1. ITV Report

Nintendo game slammed for refusal of gay characters

The computer game giant Nintendo has been slammed by equality campaigners for refusing to allow same-sex marriage in its new game Tomodachi Life.

Nintendo, famous for plumbers Mario and Luigi, have refused to allow gamers to play as gay or lesbian characters and offer a same-sex marriage option in the handheld game.

Nintendo, famous for plumbers Mario and Luigi, have refused to allow gamers to play as gay or lesbian characters in the new game Credit: Reuters

The Japanese game, which is due to be launched in the West in June, is meant to represent an alternative world where players can create Mii characters to look like themselves and interact with other players.

Gay gamer Tye Marini, 23, has launched an online campaign calling for the legalisation of same sex marriage in the Tomodachi world between Mii characters.

I want to be able to marry my real-life fiance's Mii. You import your personalised characters into the game. You name them.

You give them a personality. You give them a voice. They just can't fall in love if they're gay.

– Tye Marini
Tomodachi Life allows gamers to fall in love other players' characters - as long as they are of the opposite sex. Credit: SWNS

Tomodachi Life allows players to earn money, make friends, and fall in love with other players' characters - as long as they are of the opposite sex.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewell spoke to ITV News about Nintendo's refusal of gay characters.

Many game producers already include lesbian, gay and bisexual characters in their gameplay and story lines.

It just seems like good business sense to attract as many gamers as possible – including those that want to have a virtual same-sex relationship.

– Richard Lane, Media Manager, Stonewall

In a statement, Nintendo said: "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.

"The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan."

Some gamers took to Twitter to express their opinion using the hashtag #miiquality: