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#Miiquality | Bringing same-sex relationships to Nintendo's Tomodachi series

Yagharek

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Mar 3, 2007
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There's an easy way to work around this to make everyone happy. Somewhere in the initial setup, show a random set of say, 3 male and 3 female Miis. Ask the player "which of these would your mii consider marrying" and then you choose.

Young kids would choose what comes naturally to them. People who care deeply about the issue would choose whatever suits them. People who want variety can choose all the miis they like.

Its very simple, and everyone is happy.

And because of the tone of the game (seems like a soap opera) it really isnt likely to generate bad publicity just because little johnny's mii likes blokes, especially if he can change the settings easily and continue on.
 

mclem

Member
Jan 16, 2007
42,665
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There's an easy way to work around this to make everyone happy. Somewhere in the initial setup, show a random set of say, 3 male and 3 female Miis. Ask the player "which of these would your mii consider marrying" and then you choose.
There's a slight issue with that in that, if I remember correctly, a Miis gender is not actually related to their looks - male Miis can use 'female' components and vice versa. They'd have to be explicitly stated as male/female.
 

Yagharek

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Mar 3, 2007
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There's a slight issue with that in that, if I remember correctly, a Miis gender is not actually related to their looks - male Miis can use 'female' components and vice versa. They'd have to be explicitly stated as male/female.
Just have a name listed below each mii in the lineup. So long as they are not gender-neutral names such as Alex or Sam.

That way if little johnny decides his mii johnny likes a mii called frank as well as a mii called jill, that's his choice.
 
Jun 19, 2013
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So here's my question on this:

We saw in the ND that when Bill brought his Mii in, he got to mess with a bunch of sliders that dictated his voice, etc. Is that done for every Mii brought into the game? If so, it seems like that'd be the perfect place for a "likes boys/likes girls" slider.

(FTR, being a senior software developer, I don't think that the apparent complexity of this game lends it to being a likely thing to happen for this release, but it could happen in a Tomodachi+ or 1.5, cf. the original Animal Crossing or Wii Fit Plus—that's either a sizable free patch or a paid sequel. Just thinking of how it could work.)
You only edit details of the Miis you create in-game. You can't edit Miis you receive from someone else.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
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In response to repeated debates in this thread about whether or not same-sex content affects the rating of a game, I contacted the ESRB.

My question was:

Do ESRB ratings guidelines differentiate between the depiction of opposite-sex relationships or parenting arrangements and the depiction of same-sex relationships or parenting arrangements for descriptor or ratings purposes?

In other words, if the depiction of opposite-sex relationships in a particular game earns certain descriptors and a certain rating, would the same depiction of same-sex relationships earn different descriptors or ratings?
They wrote me back:

... We understand that sexual themes have the potential to be of concern to parents, which is why all such content must be disclosed during the rating process. To answer your question, ESRB's ratings criteria do not distinguish between heterosexual and same-sex content when it comes to addressing sexuality in games.

That being said, ESRB Rating Summaries provide specific details about the content that factored into a game's rating. Should someone have a desire to go beyond the rating information found on the game's package, Rating Summaries can be a useful resource in terms of becoming better informed about a game's content...
Cut and dry. There is no ratings reason to disallow same-sex relationships.
 

Marlowe89

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Mar 2, 2008
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So there you go, now it's explicit for the dense: does the fact that I have no plans to buy this game now or ever somehow invalidate my opinion or my arguments in this thread?
No, but considering that there are so many other, far more damaging issues affecting LGBT groups to this day, I do think it's sort of hilarious that some people consciously decide to sit here and whine about an incredibly obscure Nintendo game that they'll likely never play. People like Tyeforce are expressing their concerns only because they have an enthusiastic interest in the game as well as a genuine desire to support Nintendo as opposed to spreading needless vitriol. I really don't feel that responses like "It's 2014! I have no sympathy for Nintendo!" and "Wow, they're so hateful and ignorant!" are contributory AT ALL.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
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No, but considering that there are so many other, far more damaging issues affecting LGBT groups to this day, I do think it's sort of hilarious that some people consciously decide to sit here and whine about an incredibly obscure Nintendo game that they'll likely never play.
So is your implication here that Cyan isn't working on or discussing those more important issues? Or that he doesn't have a reason to believe this particular issue is a better use of his time than those other issues? How is this not "people are dying in syria who cares about music for inner city schools"?
 

RMS Gigantic

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Sep 11, 2013
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In response to repeated debates in this thread about whether or not same-sex content affects the rating of a game, I contacted the ESRB.

