The acceptance of same-sex couples has made some great strides in a short amount of time. Seventeen states allow same-sex couples to get married. Almost every new poll on the subject reaches higher and higher levels of public support. The upcoming Seth Rogen movie Neighbors even opens with a joke about how a neighborhood will really start looking hip if they can just sell the house next door to an interracial gay couple with an adopted child. So it would be insane for a company or a major, multinational corporation to do anything that would go against such a rapidly expanding majority. Enter Nintendo and their latest sim game that does exactly that.
Nintendo is bringing a new relationship sim game series for their portable 3DS systems that started as a big hit in Japan called Tomodachi. It puts players in a Sims-like game that lets them run and manage virtual humans lives except with those loveable Miis that players set up as the avatar on their Nintendo consoles. They can do all the things that non-pixelated people do like mingle, fall in love and get married but only if one of them is a guy and the other is a girl. The game doesn’t allow for Miis to “mingle” if they are both the same sex.
Naturally, news of this little glitch in the game’s code is causing a mini-backlash in the game community and players are demanding that Nintendo alter the game to allow for same-sex couples to have the same virtual rights and settings as heterosexual couples. Nintendo dug further by releasing a statement that the original code for the game prevents same-sex couples from intermingling when they first made it, even though it was actually written out of the game after its Japanese release.
At this point, Nintendo now needs a public relations overhaul as well as an economic and marketing overhaul. Their sales are a dismal wreck and their customer base is dwindling as they stubbornly refuse to compete with the likes of Sony and Microsoft for games that appeal to players outside of their hardcore base. This is something they could easily fix and win over some new fans in the process. It’s almost like they want to dismantle themselves so they can wreck the place, collect the insurance payout and move on to their next disaster.