@fattony12000: Well. Now that's an actually decent response.
So people are screaming at Nintendo to add a feature to a game they're already taking a huge financial risk in localizing, and then they want that feature released as free DLC?
Look, I'm not saying that there isn't a legitimate beef here, especially considering the type of game this is, but asking Nintendo to do that when the game is a month away from release is a bit asinine, and doesn't sound like the right way to pick a fight.
What, then, should they do?
Vote with your wallet. Don't buy the game. Then tell them why, afterwards. I don't think Nintendo will truly understand based on online petitions, scattered articles, and a lightly supported social media movement: I think they'll understand when they see financial losses come in on the game, and THEN you tell them why.
And considering Japan holds a very conservative stance on homosexuality as it is, we can't expect them to include the feature in an initially Japanese-only title - the backlash there would be comparable to what they're getting here, except Japan is the prime market for Tomodachi, and the rest of the world might buy a few copies too. It's all business, and while it's shitty, it makes sense.
People generally still want to support the game. We know it's a risk for them to bring it over at all. A lot of gamers just want to use this as an opportunity to send a message to Nintendo that may hopefully impact future releases. If it changed this one, that would be great, but the plan from the beginning was more to convey that this was an oversight with the current release and hopefully a feature for future ones.
Their statement has brought up some other things though; so, it isn't as simple as it was. But the general point is still the same. Make sure it's clear to Nintendo that many gamers -do- want to see same-sex relationships as an option in their games. :)
@truthtellah: Oh, all that stuff is coming fo sure. But right now I'm mainly trying to move forward with the video format, it's fucking fun (but also fucking hard) to edit down the dozens upon dozens upon dozens of gigs of footage that I shot.
And yes, I am practising my Tokyo Drifting.
I expect to see some video soon, mister!
And I especially expect to see some multi-track drifting. :|
I don't believe you.
You're going to Japan. You better be able to drive manual, Fattony!
Err, I've been and come back from Japan already! Like, last month! I WAS SO FAR IN THE FUTURE YOU JUST DIDN'T REALISE I HAD GONE!
But yes, I can totally rip sick manual styles. It's the standard for the UK.
Sure sure, but I don't ever remember you making a blog or series of blogs talking about how your trip was. You have an obligation, Fattony! *hinthint*
So, now the real question is... when is the next time you are going to Japan? And will your manual driving skills be ready?
I didn't get the impression she was suggesting that Nintendo, the entire company, are bigots who hate gay people. That's silly. She does note that there appear to be signs of engrained hatred, but while that may sound inflammatory, that's almost always referring to the systemic way in which historical hate has hurt people and established damaging norms. The point is rarely that such signs mean someone is actively out to get anyone.
But this is precisely where all of these discussions stumble and never really get back on their feet. When you tell someone, "No you're not actively a bigot, you just behave in a bigoted way because of historical societal structures.", you've put them on the defense. You've separated what once was everyone who just wants good games into two groups, created an us vs. them situation, which inherently starts arguments rather than progress.
In the video that began this stuff, the duder makes great convincing points without resorting to a single accusation. It makes his message easy to hear, because we feel like we're included in the idea that he's proposing. When someone says, "This needs to change because you're oppressing me even if you don't know you are.", it's clearly much harder to join together and get behind something.
I suppose you can see her angry response as less helpful, but regardless of your opinion on its helpfulness to the cause of equality, I still wouldn't characterize it as terrible. And things have changed a little bit since that original video. I think we can all agree Nintendo's statement made things worse, not better. It may have had a slightly different tone if remade now.
As for whether or not she should have brought up institutional bigotry in her opinion piece, well, I don't see why she needs to deny that it exists just to make you or anyone else feel better. Pointing out the inequalities in the world might make some people feel like it's an "us vs them" situation, but that's a misunderstanding of how hatred and institutional inequality has poisoned so many things in our lives. Historical racism doesn't just pop up now in crazy racists. It still exists within the very foundations of many inequalities of our world today. The African Americans disproportionately represented in poorer neighborhoods and in US prisons did not just get there by random chance. Historical bigotry helped push generations into impoverished positions, and only recent advances have given hope for escaping that status quo.
If you hear someone angry about the historical marginalization of homosexuals and how hatred has helped push them into being a near non-entity in some areas of the world and your first response is that bringing that fact up makes you feel uncomfortable, then you may be bothered by the wrong thing in this situation. It -should- make us all feel uncomfortable that the fruits of such hate still impact our world today, often even impacting ourselves, and it should reasonably encourage us to want to do more about it.
I don't think there's anything wrong with acknowledging the truth. Even if it isn't "PC" enough for those who want progress on their own terms. I may be a rather mild-mannered individual who prefers to focus more on outreach than my anger and displeasure with a situation, but I do not begrudge those who respond differently than I do. While I may not always share their same feelings or words, I understand that others will speak against inequality in their own way.
In general, it sucks that any of us have to feel compelled to say anything at all, because frankly, these issues shouldn't exist. Everything should be sunshine and rainbows, but they're not. Everything in gaming should just be "fun", but it's not. So, reluctantly, we have to spend far too much of our breath on things like this, hoping against hope that some good may come of it and gaming in the future may be better for all kinds of gamers.
