Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co apologized for allegedly alienating sexual minorities in the English editions of a life simulation game.
Nintendo pledged to be “more inclusive” after being slammed by gay rights activists for not recognizing LGBT people in its virtual game Tomodachi Life.
The game, to be released for the Nintendo 3DS console in June, allows users to control so-called “Mii” avatars and interact with other players online. They can build relationships in an alternate virtual world, even marry as long as they’re from the opposite sex.
“We apologize for disappointing many people to failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life,” Nintendo said in a statement released Friday.
LGBT rights campaigners said the sexual slight reflects the “underrepresentation” of sexual minorities in games.
“Without being able to change the romantic interest of our Miis from the default, the game alienates LGBT+ people,” said an online petition.
Nintendo said it was too late to change the current design game but promised to be promote “virtual equality” in next versions.
“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,” the statement read.
“We will strive to design a gameplay experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players.”
By Maesie Bertumen
Image: “Tomodachi Life Direct” by BagoGames ©, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)/Flickr