The 2020 presidential campaign is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Not only has the current White House occupant bastardized the whole idea of politics as we know it, but the ongoing pandemic has completely altered the way candidates connect with the voting public. After holding a completely virtual Democratic National Convention, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris campaign has doubled down on digital campaigning by making the move to Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
As of today, September 1st, gamers are able to add four lawn signs to their Animal Crossing islands showing support for the Democratic ticket. There’s a standard Biden-Harris sign; a Joe Pride sign; a “Team Joe” sign; and a sign featuring Biden’s hallmark aviator sunglasses in red, white, and blue. To access the signage, players can scan the design QR codes (below) using the Nintendo Switch Online app.
“It is an exciting new opportunity for our campaign to engage and connect Biden-Harris supporters as they build and decorate their islands,” Christian Tom, the Biden campaign’s director of digital partnership, told The Verge. “As we enter the final campaign stretch towards November, this is one way we are finding new creative and innovative ways to meet voters where they are and bring our supporters together.”
And apparently there’s more to come. “This is just the start of how we plan to engage players ahead of November as we’re already looking forward to rolling out more digital swag, voter education tools, and organizing efforts on Animal Crossing and other platforms,” explained Tom.
Some might feel politicizing a friendly, escapist video game is a tad misconceived, but you gotta hand it to the Biden campaign, it’s also pretty savvy. After all, the opposition mobilized Facebook to great effect during the last election cycle. Considering how loathed that platform has become and how beloved Animal Crossing is, this new frontier of political publicity could prove potent.