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The Biggest Unanswered Questions About Biden's Animal Crossing Island

As the presidential campaigns continue to ramp up operations in advance of Election Day on Nov. 3, the Democratic candidate has come up with a novel way to woo voters who might be on the fence — whether that's a Zen Fence or a Simple Wooden one. Joe Biden's campaign will debut his Animal Crossing: New Horizons island, apparently called Biden Island, on the KindaFunnyGames Twitch Channel this week.


In an Oct. 15 tweet, Kinda Funny's Greg Miller announced the event, saying, "We've partnered with @JoeBiden's campaign to be the first to show off the official Biden Island in #AnimalCrossingNewHorizons, and we're doing it live Friday morning on http://twitch.tv/kindafunnygames!"

Nintendo's social simulation game, which released on March 20, 2020, has become very popular during the COVID-19 pandemic with its stress-free gameplay and self-paced island existence. Biden's campaign has already linked itself with the title: there was actually a Biden Victory Fund Animal Crossing digital store (since removed). It featured free digital yard signs and clothing you could wear in-game by copying the provided code and inputting it at the Custom Design Portal inside the Able Sisters Tailor Shop. Players who chose to take advantage of these offers could decorate their islands with "Biden/Harris," "Team Joe," and "Rebuild with Love" messages.


Expanding the candidate's presence in the game could be a smart move for the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris campaign. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold millions of copies and become a pretty major cultural phenomenon — which could translate to a lot of potential voters, assuming that many of these players are over 18. However, now that gamers know there's an island out there with Joe Biden's name on it, questions abound. 

First of all, did Joe Biden make the island himself? If not, what input did he have in its creation? How long has he been playing, and when does he do it? It's possible that the he discovered the game through members of his family (he has teenage grandchildren) or perhaps Millennial members of his staff. Fans of New Horizons can't help but wonder if he has some downtime during campaign stops where he whips out his Nintendo Switch and catches a few insects. Does it help him relax while he's on the road? His Animal Crossing habits are certainly going to be analyzed as potential voters try to understand whether this is just another tactic, or an honest glimpse of his personality.

Whose idea was it to leverage the popularity of New Horizons in this way? The idea to use the game to connect with younger voters could prove valuable, as it's a group that, according to The New York Times, has been skeptical of him in the past. This proved especially true in the primary while he was competing with Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.


Young people allegedly remain divided in their support even today — which could make Biden's foray into Animal Crossing a very strategic decision. Yet some gamers may not be convinced by such an approach: political commentator Christo Aivalis called the campaign's initial foray into Animal Crossing fandom "cringey" and "inauthentic."

In the past, Biden has derided the makers of violent video games. In early 2020 interview with the editorial board of The New York Times, the politician appeared to use terms like "little creeps," "righteous," and "overwhelming arrogance" to describe an unknown video game executive in Silicon Valley. So, given his advertised support of Animal Crossing, is his stance on video games now more nuanced than it has seemed in the past?

Many New Horizons players will also likely want to know which villagers he's recruited, and which one is his favorite. Did he manage to snag the beloved Raymond? How many waterfalls does Biden Island have, and what's its native fruit? What matching furniture has he put in his home? Does he prefer diving or fishing? What does his museum look like? What items has he crafted? If he gets a piece of forged art from Redd, how does he deal with it? So many questions, so few answers.


Hopefully all will be revealed during the KindaFunnyGames Twitch channel's Biden Island livestream on Friday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m. PT (8 a.m. ET).