back to article Nintendo says sorry, but there will be NO gay marriage in Tomodachi Life ... EVER

Gaming heavyweight Nintendo says it's sorry to disappointed customers for not including same-sex relationships in its Tomodachi Life simulation game, but that it's too late to do anything about it. The Mario Bros. maker posted a public note of apology to its website on Friday saying it was "committed to advancing our longtime …

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FAIL

"such a significant development change"?

If it's not a simple boolean check, their programmers suck.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "such a significant development change"?

I see you have never worked on any complex applications.

Your "simple boolean check" sounds like something the PHB would say when demanding some feature change in a product about to ship.

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Facepalm

Re: "such a significant development change"?

Actually, I have worked on some very complex applications. They're hard to avoid when developing for over 32 years.

Much of my work on complex applications has been reducing complexity by removing duplicate code and simplifying overly complicated structures that hack programmers put in there because they didn't know how to properly optimize their code.

If they have a complex structure for gender, or they have duplicated the test for gender [in]equality multiple times within the marriage-related routines, then they're crappy programmers.

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Re: "such a significant development change"?

Sorry, but gender is a complex structure...do you really think what makes a person male or female is just a boolean flag IRL? I didn't think so, I am pretty sure Nintendo haven't even scratched the surface of gender differences in their application's gameplay but even if they have included some it could be complex to change the coupling logic, much the same as the differences between how a male and a female couple in real life is infinitely complex.

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Re: "such a significant development change"?

Games are pretty much always object orientated. I'd be very surprised if gender wasn't just a boolean inside the player class.

It's not gender we're talking about though, it's marriage. I haven't played the game so I'm just wildly speculating but perhaps changing the marriage code to allow same sex partners would have repercussions elsewhere (assumptions that were no longer true, etc).

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Re: "such a significant development change"?

Actually I can see exactly how this can be hard-coded in, and no it isn't a ridiculous way to look at the problem. It has nothing to do with the representation of gender - this isn't about individuals but relationships, in other words it is a set problem. Consider two possible C-style representations of a marriage:

struct marriage {

struct person *partners[2];

}

struct marriage {

struct person *husband,

struct person *wife,

};

The first form treats each partner as being equivalent so wouldn't have this issue but places additional complexity into the code. The second is more constrained and would not allow for gay marraige, but the more specific nature allows code to operate more from context and with fewer corner cases.

For example, say you want to add the two parties separately to the marriage - that would generally be a bad idea but may be appropriate for some code bases. It's simple in the second case - if the person is a male then it refers to the husband. If female it refers to the wife. In the first case you have to identify which partner is to be updated which in turn throws up a corner case - what if there are already two people in the marriage?

Another case would be where you want to unambiguously refer to the wife in a marriage, e.g. to change their name. No problem in the second case, it's additional decisions in the first even in the non-problem case where a marriage contains exactly one woman.

Those are common-sense optimisations if you do not need to represent gay marriage. Changing this retrospectively to allow for gay marriage means changing function prototypes and a structure definition, and all code that depends on those, something that has a tendency to spread throughout the entire program. If the code base is arranged anything like that then that is the reality, which does not alter according to what you want to be the case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "such a significant development change"?

"struct person *partners[2];"

Then you have the polygamists complaining that they can only have a single partner. Then you have rednecks.......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "such a significant development change"?

Good - children play these games - what people might want to do as consenting adults is up to them, but that doesn't mean that it's OK for kids games to give lessons in unusual sexual preferences. Otherwise maybe they should also have say polygamy, scat, bondage, and bestiality preferences?.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "such a significant development change"?

"their programmers suck", suck on what.

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Re: "such a significant development change"?

"Otherwise maybe they should also have say polygamy, scat, bondage, and bestiality preferences?"

I'd deffo play that version. And make it part of the school curriculum just to annoy sanctimonious Mary Whitehouse types like you.

You and Nintendo can suck my cock. We'll motion capture it and release a game.

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Re: "such a significant development change"?

You're confusing activities with orientation. The debate has kinda moved past that now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "such a significant development change"?

No - they are all 'sexual preferences' as is mentioned.

