Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

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Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#1

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:06 am

I guess it won't be long until Wario x Waluigi is officially canon.

https://www.videogameschronicle.com/new ... sing-lgbt/
Animal Crossing: New Horizons could include some of the first known LGBT characters in a Nintendo title, according to fans.

One character in the game, CJ, makes multiple references to his male “partner” Flick, according to a user on Resetera.

Another character in the game, Merry, seemingly makes reference to a pair of Lesbian lovers when players ask her to tell them a “romantic comedy”.

2019’s Fire Emblem: Three Houses allowed some gay romance options, although these were player-driven decisions.

The Switch exclusive makes a number of other changes designed to increase inclusivity, including the removal of binary ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ gender classification, and the ability for characters to wear all types of clothing.

However, many of these changes are reportedly missing in the Japanese version of the game, which is said to include binary gender options and none of the LGBT character references.





According to one Twitter user, character CJ’s references to his “partner” appear as “friend” in the Japanese version of New Horizons. It does, however, include the ability to customise characters however players want.

The Animal Crossing series has previously seen localisation changes related to gender in the opposite direction.

2013’s New Leaf features two male characters – Gracie and Saharah – who in the Japanese version speak in “an extremely feminine manner,” according to Legends of Localization. Both characters had their genders changed to female for the Western release.

The director of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Aya Kyogoku recently said that the decision to addflexible character customisation to the game was “not just about gender,” but relates to the team’s overall feeling that “society is shifting to valuing a lot of people’s different identities.”

“We basically wanted to create a game where users didn’t really have to think about gender or if they wanted to think about gender, they’re also able to,” she told The Washington Post this month.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons released last week and is reportedly Nintendo Switch’s biggest launch to date in Japan.

According to Geo Corporation data, in its first three days New Horizons sold more than the 1.3 million units previous record holder Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield sold during the same time span.

UPDATE: Animal Crossing: New Horizons has had a huge launch in Japan, selling 1.88m and propelling Switch hardware to its biggest ever week.

ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES: In the UK, Animal Crossing: New Horizons also achieved the biggest launch for a single Nintendo Switch game.

The Switch exclusive’s launch sales were 3.5 times bigger than the last game in the series, 2013’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf on Nintendo 3DS, according to VGC network partner GI.biz.
Now, sure, "who cares" but others are literally saying "LESBIANS IN ANIMAL CROSSING???,!!,!,!:$:$:$: GIVE ME IT NOW" so I think having an opposite and actually less...intense take is fair. I'm sure some parents are being blindsided by this cute kid's game rated E for Everyone starring adorable animals and bright colors slipping this content in here; this isn't Fire Emblem where its inclusion is less controversial.

This doesn't matter to me personally since I am not a fan of Animal Crossing, but this is a disappointing trend by Nintendo (it's fine to be disappointed if others can be, like in the above Tweet: "I'm disappointed with jpn ver😔") and I'm just not looking forward to playing BOXPERSON!, Father 4, or Chibi-Robo!: Protest Patrol in five or so years.

It sure sold like crazy though, I wouldn't be surprised is this inspired Nintendo to include another Animal Crossing character in SSBU via DLC. Anyway, thoughts on the content changes and how well it sold, I guess?

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#2

Post by Calamity Panfan » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:34 am

in a game featuring like thousands and thousands of lines of fast paced dialogue there is one line of dialogue that refers to a same-sex couple in a story and another where a male character calls another male character his "partner" which could have several meanings

wont somebody think of the children

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#3

Post by CaptHayfever » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:10 am

I'm more concerned that Animal Crossing teaches kids to accept predatory home loans.

And remember, "I'm-a Luigi, number one!"

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#4

Post by Sim Kid » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:33 am

How dare they include heterosexual themes in games that're rated "E" and movies that're rated "G" or "PG". Someone please think of the children! They might grow up to be heterosexual or think that's supposed to be NORMAL.

....also I like how nobody mentions that Fire Emblem Three Houses lets you not only reject people when they hit on you, but choose to marry nobody in the end... and you don't get punished for it. (Whereas Awakening and Fates punished you for playing your avatar as Asexual or Aromantic by denying you playable characters and paralogues.)

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#5

Post by X-3 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:39 am

Kind of an aside (and probably dumb) question here, but do a lot of kids even play Animal Crossing? Seems like way too much of a slowburner. Maybe I'm just projecting.

