This week Nintendo announced that Tomodachi Life, a sim where Nintendo Mii avatars hang out, socialising on a virtual island, will be coming soon to Western markets.

In Tomodachi Life, Mii avatars can also get married, but only to Miis of the opposite gender. A fan-made petition circulated this week, calling on Nintendo to support marriage equality in the game.

In response to the petition, Nintendo released this waffling statement to the Associated Press:

"Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life. The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. 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, and that game is made up of the same code that was used to localise it for other regions outside of Japan."

As Kotaku correctly points out, denying gay people the right to get married is in itself "social commentary".

"We have heard and thoughtfully considered all the responses. We will continue to listen and think about the feedback. We’re using this as an opportunity to better understand our consumers and their expectations of us at all levels of the organization. We have been looking to broaden our approach to development whenever possible as we put all our energy into continuing to develop fun games that will surprise and delight players."

Tomodachi Life is coming to Nintendo 3DS in June.