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Re: "such a significant development change"?

Actually, I'd think that the thing that makes a person male or female is a simple field in the record. Surely the game has to determine if you're female or male by asking, and then surely it has to store that somewhere. A simple if (x.gender==y.gender) check with the success condition being that the marriage would not proceed and an error thrown instead would have prevented this.

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They'll learn. They'll learn that someone's opinion, or socical convention, or political push means losing many more billions in any given market, they'll either learn to deal with it, or go bust. Their choice.

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That depends on what the "liberal : conservative" ratio is. LGBT couples and their supporters may well boycott Nintendo for "intolerance", but by the same token conservatives may well end up supporting it for promoting "traditional family values." If a load of conservative families buy the game for their kids on those grounds, that could pretty much undermine the liberal boycott.

It would be interesting to set up a marketing experiment along these lines: Set up two shelf companies that have no immediately apparent connection to each other, and have each release a variant version of the same game. One that conforms to liberal values, and one that conforms to conservative values, and see which one sells more copies and which generates the bigger shitstorm.

I'd put money on this being the outcome: the conservative version would attract the loudest howls of indignation from the mass media, calls for boycotts and demands for censorship from the liberals, even though the liberal version would actually sell marginally more copies.

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They have learned actually

Err...

Do you like it or not the overall number of social concervatives worldwide is bigger than the number of people supporting the mandatory manifestation of LGBT rights in any and every aspect of a product. Note - there is a significant difference between LGBT rights and "mandatory manifestation of them in every product".

The fact that some LGBT groups are extremely loud does not suddenly make them a majority. So from a business perspective Nintendo has learned and learned well and they have made their choice - stick with the majority of the audience (something Nintendo has been doing all the time).

As far as losing billions in a market, that is exactly what they have assessed here. They do not want to have half of the world closed to them because of including the LGBT option - off the top of my head that makes the game unsellable by law or social convention in most of the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Russia, etc.

Is their choice morally right? That is a different story. Is it the right choice from a business perspective? Sure it is.

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Re: They have learned actually

Removing the option for same-sex relationships from certain localized versions would be trivial, though. It's not uncommon to have content changes in those, especially cutting out things deemed offensive in one culture or another.

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Re: They have learned actually

Just an observation to your comment: I would have thought that the liberal countries are those targeted by game makers. Europe and the US - I believe - are a bigger market than Iraq, Russia and Uganda.

However, when it comes to the spirit of the article, I don't really see it as a problem worth worrying about. Millions of people, me included, can't be grateful enough to the creators of gaydar, scruff, grindr and the likes. Do they have a straight section for straight people? They don't. If that's a bug or an intentional choice, who cares? It doesn't exactly discriminate in a way that makes some people's lives more difficult. It is not somebody's human right to be able to recreate themselves in that game. Reviews can be found online and purchases are often informed ones, there is little excuse for being outraged by such trivial issues. If somebody doesn't like something it is often enough to vote with their wallets rather than organising campaigns against everybody and everything.

I'm also vegetarian ( I know, I know ... ) but I have never thought of writing to the prime minister asking for steak houses to publicly apologise and have at least 50% of their menu suitable for vegetarians. I'll leave that to those irritating vegans :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They have learned actually

Whether gay people are in a majority is irrelevant. The issue is whether they should be included or excluded by the game makers.

In most progressive societies, the consensus is that it's wrong to discriminate on sex, race, sexual orientation etc.

You're either pro-equality, or anti-equality.

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Re: They have learned actually

"You're either pro-equality, or anti-equality."

...and you're a cultural marxist.

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AC said "You're either pro-equality, or anti-equality."

... or you're an AC who in't prepared to stand up and say anything.

Look, these are GAMES. You don't have to have progressive attitudes in games. Let's just strive for equality in real life.

I want to play Halo, but I want to be a pacifist. I want the wepons layout to include peace symbols and flowers because war is bad. The pro-violence people are stomping on my rights!

And Pink Pony doesn't allow you to send the pony to be made into glue and pet food when you get bored with it.

