Tomodachi Life is on the way to the United States and Europe this June and, as previously reported, the quirky title will not feature same-sex relationships. At least not without some trickery on the part of the player. By making male Miis with female features one could create what appears to be a lesbian couple in the game, for example. And many players did exactly that, posting cute pics of their gay Miis on twitter with the hashtag #homokore.
Separate from this trend was a game-breaking bug that also created the appearance of in-game same-sex relationships. A very poorly worded, when translated, statement on the issue from Nintendo sparked its own big gay controversy by referring to the appearance of same-sex couples as ‘strange’.
But let’s put all of that aside. Bottom line is, controversy or no, there aren’t any same-sex romance options in Tomodachi Life.
So what’s a gaymer to do? Some have turned to boycotting the game, while others like myself are eager to get our hands on the game in spite of it lacking queer options.
Gay gamer Tyeforce, taking a cue from #homokore, is taking to social media to get his voice heard.
Tyeforce’s #miiquality takes the Tomodachi hashtag activism to the next level. While the most apparent goal of the campaign is to get Nintendo to add same-sex options to the game, there is no doubt a lot of time, money, and coding that would go into such an endeavor. The more important thing about this movement is that, just like #homokore before it, it reminds Nintendo that they have gay fans; gay fans who are tired of not seeing themselves represented in these sorts of games.
It’s not as though relationships are a mere tacked on part of the game, rather as Tye points out forming relationships is key to progression in Tomodachi Life. For anyone not wanting to engage in the game’s heterocentric design, their options are limited. They can either trick the game by changing the gender of their Miis, in a sense ‘pretending’ to be gay in the game, or they can choose to not have relationships at all. Doing the latter, though, bars players from experience the full game. Content like marriage, child-rearing, and even the ability to send your children off to other peoples’ 3D consoles via Spot Pass, become inaccessible.
Tye is encouraging gamers to support the game rather than boycott it, using the #miiquality hashtag on their tweets, Facebook posts, videos, podcasts, and other social media, as a way of getting Nintendo’s attention.