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Your move, Trump! Biden's latest strategy to win 2020? Digital campaign signs in ‘Animal Crossing’

Your move, Trump! Biden's latest strategy to win 2020? Digital campaign signs in ‘Animal Crossing’
Players of Nintendo’s ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ are now able to get digital yard signs promoting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, in the campaign’s latest attempt to connect with young voters without in-person events.

There are four sign variations gamers can download. They feature the official Biden/Harris sign, a ‘Team Joe’ logo, a ‘Joe’ pride, and one with aviator glasses painted red, white, and blue.

“‘Animal Crossing’ is a dynamic, diverse, and powerful platform that brings communities together from across the world,” Christian Tom, director of digital partnerships for the Biden campaign, told The Verge about the effort to reach voters. 

The campaign will be using influencers playing the game to help promote the political signs. “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 added.

Biden’s campaign has focused almost entirely on digital campaigning since various Covid-19 shutdowns were put in place. His speeches have mostly been virtual, while President Donald Trump has kept to in-person campaigning.  

Biden’s attempt to connect with youth through digital campaign signs has mainly earned the 77-year-old mockery online.

Former Pete Buttigieg campaign adviser Lis Smith had previously suggested in May that Biden should focus more on the digital world, citing “Travis Scott’s takeover of ‘Fortnite’” – referring to his digital concert – as proof games can draw millions of eyeballs.

One of Smith’s specific suggestions was projecting a giant Joe Biden into the game.

“If we could do that with Joe Biden, you know ... and project it against the Grand Canyon, that might be a little bit ambitious, but we could have exclusive musical content from some of the biggest musical artists in the game at this driving eyeballs to the convention so that people watch them,” she said. 

This is far from the first time an elderly politician has tried connecting to younger voters by campaigning through a popular game. Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign held a rally at a ‘Pokemon Go’ gym, a location where players can ‘battle’ with the digital creatures they have caught in the game. 

Clinton later referenced the trending game by wondering aloud at a campaign event how she could get someone to turn ‘Pokemon Go’ into “‘Pokemon Go’ to the polls.” 

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