Bollocks. If you don't like the game play in a game, then don't buy it.

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h3
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Re: They have learned actually

Yeah Nintendo of America totally butchered loads of games removing religious and alcohol references from them. (Without doing anything about filling in the gaps. Just stopping the games making any sense).

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Re: AC Re: They have learned actually

"Whether gay people are in a majority is irrelevant. The issue is whether they should be included or excluded by the game makers.

In most progressive societies, the consensus is that it's wrong to discriminate on sex, race, sexual orientation etc.

You're either pro-equality, or anti-equality."

So you want realistic depiction of gay relationships in ALL games, just to avoid the inevitable bitching and labeling as 'homophobic' by deliberately-looking-for-offence groups like GLAAD? OK, that means a lot of game patching. In WW2 games like 'Medal of Honor', they'd have to add a bit at character creation to ask if you want to play as a gay soldier (or lesbian nurse, I suppose, for 'inclusiveness'). Of course, right after creation the game would deviate and, instead of fighting, your gay soldier gets arrested for sodomy, court martialled and ejected from the military with a permanent medical record note of being 'mentally defective'. The new thread in the games is how, whilst the straight soldiers play the original game, your gay character has to return to civvie street and 'fight' to find a job in the historically-accurate 1940s anti-gay US. You could even add in a bit on how the FBI spies on you as a possible subversive. Sounds like a winner to me! Of course, in games where you play on the Nazi side you'd just get a new level where you get sent to a concentration camp. Oh, sorry, was that level of realistic depiction not what you wanted?

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Re: AC They have learned actually

Quote: " Of course, right after creation the game would deviate and, instead of fighting, your gay soldier gets arrested for sodomy, "

That is if he was lucky enough to be a US soldier. If he was a UK soldier or a USSR soldier that would have been a jail sentence, criminal record and a lifetime ban from working for the government or any of its contractors. In USSR that would have been GULAG too - under the same section as the enemies of the state (one of the subsections of article 58).

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Re: They have learned actually

What about non-equality?

We really *are* all different. Women can conceive and give birth; men (currently) cannot. Some of us are left-handed. Some of us have different skin pigmentation. Some of us grew up multi-lingual, while others might never, ever understand what it means to be able to see the world from multiple points of view. Some of us are born into poverty, or into great wealth, or into dysfunctional families, or into loving families. And so on and endlessly on.

True equality isn't possible, short of a global, massive – and very intrusive – government-mandated genetic programme, coupled with family and childcare standardisation, all on a level that would make the 2-metre-high docs for ITIL look like a short story.

I'm much more interested in the French philosophy: Vive la différence! Stop trying to homogenise humanity and just grow the f*ck up. Everyone is different, but that's a good thing. Because being different can be a strength.

What we need far more of are policies that level the playing field. We cannot do anything to change our own differences, but we can change our environment to ensure those differences can become advantages rather than obstacles.

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Re: AC They have learned actually

That's even ignoring the issue that "realistic" games are not realistic at all.

Most soldiers don't get one kill in a 6-12 month stint, let alone in 5 minutes. Real war is 99% boredom and 1% living hell. Real war is so damn boring nobody would want to play a real war game.

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It's just a damn game and all this has done is re-enforce the stereotype that gamers have no lives and the gay agenda has no sense of finesse, discretion or boundaries.

That's what's been learned here.

In fact, this is such a major blunder for gay rights, I wonder if it's a false flag op?

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Happy

Re: ecofeco

"..... I wonder if it's a false flag op?" Nope, GLAAD are notorious for exactly such vocal protestations. They're not even gamers, they are a media group that see themselves as the 'amplifier' of the voice of the gay, lez, bi and trannie 'community', whether that community asks them to or not. It's always fun when dealing with such fashionable protest groups, especially when they are insisting on the inclusion of gays in every activity, to ask them if they have any straight, black males on their board? Always good for a laugh to watch them trying to defend their own lack of 'inclusiveness'.

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FAIL

Re: They have learned actually

"...and you're a cultural marxist."

