Arab News Japan
Nintendo Switch’s popular new game ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ is providing an escape for many during the coronavirus lockdown. However, for some Chinese players, the game is turning into an outlet for their frustrations with the Chinese government’s politics.
Gamers in China are using the social simulation game in order to criticize President Xi Jinping as well as Hong Kong’s government.
Since Nintendo’s game allows players to create their own world, a lot of users are using that to their advantage by arranging online protests, as offline protests have been banned.
Players have been posting screenshots of their Animal Crossing characters protesting all over social media, and China is now trying to stop the sale of the game.
E-commerce platforms such as Taobao and Pinduoduo have removed the game from their listings since Friday morning, and sellers report that they have been asked to no longer list the video game, according to Vice News.
However, it is unclear whether the removal of the listings was ordered by the Chinese government.
The game has not been officially approved by China’s gaming regulators, but that has not stopped people from purchasing it and playing.
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
China’s attempt at banning users from playing the game has not worked as, in response, more people in China have been posting images and videos from the game that poke fun at the Chinese and Hong Kong rulers.
Nintendo’s popular console, the Nintendo Switch, was only officially approved for sale in China in December, three years after it was first released.
So far, only three games from the Japanese video game company have been officially approved by China’s regulator, including Super Mario Odyssey, MK8 Deluxe and New Super Mario Bros.
If an official version of ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ is to be released, it would likely have many restrictions on the ability to create in-game content.