With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the nation, video games are rising in popularity. One new favorite is “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” the latest version of a popular game in which players make homes in a village of human-like animals. According to Video Games Chronicle, the game features Nintendo’s first openly gay and lesbian characters.
Players say one character in the game, Merry, talks about a lesbian couple when users ask her about comics and romantic comedies.
“Romantic comedies! Ohmigosh, I didn’t know anybody else read those comics but me!” Merry says. “My favorite’s about the shred-tastic Princess of Rockboarding and her true love, the Princess of Explosions!”
She continues, “They search the world for each other, but HILARIOUS stuff always keeps them from happiness! Like, one time, a wizard swapped their minds! So they were together… but also further apart than ever! Eventually they fooled the wizard a bunch and got their own brains back. It was hilarious AND romantic!”
Queer players love the story, not to mention those amazing character names.
LESBIANS IN ANIMAL CROSSING???,!!,!,!:$:$:$: GIVE ME IT NOW. pic.twitter.com/eio9do4rRK
— Conrad 🍊 (@taecrossing) March 21, 2020
“I didn’t expect lesbians to even be referenced, so this was nice,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Animal Crossing said gay rights,” a player responded. One fan even said the reference made them tear up.
That’s not the only bit of LGBTQ+ representation in the game. Another character in the game, CJ, also makes several references to his male “partner,” Flick.
Moreover, the Switch game is gender-inclusive — it removes the binary “boy” and “girl” gender classification that most video games use. Players’ characters can wear any clothing they choose.
“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,” the director of the game, Aya Kyogoku, told The Washington Post. The decision was “not just about gender,” she added, but also about the overall reality that “society is shifting to valuing a lot of people’s different identities.”