Tensions are high as we apprehensively await the fate of our country. With an election as crucial as this one, it’s no surprise that it’s practically the only topic right now, whether it be in the classroom, in the workplace, in the media or just around family and friends. While it’s extremely important to continue talking about politics and educating ourselves, it is also a very overwhelming time for many, and it’s equally important that we remember to do things for ourselves that calm our anxieties a little.
Whenever I’m feeling stressed, anxious or just in need of an escape after a difficult day, my favorite remedy is Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” In Animal Crossing, a life simulation game, players get to create their own island from the ground up: catching bugs and fish, crafting items and customizing their island to resemble their personal paradise. Accompanying you on the island is a crew of adorable villagers with whom you can chat, create friendships and even give and receive gifts. The game works in real-time, and for me it provides a comforting, familiar environment where I can create my happy space.
Being both an avid Animal Crossing player and advocate for being politically active, I was excited when I found out presidential candidate Joe Biden had his own Animal Crossing island created by his campaign team titled “Biden HQ,” available for any player to visit through a dream code (an aspect of the game that allows players to visit other players’ islands anywhere in the world in a “dream”). For fellow Animal Crossing players, I encourage you to check out Biden HQ for yourself, using the attached dream code at the bottom of this article.
Upon arriving on “Biden HQ,” I was cordially greeted by Joe Biden himself (or rather, his avatar). Upon chatting with him, he exclaimed “No Malarkey!” This is one of Biden’s campaign slogans, basically translating to “No B.S.”
I then wandered into the plaza, which was meticulously decorated with a town square-type scene and even had campaign signs reading things like “Biden Harris” and “Team Joe”.
Immediately to the right of the plaza was Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris’ “Field Office,” which boasted a busy office scene for Biden and Harris to do their work and market for their campaign.
The next stop on my tour (and probably my favorite) was the polling center, complete with multiple booths for players to “cast their votes.” On the floor of the center was an informative voting plan checklist, urging players to visit IWillVote.com and ensure they have a voting plan. Just by visiting Biden’s island, players are encouraged to vote and given ample resources throughout the game.
Another favorite part of mine was Biden’s “patriotic garden,” which exhibited an array of colorful roses to look like the American flag. I was especially impressed with this because, being an Animal Crossing player myself, I know how hard it is to obtain blue roses on your island. It’s clear Biden’s team worked hard to make his island interesting and pristine.
Near the back of the island behind an iron fence, players can look over the horizon to see the White House, with a beautiful fountain and display of roses in front of it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to go inside the actual White House, but it was still a scenic view from afar.
As I was about finished with exploring the island, I visited the kiosk in the plaza, where players can get custom designs to put on their clothes and show their support for the Biden Harris campaign.
Created by Biden and Harris’ campaign team, Biden HQ is a fun and lighthearted way for Animal Crossing players of all ages to learn more about the campaign. With over 13 million players worldwide, Biden is able to reach a large audience within the game, consisting of players from all beliefs and backgrounds.
While it is important that people of voting age are able to visit and experience Biden HQ, it’s equally (if not more) important that younger players are introduced to politics and voting in a way they can enjoy and understand, hopefully fostering a generation that is politically active and inspired to create change.
A game may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but it was really cool to see a presidential candidate exploring new and unique campaign strategies to reach different groups of people.
This is the Dream Code for Biden HQ: DA-7286-5710-7478.