Wow, I never realised the Torygraph/Stormfront demographic pitched up here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They have learned actually

@Sean Timarco Baggaley "I'm much more interested in the French philosophy: Vive la différence! "

Great, but where's the tolerance if you want to speak your own minority language in France? One country, one language.

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Re: They have learned actually

Not to mention that most of these games are aimed at children.

Not something which comes naturally to the LGT's and there are plenty of people for whom unusual relationships would place the game out of contention.

Did I mention games are aimed at children? Sexual relationships before puberty are irrelevant - why would you want to sexualise something aimed at kids? The natural environment for children is to have a male and female parent. It doesn't matter what laws you pass, children aren't really found under gooseberry bushes and that doesn't change.

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Re: The natural environment for children is to have a male and female parent.

The natural environment for children is outside. Don't hear you railing against houses.

It's much more important for children to have a loving home environment, one loving mother or two loving dads is better than a male and female parent who hate each other and fight all the time.

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Who?

I really wonder at people's thought processes sometimes. The only rights a customer has are to get what they paid for, and, the right to not buy a specific thing. Customers sure as hell don't have the right to demand anything from a company.

If customers want a gay marriage simulator but that feature isn't included in the product of a particular company then tough shit.

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Re: Who?

How about if it didn't allow interracial marriages?

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Re: Who?

The only rights a customer has are to get what they paid for...

And there's the rub. What did the customer pay for? If the ad states that marriage [unqualified] is an included feature, how should that be interpreted?

We have societal structures to define marriage, but they're in flux, and besides that, simulation games are not restricted by societal structures. That is, in fact the attraction of most of them: they allow people to explore possibilities they are unable to explore in real life.

If marriage is coded into a simulation game, code would have to be specifically written to check the genders of the two characters getting married. That means that gay marriage would be enabled by default in any such simulation, until someone deliberately considered the possibility and specifically chose to disallow the functionality of gay marriage. They would have to do additional work to turn off the possibility, as nicely illustrated by the "bug" allowing male-male marriage in the original release.

So it is not an unreasonable argument for a customer to claim that they believed "marriage" would not be restricted in the game, and it is an unreasonable argument to claim that additional development work is necessary to "enable" a feature which had to have been intentionally disabled to begin with.

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Re: Who?

"How about if it didn't allow interracial marriages?"

Oh oh, I can play that game too!!!

How about if it DID allow bestiality? Plural Marriages? B&D?

In other words, please stay on topic and avoid conflating homosexual behavior with race (whatever that is), okay? It has yet to be proved that there is any "gay gene," and I for one am tired of seeing it assumed that there is one. The day such a gene is shown to exist unequivocally, I will be happy to change my tune.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who?

Whilst I don't particularly care about the game and am not commenting about that, your comment makes me sick.

I'm sure there isn't a gay gene, but I am sure that your genetics do make the way your brain is wired to make you attracted to the same sex.

Ergo, the comparison to interracial marriages is valid as it is two people, who have no choice about their situation not being able to be married. In that way both are the same. The same would be true of aristocracy and peasants in the past.

Beastiality is an entirely different thing and always totted out against gay people by sick people whose mind always seems to drift to either that or necrophilia. It says more about the person making the comment than about gay people.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Who?

I'll boycott the game if I can't get married in it in Jim Jones' Peoples Temple!

I see lots of Kool-Aid drinkers here...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who?

I never said I would boycott the game, in fact I was quite explicit in saying that it didn't bother me, even though I am in a same sex marriage. It is a game and if you want to play it, play it, if you don't then don't.

The comment is what bothered me...

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Boffin

Re: Who?

If they wanted to do it properly they would have to have a smaller proportion of each gender who are attracted to their own gender and who have to somehow find each other in the first place, otherwise it would just be a free-for-all. That's probably quite a change to the game's mechanics and not like a simple bug in a check that could be fixed with a patch.

Then when they've solved that problem, they'd have to simulate bis too...

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Re: Who?

That’s not the case is it?

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Re: Who?

I don't mean to comment on the topic at large here, but your post makes the kind of assumptions that non-programmer bosses and customers tend to make.

