Nintendo’s newest Animal Crossing game is taking the world by storm, as millions of players worldwide seek distraction from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
But Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which tasks players with creating their own island paradise alongside a cast of quirky characters, may also have broken boundaries for the long-running series with its first openly gay couple.
Twitter users are flooding the social network with screenshots of C.J., a beaver, who discusses the skills of his “partner.”
“Plus my partner’s into makin’ slick collectibles if you want one,” C.J. gushes to the player’s character. “He’s sooooo talented.”
In another exchange, he calls Flick the chameleon a “total artist” and says his work is “AMAZING.”
While there’s debate about whether Flick is C.J.’s business or life partner — the Japanese version of the game reportedly calls Flick C.J.’s friend, for instance — LGBTQ gamers are openly embracing the romantic interpretation.
— dαwniee🌈 @ dreαmyard ☁️ (@dawnieedreams) March 21, 2020
And even if C.J. and Flick aren’t lovers, New Horizons contains other forms of LGBTQ representation.
For starters, players aren’t asked to pick a predefined gender, and are instead free to customize their character with any style of hair, make-up, or clothing to suit how they wish to identify.
Speaking to the Washington Post, New Horizon’s director Aya Kyogoku said character customization was “not just about gender,” but instead a desire to reflect that “society is shifting to valuing a lot of people’s different identities.”
“We basically wanted to create a game where users didn’t really have to think about gender or if they wanted to think about gender, they’re also able to,” Kyogoku said.
In addition, Merry the cat also openly discusses her love of a romantic comic book series that features lesbian protagonists.
“My [favorite comic is] about the shred-tastic Princess of Rocketboarding and her true love, the Princess of Explosions!” Merry says. “They search the world for each other, but HILARIOUS stuff always keeps them from happiness!”
There’s no other interpretation of the “hilarious and romantic” comic than it being super gay — and we’re here for it.
— baphomet (@tainshir) March 21, 2020
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is $60 and available now on Nintendo Switch.
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