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#6

Post by I am nobody » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:03 pm

I can't imagine there's anything going on right now more likely to result in long-term scarring to a four year old than a gay video game cat. Think of the children!

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#7

Post by VG_Addict » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:43 pm


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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#8

Post by RinkuTheFirst » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:19 pm

Now, sure, "who cares" but others are literally saying "LESBIANS IN ANIMAL CROSSING???,!!,!,!:$:$:$: GIVE ME IT NOW" so I think having an opposite and actually less...intense take is fair. I'm sure some parents are being blindsided by this cute kid's game rated E for Everyone starring adorable animals and bright colors slipping this content in here; this isn't Fire Emblem where its inclusion is less controversial.

God forbid that queer people be excited about possible representation in the media they like.

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#9

Post by Marilink » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:40 pm

CaptHayfever wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:10 am
I'm more concerned that Animal Crossing teaches kids to accept predatory home loans.

And remember, "I'm-a Luigi, number one!"
Ah yes, the predatory home loan of, uh, giving you a 0 interest, 0 money down, no late fees, no-time-limit-whatsoever arrangement

I WILL NOT ACCEPT TOM NOOK SLANDER, CAPT, HE’S A GOOD MAN

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#10

Post by RinkuTheFirst » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:00 pm

Marilink wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:40 pm
CaptHayfever wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:10 am
I'm more concerned that Animal Crossing teaches kids to accept predatory home loans.

And remember, "I'm-a Luigi, number one!"
Ah yes, the predatory home loan of, uh, giving you a 0 interest, 0 money down, no late fees, no-time-limit-whatsoever arrangement

I WILL NOT ACCEPT TOM NOOK SLANDER, CAPT, HE’S A GOOD MAN
In the very first game, he does threaten to send raccoon goons after you if you don't pay at least every week. He also forces you into home upgrades.

He's reformed since then, but early impressions stick.

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#11

Post by smol Kat » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:00 pm

^Friend of mine informed me that the raccoon goons did eventually collect, and even though I'm pretty sure that's fake you're not wrong.
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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#12

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:14 am

Sim Kid wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:33 am
How dare they include heterosexual themes in games that're rated "E" and movies that're rated "G" or "PG". Someone please think of the children! They might grow up to be heterosexual or think that's supposed to be NORMAL.

....also I like how nobody mentions that Fire Emblem Three Houses lets you not only reject people when they hit on you, but choose to marry nobody in the end... and you don't get punished for it. (Whereas Awakening and Fates punished you for playing your avatar as Asexual or Aromantic by denying you playable characters and paralogues.)
Parents should be in the position to decide what they teach their kids, not sure why people on the left want to undermine that responsibility so much... I'm sure if media, school, etc were pushing Christianity today there'd be an uproar of "muh indoctrination to da sky fairy, infringes muh rites" and most people defending this type of thing would be singing a different tune.

Not sure what you mean by Fire Emblem punishing players. I didn't play Awakening or anything after it (I don't plan to, I prefer the pre-Awakening games) but I assume you mean you can marry and produce offspring, thereby creating new characters with stories? That doesn't seem like punishment but a content reward for playing a certain way, otherwise how can you see your offspring's story (I assume, as I haven't played) without...creating them? How'd that change in TH, they just didn't include that type of content?
X-3 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:39 am
Kind of an aside (and probably dumb) question here, but do a lot of kids even play Animal Crossing? Seems like way too much of a slowburner. Maybe I'm just projecting.
I honestly don't know. It certainly seems designed in a way which appeals to young children even more than most of Nintendo's other properties. Middle aged Italian men are surprisingly appealing to them too, but there's something distinctly "for children" about chibi anthropomorphized animals smiling it up on a bright, cheerful island. Older kids are probably more into CoD or Fortnite or whatever though.


RinkuTheFirst wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:19 pm
Now, sure, "who cares" but others are literally saying "LESBIANS IN ANIMAL CROSSING???,!!,!,!:$:$:$: GIVE ME IT NOW" so I think having an opposite and actually less...intense take is fair. I'm sure some parents are being blindsided by this cute kid's game rated E for Everyone starring adorable animals and bright colors slipping this content in here; this isn't Fire Emblem where its inclusion is less controversial.

God forbid that queer people be excited about possible representation in the media they like.
The "media they like" is the point of contention in this case. I don't think anyone was think-of-the-childrening about Brokeback Mountain.

