As Tomodachi Life centers around the relationships of players’ Mii avatars, romantic relationships are part of the game’s core. However, when the game was first localized, it was assumed that same-sex relationships for male characters would be included from screenshots and material that looked to have two male characters engaging in seemingly romantic/intimate activities. A statement from Nintendo cleared up the game’s inclusion of same-sex relationships, detailing it had been the result of a glitch, as well as from female-gendered characters wearing male clothing and appearing as male. The company then patched the game and confirmed that there were no same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life.
This decision resulted in controversy and anger from players over the erasure of same-sex relationships. To combat the exclusion, some players bypassed the problem of not being able to pair their same-sex Miis by changing the gender of one of the characters to allow for relationships to take place. This is talked about more in a Kotaku article by Patricia Hernandez.
Nintendo released an apology, stating that it could not make a post-ship patch, and would be more inclusive if a sequel comes out in the future.
LGBTQ References in this game:
Same-Sex Relationships Controversy
- Arana, G. (2014, May 8). Nintendo’s anti-gay cop-out: Why its demented same-sex ban is no game. Retrieved from https://www.salon.com/2014/05/08/nintendos_anti_gay_cop_out_why_its_demented_same_sex_ban_is_no_game/
- Hernandez, P. (2014, June 6). How I Made A Nintendo Game A Little Bit Gayer. Retrieved from https://kotaku.com/how-i-made-a-nintendo-game-a-little-bit-gayer-1587232560
- Starr, M. (2014, May 28). How to have same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life. Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/news/how-to-have-same-sex-relationships-in-tomodachi-life/
- Tomodachi Life. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomodachi_Life
- We are committed to fun and entertainment for everyone – Nintendo Official Site. (2014, May 9). Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20140511105526/http://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/c4FWbi-Uave2T9R1h7SFzX0aoa-d4pgx
- Whitehead, T. (2013, May 9). Tomodachi Collection: New Life Features Same-Sex Marriage For Men, But Not Women. Retrieved from http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2013/05/tomodachi_collection_new_life_features_same_sex_marriage_for_men_but_not_women
- Whitehead, T. (2014, April 11). Nintendo Provides Some Context to 2013’s Tomodachi Life Same-Sex Marriage Controversy. Retrieved from http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2014/04/nintendo_provides_some_context_to_2013s_tomodachi_life_same_sex_marriage_controversy