Nintendo comments on gay marriage in their games

Nintendo’s Bill Trinnen commented earlier today on the gay marriage issue in Tomodachi Life, an upcoming 3DS game. Players in Japan could create Miis in a way that made it look like the game allowed two same-sex characters to raise a baby. Nintendo patched the game and the press outside of Japan reported this as Nintendo removing this same-sex baby raising ability.

In reality, Japanese players could still do this and Nintendo was fixing a bug. Trinnen says:

There actually was a misconception over what the issue in December was. There were two things that were going on at the time that essentially were grouped together as one. The first, that there was a patch. And what the patch was fixing was actually a data leak. The other thing that was going on was that quite a few Japanese players were dressing up Mii characters. Essentially they would create a male version of a Mii character and assign their gender as female, and that was how the two males were able to have a baby.

Trinnen also defends Nintendo’s reluctance to add gay characters to their games, bringing up a series like Animal Crossing. He says that the company just focuses on creating unique and fun games and doesn’t want to get weighed down by injecting controversial issues into their games.

From our perspective it’s kind of tough because as a game development company, our primary focus is always looking at creating entertainment and fun and entertaining products. And there’s a lot of decisions that can go into that process. What we try not to do is… well, it would be very easy to look at Animal Crossing and say, ‘well, what wasn’t included in an Animal Crossing, so what’s Nintendo saying about that?’ We’re not really saying anything about anything; we’re just constantly trying to create fun and entertaining experiences. We’ve got to try to find what’s the best way to create this experience and really have a fun and entertaining experience. And for us it’s all about a whimsical world where you bring these people together and you see what happens as a result.

That’s kind of a dodgy answer from Trinnen but then again what did you expect from Nintendo? They aren’t outright criticizing same-sex anything but they aren’t taking a stance on it.

I’m not sure how I feel about this personally but I don’t think people should be blowing it out of proportion just yet. I’d like to see them add characters and features to their game that are open to the gay community but at the same time, their games rarely tackle heterosexual issues either.

It feels like we’re asking them to complicate things that don’t need to be that complex. I still haven’t made up my mind on this one and its a hard situation to wrap your head around.