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#13

Post by I am nobody » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:28 am

The problem here is that you're demanding they be in a position to pretend entire demographics don't exist. There's no right to making everyone you don't like hide from your kids, especially not in media. If you think it's possible to prevent your kids from learning about 10% of the population, it's on you to figure out how to do that, not on everyone else to help you.

And who even gets to decide what groups should be hidden? What if I'm vegan and don't want my kids to know about meat eating? Fundamentalist (of any religion) and don't want them seeing other belief systems? What makes a gay cat specifically undeserving of an E rating?

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#14

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:55 am

I am nobody wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:28 am
The problem here is that you're demanding they be in a position to pretend entire demographics don't exist. There's no right to making everyone you don't like hide from your kids, especially not in media. If you think it's possible to prevent your kids from learning about 10% of the population, it's on you to figure out how to do that, not on everyone else to help you.

And who even gets to decide what groups should be hidden? What if I'm vegan and don't want my kids to know about meat eating? Fundamentalist (of any religion) and don't want them seeing other belief systems? What makes a gay cat specifically undeserving of an E rating?
That's a fantastic mischaracterization of my position, if I didn't know any better I'd say it was purposeful. You're acting like it's so very difficult to not promote immoral lifestyles to impressionable young children, or to at least alert parents about such content. The ESRB warns you if there's simulated gambling, references to alcohol, crude humor, and other such things. You trying to tell me that because it hurts your feelings that creating additional content descriptors isn't reasonable?

You're far more level headed than to pretend that I believe there's a right to "make everyone I don't like hide", alright? If we're going to discuss this let's do it rated M for Mature (may contain logical arguments, civil discussions, and respectful disagreements).

I wouldn't be opposed to a more detailed and nuanced ESRB, if you think you've caught me in some clever trap because I eat meat then you're wrong as I'd not oppose such an ESRB descriptor. If they don't already, I'd also find a religious content warning fair (and desirable) as well despite being religious myself. I'm not going to bawl my eyes out because some people would prefer to keep their household free of religious influence, it's a free country and everyone has a right to maintain their household as they see fit (within law, of course).

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#15

Post by smol Kat » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:12 am

You are conflating choices (drinking, gambling, dick jokes) with a person's (well, cat's, apparently) innate characteristics. And if you want to talk about "within law," see Obergefell. That's right, folks, kitty can damn well be gay! It's within law!
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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#16

Post by I am nobody » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:09 am

I'm sure some parents are being blindsided by this cute kid's game rated E for Everyone starring adorable animals and bright colors slipping this content in here; this isn't Fire Emblem where its inclusion is less controversial.
Parents should be in the position to decide what they teach their kids, not sure why people on the left want to undermine that responsibility so much...
You objected to the rating, not the lack of descriptors, and furthermore the descriptors you've just suggested (gambling, alcohol, not sure about crude humor) are for T-rated games. How is that not demanding a right for parents to pretend gay characters don't exist? You're asking for them to be forced into a rating that is explicitly not for children. Note the "especially not in media" in that sentence - I didn't say you're trying to make gay people hide, but the effect of your demand is to hide gay characters.

My other point was one I've brought up in threads like this before: why is this deserving of a label? You have to either take the position that there's something uniquely bad about it - which you haven't in this thread or earlier ones - or that it's just one of many things that gets a label. Once you've taken the latter, where does it end? Meat and religion get to come in, but what else? Does Zelda get a label for depicting fictional religion? Driving games for endorsing unsafe behavior? Some people might object to games having "lives" or the undead, to a game being overly or insufficiently patriotic, to perceived endorsement or condemnation of socialist ideals, to magic, talking back to parents, acknowledging holidays like Halloween or Easter, and on, and on, and on. If you make a label for everyone anyone could possibly be offended by, you get a novel-length descriptor no one will ever read. If you limit the list, someone has to be the arbiter of what offenses are deserving and which aren't.

At the end of the day, the reality is that parents who want to shield their kids from things not broadly accepted as being inappropriate have to be their own morality police. No one is making you buy Animal Crossing for kids, and no one is stopping you from making your own rating system that does warn about gay cats. But by the same token, Nintendo and the ESRB are free to not care what you don't want your kids to see.

