

    The latter part where Nintendo claims they’re still listening may have done a tiny bit of damage control, but I’d say they fucked up with the “social commentary” remarks. Their intent was to tell people that they didn’t design the game with social commentary in mind and don’t want to be caught in the middle of a major debacle about the way society should be when their only goal is to reach all ages with fun. But the ACTUAL message they sent was “this is a whimsical, quirky game meant for fun, and we’ve decided those are things same-sex couples can’t have, hence why only heterosexual couples are allowed.”

    #1 8 months ago
  2. Joe Musashi

    Assessing a(ny) game against criteria it doesn’t qualify for is both futile and nonsensical.


    #2 8 months ago
  3. ManuOtaku

    i was under the impresion that the patch did not change the fact that players could do it, i mean a male with dress going with a male in male dress.

    #3 8 months ago
  4. xxxGamesMasterxxx

    Gay marriage DLC coming soon.

    #4 8 months ago
  5. TheWulf

    Welp, this one’s off my list. I’m sick of having this sort of thing thrust down my throat all the time.

    Sorry, Nintendo, any choice you make here means you’re taking a side. And I don’t think that was a bug at all, but rather something that the original dev team intended before Nintendo but their regressive, ’50s-think boot down on it.

    The choice could have been left there and people could have chosen what they wanted within their game. Taking away the choice is a great way for Nintendo to say that they’re against gay couples, which means I guess they don’t want my filthy, marginalised money, now do they?

    I’m honestly really sick of the Normalcy cult. I’m far from normal, I’m creative, I’m introspective, I’m insightful. I don’t want to be homogenised. I don’t want to be part of the Borg. So you can keep your manospheres, olde worlde family values, and so on to yourself. Honestly, the world is already grossly overpopulated, the last thing I want to do is add to that by being a breeder, even symbolically.

    Not surprised to see Nintendo take this stance, though, as they’ve always been like this. Other M was a brilliant example of sickeningly regressive thinking.

    The more I read about Nintendo, the less I like them. The more distant I feel. They have their almost Amish perceptions of reality, and I have my more progressive ones.

    #5 8 months ago
  6. westman98


    “And I don’t think that was a bug at all, but rather something that the original dev team intended before Nintendo but their regressive, ’50s-think boot down on it.”

    So you are assuming Nintendo is lying and that they didn’t place homosexual relationships in the game becasue they are homophobic, becasue everything you stated assumes that Nintendo is lying and that a bug never existed. If that is your assumption, then there is nothin I can say.

    Haters gonna hate… But don’t hate based on your own assumptions that are based off of lies.

    #6 8 months ago
  7. silkvg247

    Here’s the problem.. I can have my mii in the game, and my girlfriend.. you know, the one I’ve been living with for 5 years, I can also have her mii in the game. But they can’t get together. They can go get it on with the boys.

    It would just feel like violation some how. :p

    Anyway, simply won’t buy the game. I’m rarely offended but somehow this does hit the mark.

    #7 8 months ago
  8. Gheritt White

    @TheWulf “I’m far from normal, I’m creative, I’m introspective, I’m insightful.”

    You’re a fucking tool is what you are! Hark at you, I sincerely hope that this is just an online persona and not how you are in real life, you insufferable egotist. And then you have the nerve to use the term “breeder” as a slur, so you can add hypocrite to your long list of noxious character faults.

    #8 8 months ago
  9. silkvg247

    @Gheritt White I’m not sure it was meant as a slur, I mean I don’t want to b a breeder either – personal choice, probably be the same if I were straight.

    Breeder just means you product offspring?

    Or is this a new word that riles up straight folks? Can we use it for a bit then to get a bit of revenge after years of “Gay” being a slur? ;)

    #9 8 months ago
  10. Gheritt White

    @silkvg247 Ignore me, Silky. I’m only trying to get a rise out of Mister Wulf.

    #10 8 months ago
  11. Tormenter

    About time a stance was taken.

    Not everything has to be CORRUPTED by sexual ‘rights’

    The LGBT can fuck the fuck off for making such a noise over a game that Nintendo intend for a market, where drowning them in sexual politicing is UTTERLY INAPPROPRIATE.

