Given all the bitching I've done on Twitter in regard to the lack of gay relationships in Nintendo's upcoming Tomodachi Life, I can't blame anyone for assuming I've decided to "boycott" the game when it hits North American store shelves (as well as the 3DS' eShop) on June 6.
Have I considered it? You bet--especially after reading Nintendo of America's awkward-at-best-insulting-at-worst PR response to the situation that was published in this recent article. (Thankfully, the company later apologized, at least somewhat, for those rather tone-deaf comments.)
The fact is, though, that I really want to play this game. I've wanted to play it ever since I heard someone describe its Japan-only predecessor, Tomodachi Collection, as "Animal Crossing with Miis." (Which isn't the most accurate summation of the game, I have to say, but let's save that discussion for another post, shall we?)
And then there's the fact that, surprising as it may sound, I kind of see where Nintendo of America is coming from with Tomodachi Life's unfortunately gay-free localization.
After all, the game was made in Japan, where "gay rights" and the LGBT community are far less visible and are far less a part of the cultural conversation, if you will, than they are in, say, North America or Europe at the moment and, as such, likely were far less of a consideration for the folks who developed Tomodachi Collection than they would've been had the game been made by a Western team.
Speaking of which, I have to imagine Nintendo's American and European arms probably were stuck between a rock and a hard place once they were tasked with localizing this game. Specifically, I have a feeling the brass at Nintendo of America may have pressed their cohorts at Nintendo of Japan to rejigger the game so it would allow for same-sex relationships, only to be rebuffed. That's just a guess on my part, of course, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if that's in line with what actually happened given the latter's rather odd way of handling "gay content" in past games.
All that said, I'm still disappointed that Tomodachi Life won't allow for same-sex relationships and I'm still a bit irked by how Nintendo of America's press team handled the controversy surrounding this situation (early on, especially), bit I'm also still picking up a copy of the game once one finally is available.
Now, should the "workaround" that supposedly tricks the game into allowing same-sex relationships (make a female Mii that looks like a guy, give it a guy's name and, bam, you have a gay guy--and I'm assuming doing the opposite will make a lesbian) not actually work or should its insistence on attempting to hook up my male Mii with female Miis piss me off or depress me or anything of the sort, I can guarantee you I'll be selling my copy faster than you can say "Tomodachi!"
How about all of you? What are your current thoughts on and opinions of this game, or the (rapidly cooling) controversy that surrounds it? Also, are you planning to buy it or ignore it upon its release?
See also: Gamasutra Blog Director Christian Nutt's well-worth-reading thoughts on this issue