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#17

Post by Sim Kid » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:43 pm

I REALLY HATE POKEMON! wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:14 am
Not sure what you mean by Fire Emblem punishing players. I didn't play Awakening or anything after it (I don't plan to, I prefer the pre-Awakening games) but I assume you mean you can marry and produce offspring, thereby creating new characters with stories? That doesn't seem like punishment but a content reward for playing a certain way, otherwise how can you see your offspring's story (I assume, as I haven't played) without...creating them? How'd that change in TH, they just didn't include that type of content?
You answered your own question. Negative punishment.

Imagine if Fire emblem incentivized you pairing someone supposed to represent you with a person of the same sex by giving you extra characters to recruit and extra chapters (which include experience and items to obtain) to play. I imagine you might have been up in arms about that... incentivizing you to play in a way that makes you uncomfortable, since it's supposed to represent you.

three Houses changes it by not including a second generation, thus not so much incentivizing you to pair up characters (including the one supposed to be you) but not making romance be an important thing becuase it is wartime after all. And during the first phase... it's just schoolyard crushes and hitting on people, even though some people (Sylvain and Dorothea) are a little more flirty than others.

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#18

Post by RinkuTheFirst » Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:43 am

Sim Kid wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:43 pm
You answered your own question. Negative punishment.

Imagine if Fire emblem incentivized you pairing someone supposed to represent you with a person of the same sex by giving you extra characters to recruit and extra chapters (which include experience and items to obtain) to play. I imagine you might have been up in arms about that... incentivizing you to play in a way that makes you uncomfortable, since it's supposed to represent you.

three Houses changes it by not including a second generation, thus not so much incentivizing you to pair up characters (including the one supposed to be you) but not making romance be an important thing becuase it is wartime after all. And during the first phase... it's just schoolyard crushes and hitting on people, even though some people (Sylvain and Dorothea) are a little more flirty than others.
Rune Factory 4 has a similar thing (negative punishment). There's a section that can only be accessed if you have your spouse and child in a party with you. If you choose not to get married and have a child, you can't access that part of the game. Personally, I couldn't marry the character I liked best because they were the same gender as my character. Before anyone jumps in with "durr how would two dudes/chicks have a baby if you got gay married" there's magic, dragons, and this neat real world concept called adoption that exists. Probably would have been too much work to patch in after the fact, but it would be great if the next game had it.

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#19

Post by Sim Kid » Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:01 pm

I know, Fire Emblem 4 had a neat little mechanic if characters didn't get married... they got replaced with substitutes who took their role. (ie, Arthur and Tine got replaced with their cousins Amid and Linda.)

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Re: Western version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons includes "progressive" content design changes and LGBT themes.

#20

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:35 am

smol Kat wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:12 am
You are conflating choices (drinking, gambling, dick jokes) with a person's (well, cat's, apparently) innate characteristics. And if you want to talk about "within law," see Obergefell. That's right, folks, kitty can damn well be gay! It's within law!
I wasn't conflating anything, what I listed were just examples of content some parents may find objectionable which were already used by the ESRB. Also, I shouldn't have to say this, but not everything legal is moral.
I am nobody wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:09 am
You objected to the rating, not the lack of descriptors, and furthermore the descriptors you've just suggested (gambling, alcohol, not sure about crude humor) are for T-rated games. How is that not demanding a right for parents to pretend gay characters don't exist? You're asking for them to be forced into a rating that is explicitly not for children. Note the "especially not in media" in that sentence - I didn't say you're trying to make gay people hide, but the effect of your demand is to hide gay characters.
The rating is determined by the content which has descriptors, so obviously if there's a lack of descriptors to take into account then the rating will be less accurate. Also, you're wrong, the random descriptors I grabbed aren't just for T games. Simulated gambling is in E rated games such as Pokemon Gold (slot machines) just from memory, and I guarantee there's ones with references to alcohol consumption as well (probably crude humor but I don't feel like digging up an example).

