Nintendo has a new game coming out for the 3DS called Tomodachi Life. Like Animal Crossing, it’s a laid back life sim where you can just do whatever. Unlike Animal Crossing, though, it has an option to romance other characters that you meet. There’s been some controversy though, since these romance options are heterosexual only; no same-sex lovin’ is going on here. For me, in and of itself, that revelation is simply disappointing. I would normally just shake my head, say “what a shame” to nobody in particular, and go right on back to Animal Crossing. I mean, it’s not I’m being forced to play Tomodachi Life or anything.
What got me all riled up (and cost me like ten followers on Tumblr), was Nintendo’s response to people wanting their romance to be recognized. Nintendo’s rep said this:
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.
A statement that is, holy shit, pretty fucking offensive. Like, just look at that. Nintendo is more or less telling you, and me, that we can’t be funny, we can’t be light-hearted, we don’t know how to have a good time, and that our every waking moment is somehow a form of social commentary. What a load of bull shit. And let me tell you what else is a load of bull shit.
“It’s only a game.”
A phrase used to deflect any form of criticism towards a video game for presenting something fucked up. If a video game is racist, or misogynist, or homophobic, or anything along those lines, it’s only a game it’s not meant to be taken seriously, man (or my favorite, UHH DUDE THIS WAS MEANT FOR JAPANESE PEOPLE, making a pretty bold claim about an entire country). A term usually and hilariously used by people with no concept of irony who also want video games to be taken seriously by the public at large. Hell, when Resident Evil 5 was facing backlash over its shockingly racist portrayals of the African people, Capcom themselves released a video saying just that:
It’s only a game.
And you know what? Yeah, these people are right. Tomodachi Life is only a game. And that’s the fucking problem.
Let me tell you something about being gay: It sucks. Everyone hates you. The news tells you that you’re ruining America. If you sue a business for homophobia and discrimination, you are now responsible for THE DEATH OF FREE ENTERPRISE. You’re told that when you die (which is hopefully soon), you’ll spend an eternity getting tortured by a red guy with a goatee and pitchfork. People accuse you of being some diseased-ridden leper. That you’re a child molester. When a celebrity or corporate executive gets in trouble for saying that LGBT folks are actually really bad and not good, you are the reason why we can’t have nice things and for fucks’ sake everything was just so much better before political correctness ran amok. And that last thing I want is to flip open my 3DS and have a Goddamned Nintendo game tell me to fuck off too.
Nintendo! The company that went from being in dead last in the console race with the Gamecube to shooting straight to the top by simply changing their marketing strategy to “appeal to literally fucking everyone.” Get the grandmas! Get the kids! Get your friends! Get anyone who thinks that video games are bull shit and set them down in front of the Wii, they’ll love it! Just don’t get the LGBT’ers, because that’s pretty gay, dude.