The #Miiquality movement and Nintendo's response

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#1 Edited by Fattony12000 (7559 posts) -

Response from Tyeforce on NeoGAF (10 March, 2014)

Okay, so I want to post a proper update here. First of all, thank each and every one of you here who supported #Miiquality and helped spread the word. This success could not have been achieved without your efforts. The NeoGAF community has been especially helpful towards the movement, and many of you here helped tremendously in getting #Miiquality off the ground.

I've been unable to read and update this thread over the last few days due to the overwhelming amount of attention I've been getting from the media and all, so I apologize for leaving you all hanging here. However, I've since skimmed over the threads and read a lot of your comments, and I want to say that I really, truly appreciate all of the kind words from many of you here. Some of your comments of support have literally brought me to tears (hey, I'm an emotional guy, lol). So thank you for that. I can't say that enough.

I also want to thank those of you who have been upholding the original message of my #Miiquality video among all the spin from the media. I'm really not happy with a lot of the headlines out there, and I don't like how many reports have spun the story in different directions. I especially don't like that so many reports are attacking Nintendo so harshly and calling them homophobic, because that was never my intent. However, I suppose it may have been necessary in order to get a response like this from them. At least it made international news. I just hope that the media coverage of this can take a positive turn after Nintendo's latest response.

Lastly, here is the update I've posted on the Miiquality pages regarding Nintendo's response:

#Miiquality has succeeded in its primary goal—to bring the issue to Nintendo's attention in hopes that future iterations of Tomodachi Life will support same-sex relationships. Despite its relationship limitations, please consider purchasing Tomodachi Life to support the development of future, more inclusive Tomodachi titles, as Nintendo has promised. Miiquality will continue to bring attention to Tomodachi Life and subsequent titles, and act as a hub for LGBTQIA Nintendo fans as well. We hope that the success of Miiquality will continue to influence the video game industry and raise awareness of other equality issues in video games and other media, and in general. Thank you all who have supported Miiquality and helped spread the word. Without your efforts, this movement couldn't have been a success.

Source: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=111353200&postcount=1503

Nintendo of America's second response (9 May, 2014)

We are committed to fun and entertainment for everyone

We apologize for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to change this game’s design, and such a significant development change can’t be accomplished with a post-ship patch. At Nintendo, dedication has always meant going beyond the games to promote a sense of community, and to share a spirit of fun and joy. We are committed to advancing our longtime company values of fun and entertainment for everyone. We pledge that if we create a next installment in the Tomodachi series, we will strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players.

Source: http://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/c4FWbi-Uave2T9R1h7SFzX0aoa-d4pgx

Nintendo of America's response (7 May, 2014)

"Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of 'Tomodachi Life,'" "The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that 'Tomodachi Life' was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary."

"The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan, and that game is made up of the same code that was used to localize it for other regions outside of Japan,"

"We have heard and thoughtfully considered all the responses," "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."

The below post was created by Tyeforce on NeoGAF (27 April, 2014), source: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=808594

#Miiquality | A movement for same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life

EDIT: Unfortunately, the video was removed from YouTube due to a violation of "Community Guidelines," but it has been uploaded to Vimeo, Facebook, and Tumblr instead.

I know there are a lot of people who are excited about Tomodachi Life for Nintendo 3DS. I'd like to be as well...but there's a problem; the game doesn't support same-sex relationships. For myself and many other LGBTQ individuals, this is a big problem, because relationships are such a big part of the game.

So, I wanted to do something to try to change that. That's why I've started this—the Miiquality movement. I've made a video for the movement below:

Use the hashtag #Miiquality on social network sites to speak up and tell Nintendo to add same-sex relationships to Tomodachi Life!

I'd really like for this movement to pick up and become noticed. You can help by spreading the word however you can! Even though it would be crazy to expect the game to be changed before release this June, there's always hope that Nintendo may release an update for the game sometime after release, or at the very least consider adding same-sex relationships in a sequel. Speaking up and making some noise will do more than doing nothing at all, after all! It can't hurt to try!

You can follow Miiquality on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr to show your support and stay updated.

I plan to post regular updates on the Miiquality pages once the movement picks up, and if you have an article, video, or anything of your own regarding Miiquality that you'd like to be shared, let me know and I'll post it!

I hope we can make a difference together, for Miiquality!

