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lindagray

Nintendo : LGBT themes by company or market

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Company policies
Nintendo

In order to legally release a game for a Nintendo system, a developer must first obtain permission from Nintendo, which reserves the right to preview the games and demand changes before allowing their release. In this way, Nintendo exercises quality control and can prevent any content they deem objectionable or offensive from being released on their systems. Prior to the introduction of the Entertainment Software Rating Board in 1994, a game sold for a Nintendo system could neither display, nor make reference to, illicit drugs, tobacco and alcohol, violence against women, blood and graphic violence, profanity, nudity, religious symbols, political advocacy, or "sexually suggestive or explicit content."

In 1988, a creature in Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. 2, the miniboss named Birdo, was described in the original instruction manual as thinking he was a girl and wanting to be called "Birdetta". This was later censored by Nintendo of America in future appearances of the character. In 1992, Enix was ordered to remove a gay bar from Dragon Warrior III, among other content changes, before the game could be sold for a Nintendo system. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) version of Ultima VII also had to be substantially altered from its original computer edition in order to remove potentially objectionable content, including ritual murders, and the option to have a male or female "bedmate" if the player paid a fee at the buccaneer-run island.

By the late 1990s, Nintendo had largely abandoned these censorship policies, as they felt the inclusion of ESRB ratings on the packaging would suitably communicate to consumers whether potentially objectionable content could be found in the game. In 2000, British video game developer Rare released Banjo-Tooie for the Nintendo 64, featuring a gay frog bartender named "Jolly Roger." The frog wanted Banjo and Kazooie to rescue his co-worker, Merry Maggie, a cross-dressing amphibian who appeared to be Jolly Roger's lover. Jolly Roger would return as a playable character in the Game Boy Advance game Banjo-Pilot (2005). Rare would also release Conker's Bad Fur Day (2001) for the Nintendo 64, featuring an alcoholic squirrel named Conker and his adventures in a world where all of the characters are foul-mouthed creatures who made various dirty jokes in reference to hangovers, homosexuality and oral sex. Enix Corporation re-released Dragon Warrior III for the Game Boy Color and was allowed to keep all of the original content, provided the game was given a Teen rating by the ESRB.

Although there is no policy anymore against featuring such content, Nintendo has come under fire for omitting the option of same-sex romance and LGBT expression in their franchises (as well as third-party games released on Nintendo Consoles) on several occasions, with the most notable and vocal controversy stemming from the video game Tomodachi Life. Marriage plays a big role in the game, which does not include the option of same-sex marriage.

wikipedia.org

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