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Nintendo's handling of Tomodachi Life is 'behind the times,' GLAAD says

Nintendo has no plans to update its handheld life simulator Tomodachi Life to include same-sex relationships— a move LGBT advocacy group GLAAD calls a "hurtful message" to its players, VentureBeat reports.

"In purposefully limiting players' relationship options, Nintendo is not only sending a hurtful message to many of its fans and consumers by excluding them, but also setting itself way behind the times," GLAAD national spokesperson Wilson Cruz told the publication.

In a statement issued yesterday, Nintendo said it had no intention of making "any form of social commentary" and that the game represents "a playful alternate world."

"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," Nintendo said at the time.

Cruz rejected this description, citing "the original 'whimsical and quirky' life simulator," The Sims, as an example of allowing players to marry whatever character they wish.

"Many other mainstream and massively popular video games have followed [Electronic Arts'] lead since," Cruz said. "Nintendo should do the same."

Tomodachi Life, which is currently available in Japan, allows players to engage in relationships, get married and have children for heterosexual couples. In response to the game's upcoming launch in North America, Tye Marini started a campaign for same-sex relationships called Miiquality. Marini, a gay player, asked for the ability to marry his real-life fiance in the game.

"My only options are to marry some female Mii, to change the gender of either my Mii or my fiancé's Mii (and other male Miis) or to completely avoid marriage altogether and miss out on the exclusive content that comes with it," Marini said in his campaign video. "But none of these are a real solution."

Tomodachi Life launches for Nintendo 3DS on June 6.

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