--

Articles about #Miiquality

Fattony12000's thoughts

A great idea that everyone should get behind, y'know, if you want to. You have the freedom and choice afforded you to express yourself in that way, y'know, if you wanna.

UNLIKE WHAT NINTENDO IS OFFERING. GET IT? Y-YEAH.

I know we've got some duders (a term that encompasses every, all and no gender at the same time, thanks @snide) on our site here that would find themselves at the business end of the limited options offered to them in Tomodachi Life. How much of A Thing is this matter to you, your friends, your family, your loved ones? Of course, this has been A Thing for pretty much as long as video games have been a A Thing; but do you feel that the relentless march of progress has brought what you'd like to see offered in games more into line with what we actually get offered in games These Days?

#EqualityShotsFired

#2 Edited by TruthTellah (9470 posts) -

I would certainly like to see this feature in overseas versions.

Considering the Tomodachi bug which allowed male characters to be in relationships with other characters that looked male(and Nintendo patched it, as it broke the game), there is already some kind of basis for making this happen. I imagine it may take a little more effort than they were planning on with a somewhat risky new title for the overseas audience, but doing this could at least give them more good promotion for the game.

Even if they end up not being able to add this to the game at this point, I'll still likely pick it up out of support for them giving the series a chance outside of Japan, but officially adding same-sex relationships would be a welcome improvement to the game. Here's hoping they find a way to be more inclusive and make the game even better for everyone.

#3 Edited by Steadying (1472 posts) -

I have no idea what Tomodachi Life is, but I'm all for this anyway!

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#4 Edited by TruthTellah (9470 posts) -
#5 Posted by Chaser324 (6741 posts) -

I fully support this effort, but unfortunately, I feel like releasing this game outside of Japan is already a pretty big financial risk. Convincing Nintendo that it should front the money to do additional development is going to be pretty damn tough.

Moderator
#6 Posted by Steadying (1472 posts) -

@truthtellah: If a game lets me talk like a creepy computer man, I'm immediately in.

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#7 Posted by TurboMan (7724 posts) -

Sounds like a whole can of worms that a "Family Company" like Nintendo wouldn't want to step in to avoid pissing off little kids parents. I'm supportive of the idea, just don't see it happening.

quick aside: Could you ever have a gay relationship in The Sims?

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#8 Posted by TruthTellah (9470 posts) -

I fully support this effort, but unfortunately, I feel like releasing this game outside of Japan is already a pretty big financial risk. Convincing Nintendo that it should front the money to do additional development is going to be pretty damn tough.

I feel the same way. At this point, releasing it overseas is a big enough risk as it is, and further development will only add additional cost to that risk. I don't see Nintendo deciding to do that.

Yet, I still like this effort, and I think it could have an effect. Even if they have to simply say, "Sorry, but the game is already made. We can't devote the extra time and effort to add this to the current release." That could be a victory. Because then it may mean the -next- Tomodachi Life will include same-sex relationships by default. If people can show that it matters to them enough, it can certainly impact the next game.

I hope people send Nintendo a clear message, and whether it leads to a change in this game or the next one, it will have been worth it.

#9 Posted by Pezen (1668 posts) -

@turboman said:

Could you ever have a gay relationship in The Sims?

Yes. The game never really made a huge deal about it as far as I recall. And I don't remember how the whole kids thing worked, but then I never really played The Sims as anything other than an architect and interior design simulator.

#10 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3906 posts) -

@chaser324 said:

I fully support this effort, but unfortunately, I feel like releasing this game outside of Japan is already a pretty big financial risk. Convincing Nintendo that it should front the money to do additional development is going to be pretty damn tough.

The movement's founder actually covers that issue, and says that even getting the feature included if there is ever a sequel would be a good thing. For that reason, he's not actually calling for any sort of boycott. Watch the video. This is probably the most reasonable, polite, and well thought out social justice activism that I've ever seen.

#11 Edited by TruthTellah (9470 posts) -
@turboman said:

Sounds like a whole can of worms that a "Family Company" like Nintendo wouldn't want to step in to avoid pissing off little kids parents. I'm supportive of the idea, just don't see it happening.

quick aside: Could you ever have a gay relationship in The Sims?

There have indeed been same-sex relationships in The Sims.

Since Sims 3, even same-sex marriage and adoption have been possible. It's not perfect, as such attraction is still treated as a "choice", and it's difficult to do. But it is at least possible.

