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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.

Nintendo of America’s apology for neglecting to include same-sex marriages in Tomodachi Life, following its tone-deaf response to complaints over the matter earlier this week.

The company headlined the apology with “Nintendo is Committed to Fun and Entertainment for Everyone.” Really happy to see Nintendo recover from its misstep and promise to provide more inclusive experiences in the future. Also really happy that we can go back to talking about how fun and weird the game looks.

PREORDER Tomodachi Life (June 6, $34.99), upcoming releases
I don’t know what to say about Tomodachi Life ⊟
We’ve talked a lot about the mess Nintendo made out of same-sex marriages in Tomodachi Life. We discussed it on the TinyCast with Christian and Fran, where we all expressed annoyance over how the company has handled it, but then returned to talking about our excitement over the Mii-centered life sim.
It’s hard to stay as excited about the game — one of most interesting releases Nintendo has ever put out, and likely a game-of-the-year contender for the 3DS — after hearing Nintendo of America’s absolutely tone deaf response yesterday to recent campaigns calling on the company to add same-sex marriages to Tomodachi Life.
Like, that wasn’t going to happen, right? At least not when the game’s release date is already set for a few weeks from now, and not when the development, localization, and QA teams are already assigned to other projects. Still, this shouldn’t have been overlooked in the first place, and NoA should’ve prepared a more placating message if the resources weren’t available to make the change when it started localizing the game.
But I’m unsure what else to say on the matter. I’m kind of in the same boat as Christian, who put up probably the definitive blog post about it, even if we both came to the same uncertain conclusion: "I find it difficult to sum up all of my feelings and thoughts on what Nintendo could have done or should do with Tomodachi Life into a neat package. Things are more complicated than that.”
I’m feeling like Bill Trinen’s Tomodachi Life Mii right now, just rolling around an NES controller carpet because I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.

I don’t know what to say about Tomodachi Life ⊟

We’ve talked a lot about the mess Nintendo made out of same-sex marriages in Tomodachi Life. We discussed it on the TinyCast with Christian and Fran, where we all expressed annoyance over how the company has handled it, but then returned to talking about our excitement over the Mii-centered life sim.

It’s hard to stay as excited about the game — one of most interesting releases Nintendo has ever put out, and likely a game-of-the-year contender for the 3DS — after hearing Nintendo of America’s absolutely tone deaf response yesterday to recent campaigns calling on the company to add same-sex marriages to Tomodachi Life.

Like, that wasn’t going to happen, right? At least not when the game’s release date is already set for a few weeks from now, and not when the development, localization, and QA teams are already assigned to other projects. Still, this shouldn’t have been overlooked in the first place, and NoA should’ve prepared a more placating message if the resources weren’t available to make the change when it started localizing the game.

But I’m unsure what else to say on the matter. I’m kind of in the same boat as Christian, who put up probably the definitive blog post about it, even if we both came to the same uncertain conclusion: "I find it difficult to sum up all of my feelings and thoughts on what Nintendo could have done or should do with Tomodachi Life into a neat package. Things are more complicated than that.”

I’m feeling like Bill Trinen’s Tomodachi Life Mii right now, just rolling around an NES controller carpet because I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.

Pokemon XY's implied transgender trainer ⊟

The English translation here isn’t as suggestive as her Japanese text, which reads, “I was a Karate King just half a year ago; the power of medical science is awesome, wouldn’t you say?” Note that “Karate Kings”, or “Black Belts” as they’re known in the West, are a male-specific character type in the Pokemon series, their female counterparts going by “Battle Girls.”

Hurray for more diversity in Nintendo games! We have a podcast episode coming up that talks about this trainer and Japan’s approach to queer characters — please look forward to it! (Or ignore it if these conversations grind your gears. Whatever makes you happy!)

Related: Pokemon X is just $34 on Amazon right now. Credit to Legends of Localization for the Japanese translation (via TC reader TomSkylark).

BUY Pokemon X and Y, upcoming games
  • Source legendsoflocalization.com
It’s a beautiful day today
Smashueatu just started playing today, so forgive him for not knowing about the in-game screenshot feature yet! Anyway, don’t forget to grab your Rainbow Screen from the Post Office before the end of the month. 
BUY Animal Crossing: New Leaf, AC:NL guide, upcoming games

It’s a beautiful day today

Smashueatu just started playing today, so forgive him for not knowing about the in-game screenshot feature yet! Anyway, don’t forget to grab your Rainbow Screen from the Post Office before the end of the month. 

BUY Animal Crossing: New Leaf, AC:NL guide, upcoming games
  • Source reddit.com
Crossing a Line: Gender Identity in Animal Crossing
[Writer and game creator Anna Anthropy (Dys4ia) examines how Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the series’ most queer/transgender-friendly game yet, but also explains why she’s weary to applaud Nintendo for this seemingly progressive stance. Image above is via Derek Rose.]
animal crossing has always been ripe for queering. i founded my last animal crossing town — in city folk for the wii — with my partner and our mutual then-girlfriend (my partner took great satisfaction in demolishing her house after we broke up). there’s really no getting around the fact that animal crossing is a very capital-affirming, binary-enforcing game by a publisher that recently edited gay marriage out of one of its games.
player characters in city folk are born with gendered clothing attached to their bodies: BOYS get t-shirts and pants, GIRLS get dresses with poofy sleeves. the same piece of clothing magically transforms according to the body it comes into contact with: a flowery dress will become a flowery t-shirt, worn over shorts, the second a “boy” tries to put it on.
player characters are also born white: there are over fifty kinds of animals represented in the game, but all humans are pale and pink. for animal crossing, enforced whiteness is nintendo’s path of least resistance to the question of player race. you do get a choice of gender, but it’s between two identity-erasing extremes: do you want to wear a dress for the rest of your life, or never?

