The famous Nintendo series Animal Crossing is another game that is targeted towards children with it’s cutesy art-style and minimalist control design. However, the dreadful series should be kept as far away from our impressionable children as possible.
Before even starting Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you are forced to go through a series of questions from Timmy and Tommy, who are talking racoons, including when is your birthday, and what would your island to look like (an option of 4 choices). After that you are met with a “Are you a male or female?”. This menu is clearly transphobic as they could have offered a number of additional gender options.
Following Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ transphobic menu you are immediately jumped to an inhabited island and abruptly met with Tom Nook, which is the most problematic character you’ll meet in any video game ever. Tom Nook is also a talking raccoon (pictured below) and “Coon” is North American short for raccoon, however, it is also a racial slur for a POC. In addition to this, Tom Nook is Timmy and Tommy’s uncle that you met at the beginning and they join you on your island- “Uncle Tom” is another slur for a male POC. Absolutely despicable.
Colonialism, Sub-sequential Slavery, and Capitalism
You are presumably human, while all of the other characters in this game are talking animals. You buy a plane ticket from Tom Nook to fly to an indigenous island with where you are suddenly bothered to start colonizing it- ruining it’s natural habitat with infrastructure, foreign fruits, and capitalism.
You move to this island and set up your tent, town square area, and the tents for other talking animals that apparently have joined you. After that, you go back to Tom Nook, surrounded by his two “nephews” who tell you that you owe him thousands of bells, the currency of this game.
Mr. Nook is clearly a loan shark, and he and his nephews represent members of the mafia, whom you are now forever in debt to.
In order to pay for your trip to the island, house, and whatever else you wish to purchase, you are forced to capture indigenous flora and fauna, like fruit, butterflies, and fish to sell to these citizens, despite the citizens being talking animals or talking fish themselves.
Tom Nook is essentially just a landlord, and landlords are the parasites of the earth. They provide no service to society. They produce nothing of value themselves and provide no useful skill, labor, or talent, and get paid an inordinate amount of money just for owning real-estate that they didn’t even help to produce. They give nothing to society and yet take so much.
Gentrification & Classism
The game starts with your characters in tents, then progresses to a small house, then eventually becoming a mansion, all while exploiting capitalism and glorifying gentrification every step of the way.
You will eventually gain the ability to destroy the island as it originally stood, shaping it to however you’d like, but what is wrong with the original beauty of this once desolate, beautiful island?
You are able to trade fruit trees (among other things) with other players’ islands, bringing in a potentially invasive species into your island that you have already destroyed by now.
Nazism & White Supremacy Propaganda
The game also features Nazi flags and propaganda once you progress far enough into the game. As someone who is anti-fascist, I did not want to progress any further through the game once this was brought to my island, I wanted nothing to do with this game.
Banned in China
The sale of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is banned in China, and rightfully so. I applaud China for being progressive and condemning this disgusting game that people thing is appropriate for children while it is riddled with so much hatred and subliminal messaging.
Good on you, China! THANK YOU!