Few campaign stumps. No balloon drops. Certainly no kissing babies. The coronavirus has pushed political campaigns even further into the digital realm—but the Biden campaign is now on its own island when it comes to online organizing.
That’s because the Biden-Harris campaign released four new yard signs for the popular game Animal Crossing, as first reported by The Verge. Players can deck out their own islands with one of three logos (Biden-Harris, Team Joe, or “Joe” Pride), or opt for an image of Biden’s aviators in red, white, and blue.
Animal Crossing was first used as part of a campaign organizing strategy this spring, when Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez created an avatar and visited the islands of a few select Twitter followers during her primary campaign. AOC’s merch was more do-it-yourself—the congresswoman drew the AOC logo on her avatar’s T-shirt—but it was a genius move to adapt to the pandemic and connect with supporters where they were: at home on their island. With the introduction of yard signs, the Animal-Crossing-as-digital-engagement strategy has now found its way to the top of the ticket.
Players can use the QR code embedded in images of this story to get Biden-Harris yard signs of their own. While it’s not actually DIY, the campaign says it made the signs intentionally low-res at 32×32 pixels to fit in with the cutesy aesthetic of the game.
The yard signs are just the beginning of a wider gaming and online engagement strategy, according to Christian Tom, director of digital partnerships for the Biden campaign. “It is an exciting new opportunity for our campaign to engage and connect Biden-Harris supporters as they build and decorate their islands,” says Tom, adding that they plan to roll out “more digital swag, voter education tools, and organizing efforts on Animal Crossing and other platforms.”