Nintendo To Companies/Groups: Please Refrain From Bringing Politics Into Animal Crossing

Nintendo To Companies/Groups: Please Refrain From Bringing Politics Into Animal Crossing
Screenshot: Kotaku
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Because Animal Crossing has been used a lot by companies and organisations lately, from politicians to furniture stores to talk shows, Nintendo has decided to lay down some rules for what kind of content these groups can and can’t use in their game. This being Nintendo, there are some catches.

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The full breakdown can be read here — Animal Crossing: New Horizons Usage Guidelines for Businesses and Organisations — but for the purposes of this post we’ll be looking at one point in particular.

Among the expected stuff, like “do not engage in activities that go beyond the [age] rating” and “do not deceive others while using the Game” is this:

Please refrain from using the Game inappropriately or creating any content within the Game that would be considered vulgar, discriminatory, or offensive. Please also refrain from bringing politics into the Game.

It’s almost sweet in its naivety, both because almost everything is political, but also because Nintendo actually think they can police this.

It also sucks, though, because who are Nintendo to decide where the boundaries for most of this stuff lie? What’s political and what’s not? Is there a tribunal inside Nintendo somewhere with a chart mapped out? Was the blandness of Biden Island too much for their sensibilities? Was AOC’s friendly engagement somehow a betrayal of the game’s mean-hearted, mortgage-based spirit?

Of course not. The issue here, as it always is with Nintendo, is control.

Let’s end this on a reminder: this only applies to companies and organisations, not people’s personal use of the game.


  • *rolls eyes* More of the ‘everything is political’ bullshit. Only the attention deprived virtue or vice signaling idiocracy believe everything is political.

    • And yet, here you and half a dozen other alt-right warriors are; desperate to inject your own politics into each and every Kotaku comments section on every single article even tangentially related to some kind of social justice issue.

      It is almost as if a team of you are fighting some kind of political fight against contrary opinions everywhere. Almost as if, in fact, the alleged absence of ‘political opinions’ is somehow a… political position.

      Or maybe you’re all just impotently virtue-signalling to your fellow travellers about how desperately important it is for the world to be a little more like you’d prefer it to be, without the constant inconvenience of being forced to read articles by writers whose opinions differ from your own.

      It really is such a desperately a-political world in which you live, eh?

        • Apologies. I thought it was “Everyone I disagree with is a SJW”. My bad.

          But in any case, if the shoe fits, but feel free to attach your own label to yourself as you prefer. Whatever you anti-social justice types are calling yourself by nowadays is fine by me. Let me know, I may have missed the memo.

          • Very cute.
            I can only imagine how much your head would spin to find out just how much you have in common with the people you’re so quick to demonise with your labels.

      • This tireless brigade of RWNJs is most noticable whenever it comes to trans rights and trans erasure, because it’s somehow very fucking important to them that trans men not be allowed to be treated or acknowledged as men, and especially trans women not be allowed to be treated or acknowledged as women.

        Their attitude is the main reason the old crew of active community members stopped posting and went elsewhere. Criticism, explanations, relating stories of their lived experience, or appeals to just… human fucking decency don’t change their despicable, bigoted minds, and the unrelenting hostility isn’t something anyone already marginalized needs in their lives.

        So, they’re gone and the site is poorer for it, and all we have left is a crew of the same old bigots ready to predictably add forty comments to any article that might dare to suggest we could – and should – live in a more inclusive (and thus better) world.

        • You’re still here. Run a long.

          “Criticism, explanations, relating stories of their lived experience”

          I can guarantee you that if a trans person (and boy are there plenty) disagree d with anything you said, you’d throw them under the bus, yet somehow not be “transphobic”. Just like how all you people will actively dismiss and ridicule a black person for not thinking in line with you and somehow still think you aren’t racist. Please.

          Run along if your feelings are hurt. Run along if saying “I disagree with that notion, and this is why” makes you cry.

          If you have a look at these comments, you and fishboy are the ones showing any form of hostility. Everyone else is has just said, paraphrased, “not everything is political, so stop making it political”. and here you both are, white-knighting on those high horses.

          While you’re at it, go tell the commenter from Hong Kong, down below, that he is wrong, because we all know you guys love and turn a blind eye to China and their oppressive ways, for the simple fact that us “RWNJs” don’t.

        • Here’s the good thing about the “paradox of tolerance” fishboy loves.

          Who dictates what is and what isn’t tolerable?

          I would say that an 11yr old boy, who dress in drag and does a strip show at a gay bar, full of men throwing dollar bills at him, is VERY intolerable. Yet when us RWNJ’s kick up a stink, we are branded “homophobic” and “bigoted”. Look at me not showing “human decency”, how despicable of me to be angered at this. Btw, the footage is all over the interenet for you to peruse with your large “open-minded” brain telling you that this is ok. It was lauded all over MSM in the US.