My question was:



They wrote me back:



Cut and dry. There is no ratings reason to disallow same-sex relationships.
With that said, the fact that it's a common enough misconception to require addressing reminds me of how video games are now officially permitted to use swastikas in Germany because Germany now officially recognizes video games as art, but most video games released in Germany don't because it takes up a sort of gray area between what the law allows and what the public thinks the law allows. It might be a similar case here, where the ESRB doesn't distinguish between gay and straight relationships, but it's a common enough misconception that developers don't either because they think the ESRB does distinguish between the two, or they know that the ESRB doesn't but they don't want to take any chances.
 

zhorkat

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Jun 25, 2013
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With that said, the fact that it's a common enough misconception to require addressing reminds me of how video games are now officially permitted to use swastikas in Germany because Germany now officially recognizes video games as art, but most video games released in Germany don't because it takes up a sort of gray area between what the law allows and what the public thinks the law allows. It might be a similar case here, where the ESRB doesn't distinguish between gay and straight relationships, but it's a common enough misconception that developers don't either because they think the ESRB does distinguish between the two, or they know that the ESRB doesn't but they don't want to take any chances.
Wait, I'm confused. If the developer knows that the ESRB doesn't distinguish between the two, what chances would they be taking?
 

Taker666

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Apr 26, 2005
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And this is bad because why?
Because you can guarantee a massive outcry from the 40% or so of parents who bought the game for their child who are against gay marriage....who now see Nintendo as trying to force the idea on their children without their permssion due to their child unwittlingly ticking a box...as the child has no idea what the connotation of "like" in this game was.

Someone above suggested selecting a male/female Mii from a selection asking "which Mii would you like to marry"..that would be a far more appropriate and clear question for a child rather than ambiguous "do you like boys or girls".
 

APF

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Apr 13, 2005
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Because you can guarantee a massive outcry from the 40% or so of parents who bought the game for their child who are against gay marriage....who now see Nintendo as trying to force the idea on their children without their permssion due to their child unwittlingly ticking a box.
So in your mind it is worse to be criticised for accepting gay marriage, than it is to be criticised for excluding gay marriage.
 

Alebrije

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Feb 25, 2010
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Just cause but also Nintendo is conservative. Also it seems this could cause some serious bulling not just in the virtual world but in real one.
 

Taker666

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Apr 26, 2005
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So in your mind it is worse to be criticised for accepting gay marriage, than it is to be criticised for excluding gay marriage.
In my mind you're best to find a way to avoid being criticised by anyone....which is why I suggested releasing two versions of the game so a parent could decide which copy they wished to buy for a child.
 

APF

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Apr 13, 2005
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In my mind you're best to find a way to avoid being criticised by anyone....which is why I suggested releasing two versions of the game so a parent could decide which copy they wished to buy for a child.
Unfortunately you can't (your solution still poisons the well). The only thing to do, if you want to avoid being criticised for how you represent romantic relationships, is to not represent romantic relationships. There is no "neutral" stance that pleases everyone unfortunately ("neutral" would be anyone can marry anyone, with the game not dictating or normalizing any behavior, but unfortunately the true neutral position will be interpreted as promoting eg same-sex relationships).
 

RMS Gigantic

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Sep 11, 2013
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Wait, I'm confused. If the developer knows that the ESRB doesn't distinguish between the two, what chances would they be taking?
They would be taking chances with the general public (particularly with the close-minded parents who, although close-minded, are still the ones who purchase E-rated game, according to what they think constitutes an E-rating, for their children), similar to how a video game developer releasing a game with swastikas in it in Germany isn't risking legal trouble, but is risking public outcry.
 

Taker666

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Apr 26, 2005
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Unfortunately you can't (your solution still poisons the well). The only thing to do, if you want to avoid being criticised for how you represent romantic relationships, is to not represent romantic relationships. There is no "neutral" stance that pleases everyone unfortunately ("neutral" would be anyone can marry anyone, with the game not dictating or normalizing any behavior, but unfortunately the true neutral position will be interpreted as promoting eg same-sex relationships).
That would suit me fine...if all the game had to offer was being able to make Celebrity Mii's sing silly songs ..I'd have been perfectly happy.
 

Labrys

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Sep 19, 2012
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They would be taking chances with the general public (particularly with the close-minded parents who, although close-minded, are still the ones who purchase E-rated game, according to what they think constitutes an E-rating, for their children), similar to how a video game developer releasing a game with swastikas in it in Germany isn't risking legal trouble, but is risking public outcry.
As shown with the Wolfenstein games and the recent South Park one, it is actually illegal to portray swastikas in any form of media in Germany.