The fact the "bug" existed in the previous release might have had far-ranging implications on the game's quality. It may be that it was a "Bug" (it would seem weird that women couldn't marry), and that by not fixing it - the game would stop being able to progress, not be able to load a savegame later, miss out parts of any plot, Not be able to draw animations and bug out. There are endless possibilities on why that might be a "bug" and not a moral thing.

The issue I experience is: I get given spec, and deliver that spec - then people want to change it AFTER the product is delivered, and assume it is trivial to do these things.

I am not having a dig at you Steve, but I am not looking to going back to my desk on Monday, and your post fired a million resentful neurons.

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Re: Who?

Says Anonymous Coward:

"I'm sure there isn't a gay gene, but I am sure that your genetics do make the way your brain is wired to make you attracted to the same sex. Ergo, the comparison to interracial marriages is valid as it is two people, who have no choice about their situation not being able to be married. In that way both are the same."

You seem to be a bit confused about genes 'n stuff. See, "genetics" is a term that refers to genes. Your statement agrees there is no gay gene, then goes on to assert that very thing, and you then assume your weird assertion equals proof and thus justifies your earlier comment.

I would advise you to stay anonymous.

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Re: How about if it didn't allow interracial marriages?

That's not a real thing.

Consider. Why would there be races in this game? Can't I just create a Mii with dark skin, slanted eyes and long straight blond hair?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who?

I said no gene. Singular. One. Working by itself.

Genetics is the interaction of all of the genes. Multiple, plural, working together.

So, no single gene, but genes working together to make the hard connections in the brain is something that must occur (unless it's something that develops in the womb through the various hormonal washes etc)

I'm sure there isn't a gene that makes my little finger the shape it is either, and yet it is genetics that determine the basic.shape it turns out to be.

So, no, nothing wrong in my assertion, just your ability to understand the difference between a single thing working in solo and groups of things working in tandem.

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Re: allowing bestiality?

Isn't there already a game called "Animal Crossing"?

In the current case (and also in Animal Crossing), I do not see why there is any particular programming difficulty in just letting any two players marry. It's just deliberately excluded.

Polyamory might be a bit more difficult to implement. I gather that this is also the case in real life. It's a lot harder for three or more people to get along in a relationship, than for two. But I've never been there myself, so don't take my word for it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who?

"your genetics do make the way your brain is wired to make you attracted to the same sex."

I find it more likely it's at least partly a choice - in my experience a significant proportion of gays look obviously weird e.g. - are effeminate / manly as inappropriate and hence would find it more difficult to attract the opposite sex in life.

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Re: Who?

Says Anonymous Coward:

"So, no, nothing wrong in my assertion, just your ability to understand the difference between a single thing working in solo and groups of things working in tandem."

You must be aware that "gay gene" has always has been a catchall term for whatever might cause (or not cause) sexual orientation, so your attempt to cast me as ignorant of this fact I find laughable, not to mention pathetic.

But if you really did think that "gay gene" meant just one gene specifically, then I apologize for my earlier remark. Given such ignorance, your original remarks make perfect sense and I should not have taken the tone I did.

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Re: Big John

There's no conflation of sexual orientation with race in my words. Nintendo can do what it likes with its game, but do you believe there wouldn't be a huge outcry if interracial marriage wasn't allowed in the game? The point, evidently sailing right over your head, is that it's not okay to discriminate on basis of sexual orientation any more than it is on basis of race.

Since you're so fond of playing games with other people's words, did you just compare same sex marriage to bestiality? Is it you, Cory Bernardi?

And what's this nonsense about a gay gene? The development of living organisms is a function of more than just their genetic code. Your demand for some arbitrary and unreasonable level of proof that may well not even exist (and which seems to be based on ignorance) makes a mockery of your position.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Big John

If I was nintendo I'd just remove the functionality from the next game all together and when asked why go

"Well we had a choice between blow hard LGBT groups crawling up our arses or blow hard conservative groups crawling up our arses - and in the end we thought 'ah fuck this for a game of soldiers' and ripped the whole lot out for when we sold it to you barbarians outside of Japan"

As so many other Japanese games suffer from - le sigh~~~~

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