there are a lot of compromises for queer players. i remember playing a woman character in my family’s animal crossing game long before i ever came out as trans, because the thought of a world with no options to externalize my femininity was too crushingly familiar.
i remember my partner and i racing to collect all the girls’ hairstyles in city folk: we’d heard that once you’ve gotten all of the hairstyles of your chosen gender, the game allowed you to choose from the hairstyles of the other gender. i’ve spent a long time exploring possibilities for femme expression and externalized queerness in the game. i became a punk, a femmebot, a barbarian queen, a girl scout. i created identities for myself that the game didn’t account for.

now new leaf is out for the 3ds. in this new animal crossing, shirts and dresses aren’t part of your body, you can change them. a “girl” character can wear pants or shorts, or dresses and skirts. a “boy” character can wear dresses, skirts, long socks, or a t-shirt and pants. a character’s body no longer dictates what clothes the player is allowed to put on them. it reminds me of saints row 2, the game whose character creation i think gets gender best: it doesn’t remove gender signifiers, but allows the player to mix and match diferent gender signifiers however she wants to. that’s closer to the ways we externalize our identities.
it’s easy to see the design of the new animal crossing as an endorsement of queerness, of transness and gender play. but it’s important to realize that animal crossing is the product of a corporation — and one that’s under no obligation to care about us. as long as we’re playing animal crossing, we can’t change or contradict the rules nintendo has decreed. no matter how many bells you pay to tom nook and his nephews, you’ll never be allowed to choose your character’s race. our identities are glitches in nintendo’s system. will nintendo “fix” the “bug” that allows boys to wear dresses?

queerness is all about context, and that’s what we do control: not what the game allows us to do, but the meaning that we give it. to animal crossing, one shirt is the same as any other, just another bitmap, but it’s intensely powerful for me as a kinky queermo to be able to put a leather jacket on my avatar. as a fat trans woman who has a hard time finding feminine clothes that fit, the ability to design my own clothes for my digital body is super meaningful. but that meaning comes from me, not from nintendo. we’d do well to remember that.
TO FOLLOW THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF MY PARTNER AND I IN ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF, FOLLOW THE HASHTAG #NEWQUEEF ON TWITTER.

Crossing a Line: Gender Identity in Animal Crossing

[Writer and game creator Anna Anthropy (Dys4ia) examines how Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the series’ most queer/transgender-friendly game yet, but also explains why she’s weary to applaud Nintendo for this seemingly progressive stance. Image above is via Derek Rose.]

animal crossing has always been ripe for queering. i founded my last animal crossing town — in city folk for the wii — with my partner and our mutual then-girlfriend (my partner took great satisfaction in demolishing her house after we broke up). there’s really no getting around the fact that animal crossing is a very capital-affirming, binary-enforcing game by a publisher that recently edited gay marriage out of one of its games.

player characters in city folk are born with gendered clothing attached to their bodies: BOYS get t-shirts and pants, GIRLS get dresses with poofy sleeves. the same piece of clothing magically transforms according to the body it comes into contact with: a flowery dress will become a flowery t-shirt, worn over shorts, the second a “boy” tries to put it on.

player characters are also born white: there are over fifty kinds of animals represented in the game, but all humans are pale and pink. for animal crossing, enforced whiteness is nintendo’s path of least resistance to the question of player race. you do get a choice of gender, but it’s between two identity-erasing extremes: do you want to wear a dress for the rest of your life, or never?

Read more

  • Source twitter.com

No more same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Collection

Nintendo is patching the bug in its Japan-only 3DS game Tomodachi Collection: New Life that allowed two male characters to date, marry and even procreate. The company’s Google Translated announcement describes the bug as “Human relationship is funny.”

The update also fixes problems users might have booting up the game, saving the game, and other issues. It’s unclear if those problems are related to the same-sex glitch, but that likely won’t appease those who hoped Nintendo would overlook the bug — or would allow female characters to have the same rights.

As NetBuff insightfully pointed out, “By fixing this bug, they are actively calling attention to the fact that Nintendo released a ‘life simulator’ game in 2013 that doesn’t take homosexuality into account.”

Shout outs to NintenDaan for making most of these images for us!

BUY Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consoles, upcoming releases
  • Source twitter.com
"Boy or Girl" a new Pokemon comic exploring unexpected gender-bending in the series, illustrated by Mare Odomo and featured at Attract Mode. Every Mare Odomo Pokemon comic is a gift. Don’t let this one go to waste.
Buy: Pokemon Black/White Version 2See also: More Pokemon news and media

"Boy or Girl" a new Pokemon comic exploring unexpected gender-bending in the series, illustrated by Mare Odomo and featured at Attract Mode. Every Mare Odomo Pokemon comic is a gift. Don’t let this one go to waste.

Buy: Pokemon Black/White Version 2
See also: More Pokemon news and media