I hardly think same sex marriage and a symbol of the Third Reich are comparable, however.
 

zhorkat

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Jun 25, 2013
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They would be taking chances with the general public (particularly with the close-minded parents who, although close-minded, are still the ones who purchase E-rated game, according to what they think constitutes an E-rating, for their children), similar to how a video game developer releasing a game with swastikas in it in Germany isn't risking legal trouble, but is risking public outcry.
Parents would see the box that has the E rating on it, so they would know the game's rating. I don't think that misconceptions about what a rating of E from the ESRB constitutes are what would drive a parent's reaction to it, and so I think that what kind of chances a company would be taking by including such content is a separate issue from ESRB rating policies.
 

Snakeyes

Member
Sep 20, 2009
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And this is bad because why?
Because the question's intent is to determine which gender your avatar could marry and raise a family with, not the one they would rather hang out with.

A question like "which of these Miis would you rather marry" as suggested above, or even "would you marry a boy or a girl" is a much better alternative, but still not ideal.
 

zigg

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Aug 3, 2006
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Yeah...but that's not ideal...

..many young girls would say they like girls because boys smell...and most young boys would say they like boys because girls have cooties.
Fine, say "love" or whatever. This is not really a problem that fine-tuning can't solve. Kids do get this in age-appropriate fashion.

The safest bet for Nintendo is release two versions. This version and something like a "Diversity Edition" which allows all types of pairings and has extra options.

That way parents can choose which version they would want their child to play and neither the LGBT community or those against gay marriage would really be able to complain.
I think you'd find that would establish a de facto segregation and not foster any kind of understanding. As such, I can't support it.

You only edit details of the Miis you create in-game. You can't edit Miis you receive from someone else.
Ah. So there isn't a way to tag those Miis.

Honestly, you know, I'm wondering why not just randomly assign a preference to everyone. Some of us hetereosexuals might learn something if our Miis are tagged as gay. 😉 It seems in the spirit of how I understand the game, anyway.
 

Major Gripex

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Jan 3, 2012
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http://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/c4FWbi-Uave2T9R1h7SFzX0aoa-d4pgx

We are committed to fun and entertainment for everyone

2014-05-09

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.
Congratulations Tyeforce, and everyone involved in the #Miiquality movement.
 

mclem

Member
Jan 16, 2007
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Just have a name listed below each mii in the lineup. So long as they are not gender-neutral names such as Alex or Sam.

That way if little johnny decides his mii johnny likes a mii called frank as well as a mii called jill, that's his choice.
Just now thinking the logistics of this through further since there's been a promise to handle this in a followup... Would you have to do it with every Mii, I wonder? I was under the impression it's not *your* life, it's the life of you and all your friends - so each Mii would individually need a sexual preference. I suppose the 'right' solution would be to embed some notion of preference in the Mii data directly, but that strikes me as unrealistic - but the other option would strike me as requiring quite a big workload to just import your circle of friends.

Would it be regarded as offensive if any given character, on import, still defaulted to heterosexual relationships, but would be overridable to either homosexual or bisexual preferences? On the one hand, that gives the ability to adapt the Miis of your friends to their preferences and would - in general - be fairly fast to set up. On the other hand, that does then lead to something which still presents the notion of heterosexual relationships as 'normal', which was one of the issues which was mentioned as a problem in the other thread.

Is that an acceptable sacrifice in the name of expediency?

Honestly, you know, I'm wondering why not just randomly assign a preference to everyone. Some of us hetereosexuals might learn something if our Miis are tagged as gay. �� It seems in the spirit of how I understand the game, anyway.
While that sounds fun (or, as an easier solution, just make everyone bi!), isn't that then presenting the same problem from the opposite direction?


(And one further thought about the minefield if you want to do this right: This means you also need to handle the idea of person A being compatible with B but the reverse being untrue. On the one hand that's a joke that's been done quite frequently in sitcoms so if it's handled sympathetically, it could be amusing. On the other, though, it's got to be handled well...)
 

Marlowe89

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Mar 2, 2008
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So is your implication here that Cyan isn't working on or discussing those more important issues? Or that he doesn't have a reason to believe this particular issue is a better use of his time than those other issues? How is this not "people are dying in syria who cares about music for inner city schools"?
My implication had nothing to do with Cyan specifically, but I did attribute my assessment to certain people in this thread and I do stand by it.
 

Tyeforce

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Jun 20, 2011
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Thank you all!! I'm really sorry I've not been able to keep up with this thread over the past few days. I've been really overwhelmed with all the coverage and all. I truly appreciate all the support that this community has given to the Miiquality movement, and this success couldn't have happened without the overwhelming support from all of you. Thank you all so much!!