#12 Posted by Chaser324 (6741 posts) -

@chaser324 said:

I fully support this effort, but unfortunately, I feel like releasing this game outside of Japan is already a pretty big financial risk. Convincing Nintendo that it should front the money to do additional development is going to be pretty damn tough.

The movement's founder actually covers that issue, and says that even getting the feature included if there is ever a sequel would be a good thing. For that reason, he's not actually calling for any sort of boycott. Watch the video. This is probably the most reasonable, polite, and well thought out social justice activism that I've ever seen.

Definitely. Sorry if I wasn't clear in my original post. I fully support this effort regardless of the fact that there's very little chance of changes being made to this release. There's nothing to lose by making Nintendo aware that this issue exists.

Moderator
#13 Posted by Corevi (4793 posts) -

You could just make some male miis *female*, all it changes is the shirt to a dress, everything else is the exact same.

#14 Edited by Ghostiet (5310 posts) -
@corruptedevil said:

You could just make some male miis *female*, all it changes is the shirt to a dress, everything else is the exact same.

You could, but that's a work around that should just not be required. It's like the race thing in Animal Crossing, where you can technically be black with a Mii mask, but it removes the character from the game's distinctive artstyle. It's a stupid thing that shouldn't take much effort to change and that particular thing shows that Nintendo is aware of the issue, just completely backwards about solving it.

I wasn't a fan of making all the characters from Dragon Age 2 have protagonist-centered sexuality, because it's silly, but this is less "conscious choice" and more ignorance about the issue peeving people.

#15 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11381 posts) -

I feel kinda bad about starting my stupid inverted pride thing when there's legit issues like this out there.

Anyway, you have my full support, @fattony12000! I have serious doubts about us being able to get change in this game (both because of Nintendo's shoddy history with patches, and the fact that it's Nintendo), but who ever lets a low chance of success stop them?

#16 Posted by Jesus_Phish (1151 posts) -

I don't see them putting it in, but I wish you and your cause all the best and hope it gets in.

#17 Edited by Marokai (3141 posts) -

I've followed this for a bit, and think it's a good cause, but I have my doubts about Nintendo's willingness to actually take any kind of stand about this.

#18 Edited by Corvak (1172 posts) -

Would be nice, but I highly doubt they're doing more than a quick localization for the west.

#19 Posted by audioBusting (1672 posts) -
#20 Edited by alwaysbebombing (1649 posts) -

@turboman said:

Sounds like a whole can of worms that a "Family Company" like Nintendo wouldn't want to step in to avoid pissing off little kids parents. I'm supportive of the idea, just don't see it happening.

quick aside: Could you ever have a gay relationship in The Sims?

The original The Sims? Yes, after the Hot Date expansion pack. Though, you couldn't get gay married until Sims 2 I believe. In the Sims 3, all relationships are treated the same, your Sim can just bang anyone they want and relationship ranks increase at steady rates (assuming the traits are the same)

#21 Posted by BisonHero (7027 posts) -

@audiobusting: Man, that poll is a bummer. But I guess not that surprising given how traditional and conservative much of Japan is.

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#22 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

You could just make some male miis *female*, all it changes is the shirt to a dress, everything else is the exact same.

So your solution is to turn Tomodachi Life into Iran?

#23 Posted by Abendlaender (2888 posts) -

I have to admit, for a second I actually thought this is about boats. And since it's about Tomodachi Life that would probably even make some sense. Anyway, I fully support this.

#24 Posted by Sergio (2243 posts) -

Considering the Tomodachi bug which allowed male characters to be in relationships with other characters that looked male(and Nintendo patched it, as it broke the game), there is already some kind of basis for making this happen.

I read yesterday that this was not patched out. The patch was for something else.

#25 Posted by ZolRoyce (834 posts) -

I have to admit, for a second I actually thought this is about boats. And since it's about Tomodachi Life that would probably even make some sense. Anyway, I fully support this.

I thought that too, I thought it was going to be about some game where you played different boats with their boat like genders, maybe you start off as a small family owned boat but have aspirations of become a grand cruise ship one day, you could fall in love with another cruise ship and have a bunch of tugboat babies. Kind of sad that's not a real game now to honest.
But in any case, I fully support this as well and I hope that even if Nintendo doesn't do anything about it this time, that they pay attention to the movement and realize their is an audience for this type of inclusion for their next simish type of game.

