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Official Biden-Harris campaign yard signs available for download in Nintendo’s ‘Animal Crossing’

September 1, 2020, 5:29 PM UTC

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Joe Biden is rallying the gamer vote. Starting Tuesday, people can download official Biden campaign yard signs for display within the Nintendo video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Supporters of the Democratic nominee for President and California Sen. Kamala Harris, his running mate, can wave the flags or post the signs outside their island homes inside the game, whose bucolic world-simulation attracted hundreds of thousands of players during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. The digital merchandise represents a way to organize voters online during a campaign season derailed by COVID-19.

Four pro-Joe signs are available for download. One features the official Biden-Harris logo. Another reads “Team Joe.” A third says “Joe,” incorporating colors from the pride flag. The fourth features red, white, and blue Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses, a much-memed trademark accessory of the candidate.

Biden for President and Animal Crossing digital partnership
Biden-Harris yard signs within “Animal Crossing.”
Courtesy of the Biden Campaign

“It is an exciting new opportunity for our campaign to engage and connect Biden-Harris supporters as they build and decorate their islands,” said Christian Tom, director of digital partnerships for the Biden campaign. “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.”

People can acquire the virtual “swag” by scanning QR codes associated with the designs through the Nintendo Switch Online app.

An example of the virtual signage created by the Biden campaign, plus an associated QR code.

In COVID-19’s wake, the Biden campaign has been resorting to virtual rallies and fundraisers in lieu of potentially infectious in-person events. The campaign has released custom Zoom videoconferencing backgrounds, among other digital banners.

This isn’t the first time politics has infused Animal Crossing. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York made the rounds by visiting people’s virtual islands in May. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement and related nationwide protests crafted customized in-game gear, like “BLM” signs and clothing. And pro-democracy demonstrators used the game to show support for protests in Hong Kong.

“This is just the start of how we plan to engage players ahead of November as we’re already looking forward to rolling out more digital swag, voter education tools, and organizing efforts on Animal Crossing and other platforms,” Tom said.

The Trump campaign used the opportunity to take a swing at its opponent. “This explains everything: Joe Biden thinks he’s campaigning for President of Animal Crossing from his basement,” said Samantha Zager, deputy national press secretary for the Trump campaign. “The Trump campaign will continue to spend its resources campaigning in the real world with real Americans.”

The Trump campaign has recently been spending millions on digital ads across the Internet on news websites and video-streaming services. The spokesperson did not comment on plans for possible digital signage in other virtual venues.

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