As for Miiquality, I plan to continue to use the social networks and whatnot to bring attention to Tomodachi Life, in hopes of getting more people to purchase the game. The more successful this game is, the more likely we are to see a more inclusive sequel in the future.
 

jgminto

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Jul 21, 2010
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Seems like it was pretty successful, good job. It's a shame some offensive people felt like they had to get involved and sour the mood but overall I enjoyed being involved.
 

RMS Gigantic

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Sep 11, 2013
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Looks to me like Nintendo wanted to avoid controversy, but instead generated more controversy in the process, recognized the miscalculation, evaluated what could be done about it, apologized for the mistake, and explained why they can't change what's already been done but promised to fix it in the future.

This is, through and through, precisely what a company should do if they misjudge something! Good on Nintendo for successfully following through with it. They also did a good job of giving a rather minimally political response, despite how political this topic can be.

Nintendo is also exceptional at being very humble despite their size and scope as a company. They're big, but they're not all that afraid of apologizing when they make mistakes and making legitimate efforts towards fixing them.
 

Tyeforce

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Jun 20, 2011
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Okay, so I want to post a proper update here. First of all, thank each and every one of you here who supported #Miiquality and helped spread the word. This success could not have been achieved without your efforts. The NeoGAF community has been especially helpful towards the movement, and many of you here helped tremendously in getting #Miiquality off the ground.

I've been unable to read and update this thread over the last few days due to the overwhelming amount of attention I've been getting from the media and all, so I apologize for leaving you all hanging here. However, I've since skimmed over the threads and read a lot of your comments, and I want to say that I really, truly appreciate all of the kind words from many of you here. Some of your comments of support have literally brought me to tears (hey, I'm an emotional guy, lol). So thank you for that. I can't say that enough.

I also want to thank those of you who have been upholding the original message of my #Miiquality video among all the spin from the media. I'm really not happy with a lot of the headlines out there, and I don't like how many reports have spun the story in different directions. I especially don't like that so many reports are attacking Nintendo so harshly and calling them homophobic, because that was never my intent. However, I suppose it may have been necessary in order to get a response like this from them. At least it made international news. I just hope that the media coverage of this can take a positive turn after Nintendo's latest response.

Lastly, here is the update I've posted on the Miiquality pages regarding Nintendo's response:
#Miiquality has succeeded in its primary goal—to bring the issue to Nintendo's attention in hopes that future iterations of Tomodachi Life will support same-sex relationships. Despite its relationship limitations, please consider purchasing Tomodachi Life to support the development of future, more inclusive Tomodachi titles, as Nintendo has promised. Miiquality will continue to bring attention to Tomodachi Life and subsequent titles, and act as a hub for LGBTQIA Nintendo fans as well. We hope that the success of Miiquality will continue to influence the video game industry and raise awareness of other equality issues in video games and other media, and in general. Thank you all who have supported Miiquality and helped spread the word. Without your efforts, this movement couldn't have been a success.
 

fernoca

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Sep 17, 2006
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Finally...HE'S ALIVE!!!

And yeah, that was what kinda disappointed me around all this. The intention was noble, humble,...cute...yet some sites gave it a homophobic stance and other attacks; that while were "nice" in the pressure they added; completely missed the point. But the entire focus was on that; then even a few that freely admitted not having any interest in the game in any case.
 

Hours Left

Member
Jun 28, 2006
33,689
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Okay, so I want to post a proper update here. First of all, thank each and every one of you here who supported #Miiquality and helped spread the word. This success could not have been achieved without your efforts. The NeoGAF community has been especially helpful towards the movement, and many of you here helped tremendously in getting #Miiquality off the ground.

I've been unable to read and update this thread over the last few days due to the overwhelming amount of attention I've been getting from the media and all, so I apologize for leaving you all hanging here. However, I've since skimmed over the threads and read a lot of your comments, and I want to say that I really, truly appreciate all of the kind words from many of you here. Some of your comments of support have literally brought me to tears (hey, I'm an emotional guy, lol). So thank you for that. I can't say that enough.

I also want to thank those of you who have been upholding the original message of my #Miiquality video among all the spin from the media. I'm really not happy with a lot of the headlines out there, and I don't like how many reports have spun the story in different directions. I especially don't like that so many reports are attacking Nintendo so harshly and calling them homophobic, because that was never my intent. However, I suppose it may have been necessary in order to get a response like this from them. At least it made international news. I just hope that the media coverage of this can take a positive turn after Nintendo's latest response.