    Come back 1960 all is forgiven.

    Everyone has a voice now.. unfortunately that voice is being used to insist on their preference for who wanks them off.

    #11 8 months ago
  12. The_Red

    The very fact that they allow opposite sex marriage but remove same-sex (bug or not) is social commentary in their part. If there was no limitation, then it would be free of social commentary.

    In other words, this bout of damage control just made them look more out of touch and confused.

    #12 8 months ago
  13. silkvg247

    @Tormentor Yeah because it’s all about sex and not at all about inappropriate and hurtful censorship. Get your head out of the gutter.

    It’s a mighty big stance of N to take, to say that being gay is wrong; which is what intentional removal of gay relationships basically means. It’s their own fault for having relationships in the game in the first place – if it’s meant to be a care free game then remove that otherwise don’t offend 20% of the population by saying our sexuality is wrong and a programming error (lol!).

    Go ahead, Tormentor, say the next ignorant thing on your mind which is *drumroll* people should have a right to be anti-gay, freedom of speech! Go ahead and tell black people they shouldn’t be black then. Or bi-race couples, better tell them what’s for. Whilst you’re at it, tell short people they suck too. Because slurring things people have no control over makes you such a big man.

    I think N should remove dark skinned folks from the game. I don’t agree with dark skin.

    Appalling statement right? Replace black with gay and welcome to my world.

    And.. *yawn*.. yes, it’s natural, no, you’re wrong, yes we’re born this way, and no actually you’re the pervert because the first thing you think of when you think “gay” are clearly perverted sexual acts.

    #13 8 months ago
  14. Kidbuu42

    It seems everyone who weighs in on this conversation has no idea what the issue even is. Even the article doesn’t seem like it has a clue and that it just wants some attention grabbing headline. This all came from a bug that was in the game that allowed same sex marriage. Now here’s the part that all these articles seem to miss. That wasn’t the main issue. There were other malfunctions in the game that were tied to the same issue that allowed same sex marriage. It’s nintendo’s job first and foremost (as game designers) to make sure their games are working properly. Any PR problems resulting from this comes second. They released a patch that fixes the issues and of course people took that and said that means nintendo is “anti-gay”. So now nintendo’s options are to release a broken version of this game to america or piss off anyone who thinks this is a cultural issue and not a game design issue. Pick your poison nintendo.

    #14 8 months ago
  15. silkvg247


    Fully aware of all that. You missed the original thread where I pointed out (as a programmer myself) that for the “bug” to exist in the first place, means that there is code in place to *prevent* same sex mii stuff happening. And that code, is what apparently was broken.

    The point here being it’s wrong that such code ever existed, and it’s wrong that extra programming was done to add contraints on mii relationships in the first place.

    Had the logic been simpler, there would be no constraint checking and thus no bug. The system would simply run its algorithms without want nor care about a gender setting.

    My stance is that they should just remove relationships. If it’s not that kind of game. Otherwise as pointed out earlier, how fucking stupid is it that two people living together can’t have their mii’s in game be together? It’s not just insulting, it’s absurd.

    It’s not like it has to be taken any further than that either. It’s not opening some giant can of worms where N would have to embrace all sexuality. *Everybody* identifies as a male or female, so by removing gender constraints on “relationships”, every base is covered.

    #15 8 months ago
  16. Dark

    Next: campaigns against straight protagonists.

    #16 8 months ago
  17. silkvg247

    @Dark Good luck finding one LGBT campaign that’s ever been anti-straight. Though the way people go on, you’d think we were doing that!

    #17 8 months ago
  18. Dragon

    Shows the problem with every “rights” protest group. They stand for a good cause, but never know when to draw a line on their actions. Same with PETA etc.
    Something called a middle path. They would do well to reject this “my way or the highway” approach. High decibel isn’t loved by everyone.

    #18 8 months ago
  19. salarta

    @silkvg247 By the way Dark is talking, I’m pretty sure he’ll mistake a call for more LGBT protagonists to be the same thing as a call to get rid of straight protagonists.

