Daily Dispatches
the cover of the video game, <em>Tomodachi Life</em>.
Associated Press/Nintendo
the cover of the video game, Tomodachi Life.

Midday Roundup: Nintendo scourged for not allowing fake gay marriages

Newsworthy

Avatar marriage. Nintendo is apologizing for allowing only heterosexual marriages in English editions of a life-simulator video game. The game, Tomodachi Life, features a cast of personalized avatars living on a virtual island. They can shop, play games, go on dates, and get married. Already a hit in Japan, Tomodachi Life is set for release June 6 in North America and Europe. Nintendo said it was too late to change the game before its release, but it would include more options for gay players if it releases a sequel. The issue marks a cultural divide between Japan, where gay marriage is not legal, and North America and Europe.

In the ring. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Sunday on ABC’s This Week that he’s ready to run for president. While he stopped short of confirming his official candidacy, the freshman Republican senator touted his credentials, saying, “I’ll be 43 this month, but the other thing that perhaps people don’t realize is that I’ve served now in public office for the better part of 14 years.” Once considered an early frontrunner, Rubio’s support has dipped lately in GOP presidential polls.

Open to the public. Visitors to the nation’s capitol can once again visit the top of the Washington Monument starting this afternoon. A 5.8-magnitude earthquake damaged the monument in August 2011, and it has been closed for renovations since. If you’re planning to visit this summer, better prepare: Only ticket holders can enter the monument. You either have to book far in advance online or try to snag one of the limited number of same-day tickets.

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Semi-retired. Fox has announced plans to downsize American Idol next spring from two nights a week to one. The move acknowledges that the once uncontested king of reality TV has aged past its prime. But it could be worse: The X-Factor, an Idol-wannabe show founded by former Idol judge Simon Cowell, got cancelled altogether.

Balloon disaster. Authorities have identified two of the people aboard a hot air balloon that crashed Friday evening in Virginia as members of the University of Richmond’s athletic staff. University administrators said in a news release that associate head basketball coach Ginny Doyle and director of basketball operations Natalie Lewis were two of the three people who died in the crash. The third person, presumably the pilot, has not been identified. The balloon flew into power lines and burst into flames at the special preview night for the Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival, which was set to open Saturday. The festival was canceled. About 740 people attended the preview event.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lynde Langdon
Lynde Langdon

Lynde lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. She holds degrees from the University of Missouri in journalism, Russian, and business administration. She is in a long-term, committed relationship with the Lutheran church. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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