Lastly, here is the update I've posted on the Miiquality pages regarding Nintendo's response:
As I said before Tye, you're doing an awesome job with all this. Mega kudos. :D

And I think it's cool that you are gonna use #Miiquality for future LGBTQIA related games/topics.
 
Feb 28, 2009
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Congrats Tye! Emotions ran high, but you really made something big happen here.

So curious, what's your course of action with the game itself? You made it seem like you'll still buy it, but will you play it in spite of the relationship/marriage issue?
 

RyanPierre

Member
Nov 1, 2008
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I'm glad that NoA has addressed this appropriately and left it open for a hopeful future.

What ended up happening with those removed Youtube videos, by the way? Is it still an unsolved mystery? I'd like to understand why Youtube had them taken down.
 

BY2K

Membero Americo
Sep 12, 2010
37,301
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Okay, so I want to post a proper update here. First of all, thank each and every one of you here who supported #Miiquality and helped spread the word. This success could not have been achieved without your efforts. The NeoGAF community has been especially helpful towards the movement, and many of you here helped tremendously in getting #Miiquality off the ground.

I've been unable to read and update this thread over the last few days due to the overwhelming amount of attention I've been getting from the media and all, so I apologize for leaving you all hanging here. However, I've since skimmed over the threads and read a lot of your comments, and I want to say that I really, truly appreciate all of the kind words from many of you here. Some of your comments of support have literally brought me to tears (hey, I'm an emotional guy, lol). So thank you for that. I can't say that enough.

I also want to thank those of you who have been upholding the original message of my #Miiquality video among all the spin from the media. I'm really not happy with a lot of the headlines out there, and I don't like how many reports have spun the story in different directions. I especially don't like that so many reports are attacking Nintendo so harshly and calling them homophobic, because that was never my intent. However, I suppose it may have been necessary in order to get a response like this from them. At least it made international news. I just hope that the media coverage of this can take a positive turn after Nintendo's latest response.

Lastly, here is the update I've posted on the Miiquality pages regarding Nintendo's response:
 

Tyeforce

Member
Jun 20, 2011
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So curious, what's your course of action with the game itself? You made it seem like you'll still buy it, but will you play it in spite of the relationship/marriage issue?
I'm definitely going to still buy the game day one, yes. As for how I'm going to go about playing it...I'm still not entirely sure. =/

What ended up happening with those removed Youtube videos, by the way? Is it still an unsolved mystery? I'd like to understand why Youtube had them taken down.
I still haven't a clue what was up with that, unfortunately. I'd love an answer, too, but it doesn't look like I'll be getting one.
 

Jinfash

needs 2 extra inches
Oct 16, 2007
13,883
3
1,335
Jinfash
Okay, so I want to post a proper update here. First of all, thank each and every one of you here who supported #Miiquality and helped spread the word. This success could not have been achieved without your efforts. The NeoGAF community has been especially helpful towards the movement, and many of you here helped tremendously in getting #Miiquality off the ground.

I've been unable to read and update this thread over the last few days due to the overwhelming amount of attention I've been getting from the media and all, so I apologize for leaving you all hanging here. However, I've since skimmed over the threads and read a lot of your comments, and I want to say that I really, truly appreciate all of the kind words from many of you here. Some of your comments of support have literally brought me to tears (hey, I'm an emotional guy, lol). So thank you for that. I can't say that enough.

I also want to thank those of you who have been upholding the original message of my #Miiquality video among all the spin from the media. I'm really not happy with a lot of the headlines out there, and I don't like how many reports have spun the story in different directions. I especially don't like that so many reports are attacking Nintendo so harshly and calling them homophobic, because that was never my intent. However, I suppose it may have been necessary in order to get a response like this from them. At least it made international news. I just hope that the media coverage of this can take a positive turn after Nintendo's latest response.

Lastly, here is the update I've posted on the Miiquality pages regarding Nintendo's response:
<3
 

Tyeforce

Member
Jun 20, 2011
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A know a lot of people think that this whole thing is over now after Nintendo's response, and yes, #Miiquality has accomplished its goal, however I believe there is more work to be done.

The next step for #Miiquality is to try to bring more positive attention to Tomodachi Life after Nintendo's apology and pledge to make future installments in the Tomodachi series more inclusive. If Tomodachi Life is successful, there's a very good chance that we'll see a next installment that does feature same-sex marriage. But that can't happen if Nintendo doesn't make another installment in the series, so let's try to bring positive attention to Tomodachi Life!

You can help by sharing this message on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=400841660056807
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Miiquality/status/465332697536032770
Tumblr: http://miiquality.tumblr.com/post/85382241425/reblog-this-post-if-youll-be-buying-tomodachi