What parents don't want to pretend gay characters exist? Where are you getting this odd phrasing from? Even the most virulent, genuine homophobes wouldn't pretend gay characters don't exist, they'd just teach their kids to hate them. Waiting until one's children are older to introduce them to certain matters of sexuality is simply basic prudence, you shouldn't have any issue with that even if you personally disagree. Ratings aren't law and companies technically don't even legally need to have their games rated by the ESRB either, so who exactly is "forcing" anything (yes, console manufacturers do require ESRB ratings compliance but that's those companies' own policies they decided to willfully adopt)? And even if a parent were to see Animal Crossing with a T rating they could still read the descriptors and the information on the back of the box to determine it's acceptable content for their kid ("ok its just some gay cats idc"). Plenty of kids were allowed to play Super Smash Bros Melee despite its T rating, I'd be surprised if even one parent objected to it purely due to its rating and not its actual content, so there's no "hiding" anything.
I am nobody wrote:My other point was one I've brought up in threads like this before: why is this deserving of a label? You have to either take the position that there's something uniquely bad about it - which you haven't in this thread or earlier ones - or that it's just one of many things that gets a label. Once you've taken the latter, where does it end? Meat and religion get to come in, but what else? Does Zelda get a label for depicting fictional religion? Driving games for endorsing unsafe behavior? Some people might object to games having "lives" or the undead, to a game being overly or insufficiently patriotic, to perceived endorsement or condemnation of socialist ideals, to magic, talking back to parents, acknowledging holidays like Halloween or Easter, and on, and on, and on. If you make a label for everyone anyone could possibly be offended by, you get a novel-length descriptor no one will ever read. If you limit the list, someone has to be the arbiter of what offenses are deserving and which aren't.
What do you mean by something "uniquely bad"? Why it deserves a descriptor is why anything deserves one, concern. As for where it ends, common sense should dictate that along with, again, the amount of concern. How many people are actually concerned about games having "lives"? If there were truly a sufficient amount of people who were then I see no reason to deny them a descriptor, but I feel safe in saying that's definitely not the case. I also don't think people use the ESRB as trigger warnings to avoid being "offended", they're to steer parents toward informed purchasing decisions, which they could certainly do a better job of. If descriptor length is an issue then all they need to do is include a QR code to scan or something, it's really not a hurdle.
I am nobody wrote:At the end of the day, the reality is that parents who want to shield their kids from things not broadly accepted as being inappropriate have to be their own morality police. No one is making you buy Animal Crossing for kids, and no one is stopping you from making your own rating system that does warn about gay cats. But by the same token, Nintendo and the ESRB are free to not care what you don't want your kids to see.
You think that every one of the ESRB content descriptors qualifies as something broadly unaccepted by parents? There's probably less people concerned about comic mischief/violence than there are about sexuality issues. I do agree that it's generally a parent's responsibility to ensure that their child's entertainment is acceptable, but that's why it's actually more of a problem when it's brief and tucked away so ingeniously than when something is obvious and promoted directly.

No one is making you not buy Animal Crossing for kids even if it's rated T, so that's not much of a compelling argument. You're right that I can make my own rating system, but then so can those who would feel that gay characters are being "hidden" by the ESRB if these additions were made, so there goes that argument too. Nintendo is free not to care about anything, but the ESRB is supposed to "provide information about what’s in a game or app so parents and consumers can make informed choices about which games are right for their family", so no, they'd have to care. Back when I was a kid this kind of problem didn't exist, but ironically, now that it is there's no way we'd ever get these changes because it's "current year".
Sim Kid wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:43 pm
You answered your own question. Negative punishment.

Imagine if Fire emblem incentivized you pairing someone supposed to represent you with a person of the same sex by giving you extra characters to recruit and extra chapters (which include experience and items to obtain) to play. I imagine you might have been up in arms about that... incentivizing you to play in a way that makes you uncomfortable, since it's supposed to represent you.

three Houses changes it by not including a second generation, thus not so much incentivizing you to pair up characters (including the one supposed to be you) but not making romance be an important thing becuase it is wartime after all. And during the first phase... it's just schoolyard crushes and hitting on people, even though some people (Sylvain and Dorothea) are a little more flirty than others.
But we're all born from heterosexual unions so there should be nothing reasonably uncomfortable to that even for non-heterosexuals. It's not really the same to compare a game depicting the means of all of our existence to homosexual pairings, so I think you have a flawed premise. I can understand wanting such player freedom in an RPG though, that does make sense, but it just shouldn't come as a surprise if heterosexuality is depicted or results in more tangible benefits for players. Developers need to get more creative to find suitable alternatives and workarounds to accommodate every lifestyle (if they so choose), so they go with the default more often than not for obvious reasons.

Just for the record, I'd prefer if most games just left romance out of them, personally, as I find it a hindrance to gameplay more often than not and distracts from actually interesting storytelling. In fact, Fire Emblem Awakening seems to be where they started this focus on relationships and was where I dropped the series out of disinterest (for that among other reasons).

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