          So who dictates what is and isn’t tolerable, who decides such things?

          I’m going to put my hand up and say that I dictate it, because I can, and I find you intolerable.

        • If you think everyone who disagrees with you or what they had to say is a bigot, what makes you think anyone WOULD take anything you have to say onboard?

        • I do wish there was less hostility in the comments. I think being able to disagree with someone and argue your own points without insulting the other guy is a sorely needed art that we lack around here these days.
          Even some open dialogue to find some common ground might go a long way.

          Maybe it’s just the internet and Johnathan Gabriel’s G.I.F.T at play but it seems both sides of the ideological battlefield just don’t even want to take a moment to ask “Why do you feel this way? What experiences have you had that has lead you to these opinions?”
          Maybe it’s just easier to write off everyone on the other side as “the bad guys” who are completely irredeemable, so we don’t have to even bother to be polite.
          But this isn’t really a Kotaku AU issue. This is the internet now. This is how it is.

  • Is this article bait? It smells like bait.

    Everything is political is a crock of shit. Everything CAN be political if you reach hard enough, but why would you want to?
    Why would you want to bring politics into Animal Crossing, for example, of all places?
    Animal Crossing should be a place you go to to get AWAY from politics. Especially as an American. You spend 4 years, 1300+ days hearing about Trump and all associated doom, you’d want to use Animal Crossing as escapism!
    You can look at Doom Eternal and say “ah yes, this is some cutting edge satire of the evils of megacompanies like Google and Apple” or some shit like that, or you could take the UAC at face value for what it is, a cartoonishly evil “bad guy” that brought Earth to where it is now (invaded by demons) with no depth beyond it.
    Sometimes a spade is just a spade, a penis a penis.
    Even when politics in games is actually present, like FF7’s slums and treatment of the literal lower class, who is thinking of real world equivalents while playing? Turn that off, you’re playing video games to get away from it.

    Anyway, bad article, bad take, in before Worrito, etc etc.

    “It’s almost sweet in its naivety, both because almost everything is political, but also because Nintendo actually think they can police this. ”
    It’s not even policing, Luke, you tit, they literally asked “please refrain”. They’re all but saying “we’re a company that makes games for largely a younger audience, they don’t need to be exposed to all this yet”.

    “Let’s end this on a reminder: this only applies to companies and organisations, not people’s personal use of the game.”
    This bit is insidious, too. A call to arms for likeminded goons to ruin the world of video games for the rest of us.

    • It’s wild to me that you think a game where the player ends up trapped in indentured servitude to a raccoon is somehow “not political”.

    • Im not sure if its ‘bait’ as much as another horrible take from the Aussie king of Bad Takes.
      But hey, if you dont want politics in an animal crossing game, i guess youre just a bigot or alt right.

  • “everything is political”

    No it isn’t. It’s entirely possible to play a game without bringing up political ideologies. Remember when games used to be about escapism and enjoyment? But now apparently every game needs to involve politics or make some grand statement on society. I’m sick of it. I want to play animal crossing to relax after work and slowly build my island. I want to hear Animal Crossing news about what animals/insects are coming/going in to or out of season, not which political party is using it as a platform to push their own politics on to people.

    Hiding behind the excuse “everything is political” just so you can bring in political opinions where they don’t need to be shared is exactly what is wrong with things now days, and then you all turn around and wonder why there’s so much division in communities.

  • Can we just get a general consensus No Political Commentary in Any Games.

    I am sick of General Chat political spammers and trolling bull crap in World of Warcraft. You would think escaping to the Australian servers would have less Trump propaganda… it somehow has more.

  • Christ… this article really went there?

    Well I guess the “hot take” article is really all we can do these days for Kotaku? I’ll just stick to TAY and possibly the occasional tech articles. At least the discussion can maintain civil.

  • I think luke is reading into this more than is actually there,

    Nintendo doesn’t want companies or registered political groups using their IP’s to promote things without their explicit permission.

    They don’t care about individual users putting political messages on their islands.

    I do wonder though, Given that luke and others fawned over Biden and his island, What would have their reaction had the trump campaign done something similar? Something tells me they would scream from the rooftops demanding Nintendo take action.

  • While I absolutely understand why people here are sick of hearing about US politics or other US issues in games.

    I’m sad to see there’s no mention of the other major political issues around the world. Like for example my home city of Hong Kong where nobody dares to speak up in a public forum anymore because as opposed to the usual shouting matches you see on social media, people just get arrested…

    or places around the world where authoritarianism in the name of social stability seems to be the way governments work nowadays…

    • Yeah, shit is looking really bad for Hong Kong atm. Democracy has gone out the window for full-on Authoritarian Chinese communism. Won’t be long till they set up “Re-education camps”

      Do you have any family still in Hong kong?

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