Because Animal Crossing has been used a lot by companies and organisations lately, from politicians to furniture stores to talk shows, Nintendo has decided to lay down some rules for what kind of content these groups can and can’t use in their game. This being Nintendo, there are some catches.
The full breakdown can be read here—Animal Crossing: New Horizons Usage Guidelines for Businesses and Organizations—but for the purposes of this post we’ll be looking at one point in particular.
Among the expected stuff, like “do not engage in activities that go beyond the [age] rating” and “do not deceive others while using the Game” is this:
Please refrain from using the Game inappropriately or creating any content within the Game that would be considered vulgar, discriminatory, or offensive. Please also refrain from bringing politics into the Game.
It’s almost sweet in its naivety, both because almost everything is political, but also because Nintendo actually think they can police this.
It also sucks, though, because who are Nintendo to decide where the boundaries for most of this stuff lie? What’s political and what’s not? Is there a tribunal inside Nintendo somewhere with a chart mapped out? Was the blandness of Biden Island too much for their sensibilities? Was AOC’s friendly engagement somehow a betrayal of the game’s mean-hearted, mortgage-based spirit?
Of course not. The issue here, as it always is with Nintendo, is control.
Let’s end this on a reminder: this only applies to companies and organisations, not people’s personal use of the game.