#26 Edited by TruthTellah (9470 posts) -

@sergio said:

@truthtellah said:

Considering the Tomodachi bug which allowed male characters to be in relationships with other characters that looked male(and Nintendo patched it, as it broke the game), there is already some kind of basis for making this happen.

I read yesterday that this was not patched out. The patch was for something else.

There was some misunderstanding at the time suggesting that the bug was -only- that there were same-sex characters in relationships, but it was later clarified that the bug was one which caused characters to have their elements randomized. So, if you were a guy that was already in a relationship with a female character, they could glitch and look like a guy. Thus, you could temporarily have what appeared to be same-sex relationships.

That's why there were some Japanese screenshots of two male characters in scenes otherwise reserved for straight couples.

The bug ultimately broke the game though, causing you to be unable to save. So, it did need to be patched. The glitch at least showed that the engine could support same-sex characters acting together in the same scenes as straight couples, and that's how it's relevant to this topic. :)

#27 Edited by TooWalrus (13256 posts) -

They've probably weighed their options and decided that the shit-storm they'd create by including gay relationships would be bigger than the shit-storm they're getting now. Doesn't make it right, but it probably makes... business sense.

#28 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@truthtellah: But it was never official supported. It was, as you said, a symptom of a game-breaking bug. And while I admire the effort and intent of the movement, asking for official support for homosexual relationships to be patched in is a very long shot. The game is out in a month and the dev team isn't likely to add features to a game that came out last year originally to satisfy a portion of the localization audience. The core team that programmed the game is likely already working on something else and have been for a while.

#29 Posted by Bocam (3821 posts) -

This will never happen. Especially from a japanese company like Nintendo. TBH I was surprised when they put straight relationships into the game.

#30 Edited by Zornack (200 posts) -

We all know this won't get anywhere as this is just a translated version of the game and I doubt they'll be putting any dev time into it but at least this gets the conversation started for next time. Good on ya.

#31 Edited by Snail (8661 posts) -
@toowalrus said:

They've probably weighed their options and decided that the shit-storm they'd create by including gay relationships would be bigger than the shit-storm they're getting now. Doesn't make it right, but it probably makes... business sense.

I think including same-sex relationships in a child-oriented game would spark some fascinating discussion in the media, and, at least in the Western World, it would probably end up painting Nintendo as a forward-thinking company - with all the controversy that that would entail, so yeah, not something Nintendo is likely to do.

Not sure how their homeland of Japan is in regards to this subject matter, though.

#32 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1674 posts) -

@hailinel said:

@truthtellah: But it was never official supported. It was, as you said, a symptom of a game-breaking bug. And while I admire the effort and intent of the movement, asking for official support for homosexual relationships to be patched in is a very long shot. The game is out in a month and the dev team isn't likely to add features to a game that came out last year originally to satisfy a portion of the localization audience. The core team that programmed the game is likely already working on something else and have been for a while.

That's exactly what I was going to say. I'm no expert on game development timelines, but everything I know indicates to me that a game a month away from release is feature locked, and possibly gold. Especially when the game is a localization of a game released last year, and especially when we're talking about a company as fastidious as Nintendo. I guess it's hard to blame some people for thinking games can be changed at any time when so many western developers are shitting out unfinished games and patching them months after release, but at the very least the Polygon and Kotaku reporters should have known better than to parrot this without adding any caveats. (Yeah, I know, I don't expect better from them either.)

#33 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@grantheaslip: @hailinel:

Didn't the guy behind this say he'd be OK with same sex relationships making it into the next game, though?

#34 Posted by MannyMAR (520 posts) -

I dig the sentiment and approach Tyeforce took with the video, not too overbearing while making great points. I know this issue puts Nintendo in a tight spot because I know they don't want to alienate the LGBT community, yet they are still perceived as a Disney-like company and have to be mindful of the content they choose to include in their titles. I mean when Bioware does it, it's in a game aimed at an adult audience and even then they get a lot of grief on the issue, now with Tomodachi Life it's a bit more difficult in that now you're looking at a game aimed at a very broad age range. At the end of the day, you know someone's parent will buy the game find out about the same-sex relationships and will flip a wig. They should at least release the game as they intended for now, and keep the points made by Tyeforce in mind for the next game's release.

TL;DR

Good on Tyeforce. I was surprised that there are relationships at all in this game. While I doubt they'll add it to the game coming out here, this video will hopefully give some food for thought in the next game.

