Hong Kong protestors are using the famous ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizon’ game to stand against President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. In response, the government has removed the Nintendo Switch game listing from China’s prominent eCommerce sites.
For those of you who are unaware, Animal Crossing: New Horizon is a game where players live on a tropical island, interact with each other, and build things around them. Surprisingly, such social simulation games have become more than just a source of entertainment.
Previously, we saw a couple who virtually married inside ‘Animal Crossing’ when their real marriage was postponed due to the COVID-19 threat. Now, Hong Kong protestors are using the game to protest against their government.
Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong democracy activist, was one of the first to start this protest. He posted a screenshot of his island decorated with a banner saying “Free Hong Kong, revolution now.”
This is what we do in #AnimalCrossing… maybe it’s why these people are so anxious to go back to the game!! pic.twitter.com/vVeaGq54lv
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) April 10, 2020
More people eventually started to participate in the protest by coming up with something of their own. For instance, in one ‘Animal Crossing’ video, six players used butterfly nets to hit images of Hong Kong chief executive, Carrie Wong.
This is how #hongkong ppl spend our time during coronavirus lockdown – villain hitting in #animalcrossing, the villain is #CarrieLam, the worst governor in #hongkong history.#AnimalCrossingNewHorizons#StandWithHK pic.twitter.com/K5AbOTl9tD
— Studio Incendo (@studioincendo) April 1, 2020
In no time, the in-game protest reached people outside of Hong Kong, and protestors started criticizing President Xi Jinping in their unique ways.
Will I be arrested because of possession of offensive weapons in #AnimalCrossing 😰😰 pic.twitter.com/DWf3O94aC8
— ティナ🌸🐱🏴☠️香港獨立唯一出路 (@T_12_Ka) April 10, 2020
To shut down the protesters, Beijing officials asked sellers to remove “Animal Crossing” from eCommerce sites like Taobao and Pinduoduo.
Animal Crossing: New Horizon is not officially available in China just yet. The game is yet to be approved by China’s gaming regulator; however, this hasn’t stopped Chinese people from buying the game.