It’s September 1, the 2020 election is barely two months away, and the Biden campaign has hit the ground running with some very official Animal Crossing: New Horizons designs for players to show support for the Democratic ticket throughout their islands.
As The Verge reports, there are four separate designs. The first features the official Biden-Harris logo; the second says “Team Joe;” the third consists of a trio of red, white, and blue aviators; and the fourth is a Joe Pride logo where the “E” is made up of colors from the gay pride flag. Like other custom designs in the game, players can access the signs by scanning QR codes with the Switch Online app and then downloading them directly into the game.
I guess when a bunch of Democratic strategists realized projecting a Fortnite-like hologram of Joe Biden across the Grand Canyon wasn’t feasible, they settled for the next closest thing to pander to the youths. Still, it’s a step up from Pokemon “Go to the polls,” a testament to the sort of incremental progress Joe Biden has built his career on.
“Animal Crossing is a dynamic, diverse, and powerful platform that brings communities together from across the world,” the Biden campaigns director of digital partnerships, Christian Tom, told The Verge. “It is an exciting new opportunity for our campaign to engage and connect Biden-Harris supporters as they build and decorate their islands.” The campaign is apparently working with certain influencers to try to advertise the in-game signage.
Even before politicians tried to start getting in on the action, players were using Animal Crossing’s open and easy-to-use custom design creator to make their own political statements. In April, amidst ongoing protests in Hong Kong, activists used it to spread messages like “Free Hong Kong.” More recently, Black Lives Matter supporters have been using the tool to protest systemic racism and the ongoing extrajudicial killings of Black people across the country. Black Lives Matter is notably absent from any of the Biden 2020 Animal Crossing designs.