    And there’s probably at least one anti-straight campaign out there, but finding one would be like seeking out one instance of modern racism in some religion and using that one instance to characterize all religions and religious groups as racist.

    #19 8 months ago
  20. silkvg247

    @Dragon as said three comments ago the issue is somebody going out of their way / putting extra work in to make sure their game *isn’t* LGBT.

    Don’t compare LGBT to PETA, because they don’t attack straight people and never will. They’re constantly on the defense actually, it’s just quite a noisy and bright defense.

    In my case on this exact matter, I’m defending my right to play the same game with my partner without having a game tell me “no, you must have boyfriends for your miis”. I mean really? Piss off Nintendo. How would the straight community take it if you forced only same sex miis on them? It’s the exact same uncomfortable thing.

    But my main point is definitely about the fact they put extra coding in to achieve the removal of gay in the first place.. serves them right that said code had a bug in it and caused bad press. Karma is a bitch.

    #20 8 months ago
  21. silkvg247

    @Salarata there are precisely zero anti Straight campaigns run by any LGBT person or organisation. Why? Well for one thing it would be hypocritical and self defeating. For another, we defend our right to be who we are, we don’t attack those who are also just being who they are.

    It also makes no sense to attack a group that basically keep the human population ticking over.

    You might hear the odd butthurt gay dude calling you a breeder, but he’s probably got that way from being called a fag 6 billion times and having the shit kicked out of him at least once.

    #21 8 months ago
  22. Legendaryboss

    Oh perfect this again.

    #22 8 months ago
  23. salarta

    @silkvg247 I really would suggest not being too quick to say there are absolutely no LGBT people or organizations anywhere in the whole world that have an anti-straight campaign. You’re setting yourself up for a very easy fall if you do that, because it’s virtually impossible that out of billions of people (not including historical persons), there isn’t one person that can be dredged up that really is part of the LGBT community and anti-straight.

    You can say the majority of the community would never be anti-straight, or that the true community knows what it’s like well enough to not condone anti-straight sentiment. But to say nobody, anywhere, ever will advance an anti-straight agenda is giving people that are stupid or excessively paranoid a huge opening to get a shot in.

    #23 8 months ago
  24. Dragon

    “In my case on this exact matter, I’m defending my right to play the same game with my partner without having a game tell me “no, you must have boyfriends for your miis”. I mean really? Piss off Nintendo. How would the straight community take it if you forced only same sex miis on them? It’s the exact same uncomfortable thing.”
    No. You don’t have a “right” in any game. Its a work of fiction. The rules are from devs.
    You have such a right in real life, which I would support. But games are under no obligation to portray everyone’ opinions. Ninty has themselves said that its NOT a social commentary, so this org. should just cut the PETA type pendantry.

    #24 8 months ago
  25. silkvg247

    @Dragon and what would your stance be if the game allowed same sex partnerships *only*?

    #25 8 months ago
  26. salarta

    @Dragon The dev team has a right to do whatever they want because they legally own the licenses, and the consumer has a right to dissent, boycott and refuse to give money to the dev team for their behavior.

    That said, Nintendo saying it’s “not for social commentary” doesn’t mean they haven’t provided social commentary with their decision. All they had to do when fixing the original bug was make sure it didn’t break the game. If their goal was avoiding social commentary, they would’ve simply fixed that bug and left it at that. They made a deliberate choice to “fix” the element that allows for same-sex representation, and by doing that, they made a social comment. They can’t make a deliberate fix like that, then turn around and pretend they aren’t making any kind of a statement with their deliberate actions. All they’re doing is trying to protect their already waning revenue by hoping a half-assed excuse is something enough people will blindly and stupidly accept.

    #26 8 months ago
  27. Dragon

    @silkvg247 ,
    If I don’t like anything, I wont buy it. I wont shout on rooftops for devs to forgo their creative license just to accommodate my view.

    #27 8 months ago
  28. salarta

    @Dragon I think you meant to reply to me.

    And good for you. That’s your choice. Your choice is not the sole right choice, it’s only right for you.

    #28 8 months ago

Comments are now closed on this article.