#35 Posted by EuanDewar (5098 posts) -

oh like shorthand for relationship

#36 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1674 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@grantheaslip: @hailinel:

Didn't the guy behind this say he'd be OK with same sex relationships making it into the next game, though?

Sure, but this isn't the next game. I'm making no value judgement about the idea -- I'm just saying it's pretty unrealistic to start a petition asking Nintendo to add a potentially significant (depending on how the internal logic works) feature to a year-old game a month before its localization hits store shelves, and reporters should probably be mentioning that.

#37 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@grantheaslip:

But it is logical; when else would you get an opportunity to affect such change?

#38 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4878 posts) -

I've never even considered this, but is Japan as a nation even cool with gay people?

You hear about a lot of things coming out of there, but I don't think I've ever seen a word about gay people.

#39 Posted by The_Ruiner (1138 posts) -

I was all raring to buy this game for my best friend who's a lesbian. But if this game won't let her actually let her be herself..then what's the point?

#40 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1674 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@grantheaslip:

But it is logical; when else would you get an opportunity to affect such change?

You're right -- now's a good time to get attention on the issue while future releases are in the planning stages. I just don't like the implication that this game (i.e. Tomodachi Life, not a potential sequel) has any realistic chance of being changed at this juncture, even via a future patch.

#41 Edited by l4wd0g (2017 posts) -

I'm tried of the ethnocentric bullshit. You do know that Japanese homosexuals live very closeted lives. Many Japanese homosexuals marry (the opposite sex) and have kids. Which leads me to my question of, WHY IN THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING TO FORCE YOUR CULTURE ON THEM?

http://web.archive.org/web/20060617175751/http://sodomylaws.org/world/japan/jpnews001.htm

#42 Edited by l4wd0g (2017 posts) -

I'm tired of the ethnocentric bullshit. You do know that Japanese homosexuals live very closeted lives. Many Japanese homosexuals marry (the opposite sex) and have kids. Which leads me to my question of, WHY IN THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING TO FORCE YOUR CULTURE ON THEM?

http://web.archive.org/web/20060617175751/http://sodomylaws.org/world/japan/jpnews001.htm

#43 Edited by Itwastuesday (982 posts) -

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY INTO THIS

#44 Edited by TrafalgarLaw (1348 posts) -

@oldirtybearon said:

I've never even considered this, but is Japan as a nation even cool with gay people?

You hear about a lot of things coming out of there, but I don't think I've ever seen a word about gay people.

I dunno but one of the most popular ex-pro wrestling comedians (yes you read that right) is Razor Ramon Hard Gay. But as a community they probably shun them.

#45 Posted by Encephalon (1331 posts) -

I don't expect Nintendo to implement such a change so shortly before the game's western release.

This whole thing could, however, serve to inform them that it's an important feature for a part of their audience, and they'll keep it in mind for the future.

#46 Posted by TrafalgarLaw (1348 posts) -

This whole thing could, however, serve to inform them that it's an important feature for a part of their audience, and they'll keep it in mind for the future.

But why should Nintendo, of all companies, with most of their fanbase consisting of children, take a stance on sexuality? And are relationships really such a big part of the game?

I can assure you that Nintendo will respond with something along the lines of adhering to japanese cultural standards and every headline will read "Nintendo full of homophobes."

#47 Posted by sodapop7 (311 posts) -

@l4wd0g: What are you even talking about?

#48 Edited by Encephalon (1331 posts) -

@trafalgarlaw: How integral relationships are to Tomodachi Life, no one can say. But the ability for hetero couples to enter into a union is already an implicit acknowledgment of sexuality. That same-sex couples can't do the same is an omission; almost certainly not malicious, but an omission all the same.

I never said that Nintendo was obligated to take a stance on sexuality, merely that a movement like this indicates that sexuality is a concern for at least a portion of Nintendo's audience, and now Nintendo is aware of it. What they do with that in the future is up to them.

#49 Posted by Slag (4846 posts) -

Seems like a golden opportunity for Nintendo to release some Free DLC even if they only release it for this region. can't imagine they have time to patch it for the release, but I don't see why they couldn't make DLC out of it.

They really could use some good PR stateside, and making a bold gesture like that could pay big dividends for their reputation.

#50 Edited by conmulligan (762 posts) -

Can't say I'm surprised that Nintendo is so tone deaf, but it's still hugely disappointing to see.

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