@encephalon: Ah so. Yeah, I agree. A simple, "We at Nintendo of America fully support people of all orientations and we apologize that this game may lack options to be fully inclusive.", or something similar could have potentially avoided criticism.
That, plus perhaps something like "While the current game is already finished, we hear and appreciate the serious feedback and hope to address this better in future titles."
I can appreciate NoA trying to explain, but haphazardly doing so is just a recipe for making things worse. They should have given an initial acknowledgement with a well thought out response later. This statement seemed rushed, and they fell into some clear mistakes because of it.
Despite this error, I hope NoA will talk with NoJ a bit more in the coming days and eventually give a better Nintendo response which shows that they are indeed listening.
What should be taken away from Nintendo's statement is, "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." Instead we get people taking offense and claiming that Nintendo is tone deaf.
Luckily no one in this thread is out right attacking Nintendo (yet). Though I intentionally haven't read the related Kotaku and Polygon articles and their comments, which I'm sure are filled with what you describe.
As I said above though, that video is a shining example of how to make these points in a welcoming and understandably convincing way. He even goes out of his way to say don't boycott Nintendo, don't demand this practically impossible change on release, and buy the game if you want to see positive change in the future. Fantastic to see some actually rational folks arguing these points.
Also, that quote you plucked pretty clearly says to me, "We're Nintendo and we totally hear you, but you have to understand... we don't really have any influence at all on the dumb shit that the Japanese owners get themselves into and we don't even really know what this game even is and how we managed to get it published over here. One miracle at a time folks. Sorry!". I feel bad for NoA sometimes.
Oh man, the Polygon opinion piece is terrible. The comments are the most civil thing going on there.
While I do like many of the comments there, I also don't think the Polygon opinion is terrible. Just because I may not be as mad about it doesn't mean it's wrong or bad for someone to feel more strongly about it. I interpreted their statement in one way, and she took it to be a bit harsher. Frankly, neither of us are Nintendo; so, we can only interpret as best we can. Regardless of any tone or particularly strong statements about hatred, I agree with her general points about what is wrong with their statement, and I hope they may listen and potentially find a better way to address people's concerns.
I do feel bad that NoA is in a tough spot with the weight of NoJ, but they also could have not said anything or explained that there just isn't time or resources instead of speaking any further on it. Though, as commenters have pointed out, they've already changed a decent bit for the game's move overseas; so, blaming resources would have been a bit disingenuous. They're mainly saying that this just hasn't been a priority to them, and that's unfortunate. Hopefully they'll be given a strong enough message that they'll at least consider the idea of same-sex options in future games. If they do, their games should be even better for it.
I see her saying that Nintendo are bigots who hate gay people. I think that opinion is terrible. It's not a matter of being more mad than anyone else. It's pretty much attributing an unfounded belief to the company. This really isn't, "well, we're not Nintendo, maybe they do hate gay people." I don't think she makes any good points with regards to Nintendo or this game, just vitriol. This is basically libel.
About the only thing Nintendo could have done better is explain that the release outside of Japan is too close to include what is being asked for, and they don't have the resources to implement it. The social commentary line is being blown way out of proportion. They didn't make the game as a social commentary like several indie games have done, that much is obvious. The patch, that also got blown out of proportion, wasn't applied as a social commentary either.
At the end of the Nintendo's statement, they do in fact say that they will continue to listen to people's feedback. That could lead to changes in possible future titles. She and others like her taking things too far makes me think the next time Nintendo has a chance to bring out a quirky title outside of Japan, they'll have second thoughts.
I think you may be misunderstanding her opinion article a bit. I was glad that many commenters in their comments section seemed to "get" it despite perhaps not sharing a similar level of anger.
I didn't get the impression she was suggesting that Nintendo, the entire company, are bigots who hate gay people. That's silly. She does note that there appear to be signs of engrained hatred, but while that may sound inflammatory, that's almost always referring to the systemic way in which historical hate has hurt people and established damaging norms. The point is rarely that such signs mean someone is actively out to get anyone. That's why she focuses so much on the issue of heteronormativity.
Hatred and bigotry throughout history have marginalized same-sex relationships to be considered unwelcome and unnecessary. While they should simply be a part of life, as some people just happen to have same-sex relationships, that isn't the world we live in. Such hatred pushed homosexuality into the darkness and made it attached to perversion in the minds of many, and unfortunately, that means that something that should just be obvious now may take effort to realize. Thus, ignorance is an unfortunate side-effect of historical hatred. Nintendo of Japan is clearly not out to eat little gay children, but they have shown ignorance regarding same-sex relationships.
Frankly, Nintendo of America should have known better, and maybe someone could have said, "Perhaps we can fix this oversight for the overseas release." But instead, they focused on just about anything else. Many parts of the game have been changed, but now we're at a point where it's a little too late to do anything about it. At least, without them spending extra time and money to make a patch. Considering that's their best excuse here, I can understand some LGBT gamers and those who care about LGBT gamers feeling like they don't matter enough for them to spend that extra bit to improve the game. I think she is understandably angry when looking at this.
I may not feel exactly the same way or even interpret it exactly as she does, but I can appreciate her feelings on it and understand where she may be coming from. I don't think her opinion article or Polygon allowing her to share it is terrible, and I am glad that many commenters on their site seemed to be empathetic with her perspective.
I hope people will continue to talk about it and Nintendo may genuinely listen.
Use your keyboard!
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