Joe Biden’s presidential campaign hopes its presence on one of the most popular games during the pandemic will help reach more voters.
The campaign on Tuesday released a set of downloadable yard signs for users of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing, The Verge reported Tuesday.
— The Verge (@verge) September 1, 2020
“Animal Crossing is a dynamic, diverse, and powerful platform that brings communities together from across the world. 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 campaign’s director of digital partnerships, 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.”
The game’s newest version, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, launched on March 20, just as many U.S. states were beginning to impose COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. The game has become a massive hit due to its interactivity for users stuck at home.
Political candidates and campaigns have had to find creative methods for digital outreach this year since the ability to hold in-person events has been limited due to the pandemic. But using digital media and technology to reach voters is nothing new. In 2016, then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton urged young voters to “Pokemon Go to the polls,” which led to some mockery.
In May, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), known for deftly engaging voters on social media, joined Animal Crossing and invited her Twitter followers to interact with her. She visited some of their islands and posted messages, and a few users taught her how to use some of the game’s functions.
The congresswoman said the messages she got through Animal Crossing were “very wholesome” and gave her “faith in humanity,” a pleasant contrast to the toxicity of many social media interactions.
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