The Japanese electronics company Nintendo has reportedly fixed a glitch in one of its life simulation games that allowed one male character to marry another male character and raise children together.
The highly popular 3DS game, "Tomodachi Collection: New Life," has reportedly been at the top of Japan's software charts for the past several weeks, and involves players having control over their characters, including the ability to design a character, feed it, dress it, and make it perform tasks.
Although the game's apparent glitch allows male characters to date and marry other men, it does not allow the same for women.
According to the video-game focused blog Kotaku, although the Nintendo company has not directly addressed the glitch, they have reportedly worked out a "patch," or updated it to correct the error, which can be downloaded to a user's Tomodachi device.
The consumer electronics company said in a brief statement that the purpose of the patch was to, among other things, fix "human relations that become strange."
The patch also fixes the inability to boot up the game, error messages, and the inability to save data.
As Jennifer Amlie for The Examiner writes, although the description of the game's same-sex marriage error appears to be strange, it could be a translation issue, or it could be because this series of games is angled toward the family market.
"While this is a translation, it is still an odd way to address the same-sex relationships in the game. However, Nintendo might be referring to the fact that male characters in the game could get pregnant," Amlie wrote.
"There has also been speculation that Nintendo did not want to include homosexual marriage in the game because 'New Life' is a kid-friendly title," Amlie added.
Additionally, blogger Brian Ashcraft of Kotaku wrote last week that the game's apparent bug was reportedly gathering more customers, who thought the option of a same-sex marriage was simply a feature of the game.
"One Twitter user claims to have contacted Nintendo's customer support, which supposedly said this is a bug and that the game needs to be patched," Ashcraft wrote last week.
"Online in Japan, however, there were many Internet users who said they planned on getting this game only after learning of this bug-er, feature," Ashcraft added.
Those wishing to keep playing the game with the ability to have male same-sex marriages do not have to download the updated repair, although they may eventually experience other issues with error messages.
The game allows the player to adopt an avatar, or a "Mii," and give it their own persona and then control it when it encounters various life events, such as dating, marrying, and having children.
The goal of the game is to keep your "Mii' alive and thriving.
This new, popular Tomodachi game is reportedly not available for sale in U.S. markets, and the Japanese company has no plans to release it abroad.
This isn't the first time an electronic game has introduced same-sex marriage.
For example, the 2010 Facebook game FrontierVille, developed by Zynga, featured a glitch which allowed for same-sex marriage, but because it was well received by players, the creators ultimately chose not to fix the problem.
Additionally, the Sims 3 game included same-sex couples to be able to marry in 2009, following previous editions which only allowed same-sex couples to live together or "join," but not officially wed.
Nintendo has long prided itself as being an anti-controversial, family-oriented gaming company suitable for children, and therefore many tech bloggers say the recent decision to remove the game's same-sex marriage glitch is unsurprising.
"While some companies have intentionally included the ability to form gay relationships in their games, Nintendo has a reputation of being a family-friendly company that won't even let players communicate with each other save through a series of pre-approved phrases," Fox Van Allen wrote for the Techlicious Blog.
Additionally, same-sex marriage is not officially recognized in Japan.