China bans ‘Animal Crossing’ After Players Use It To Protest

Player of Animal Crossing: New Horizons protesting against Chinese government policies.

The government protests against China to free Hong Kong continue as some of the activists get creative by moving their demonstrations onto the popular Nintendo game Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

As people move over to a quarantined lifestyle, many around the globe were expecting the release of the highly-anticipated Switch game Animal Crossing. The simulation game allows you to customize your own island and hang out with the villagers, as well as visit your friends’ islands and have fun together. You can also create your own art pieces and communicate with other players.

Hong Kong activists have used these feature to their advantage in order to gather and showcase their protests against the Chinese government. They used the art customization feature and decorated their islands with protest slogans and pictures of Chinese government officials.

China took notice of this and started banning the game across the nation. The game wasn’t yet available in China, but Nintendo Switch users can buy imported versions of the game simply by changing their region on their account. This is why the Chinese government banned the main hub of imported games, Taobao, from selling the game.

It is increasingly interesting how people are thinking outside the box to use platforms as wholesome as the Animal Crossing franchise and making it into their tools to protest.

Even though this is not an American issue, it is incredibly important, not only because history is being made (I highly suggest you read about the Hong Kong issue), but also because of the opportunities new digital technologies like these make possible.



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