Although a disclaimer was placed at the very beginning of the article referencing it as strictly an opinion piece, nonetheless those who love the adorable, creative, free-range anthropomorphic title took some serious offense to the attack levied against their beloved game by author Jack Crosbie.
While the author did admit to having a lot of fun for the first 12 or so hours, afterward his experience grew to that of repetition and sourness; other players have touted the satisfying creativity and endless customization - and less of, as one of the author’s friend’s put it, “A game about resource management…”
Business Insider Animal Crossing: Fans Upset by Negative Article
Players on Reddit took not only to the platform but to Twitter as well to express their gripes with the unprecedented hate for their beloved game. One user pointed out that it was very suspicious that the Business Insider article had comments disabled from the beginning - which it was - and that the author had an amazingly fun time responding to all hate messages on Twitter, while also posting cryptically on the business practices of negative articles serving news sites positively through SEO click-bait strategy.
While some may argue that the opinion piece was done in good faith, and after extensive play-time with the product to formulate those opinions, others mistakenly took the piece as a formal review and not for what it was. Ironically, the piece has done nothing more than to point out the debatable flaws of the game, what it got right, as well as to boost the profile of Business Insider in the gaming journalist space and Jack Crosbie’s profile.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Controversy
Business Insider is not the only publication to criticize the flow and purpose of the game, and it has not only been the media to do so. The Verge sports an article that categorizes the game as a “Dystopian Hellscape”, and even PETA has issued guidelines for vegans who are looking to ethically play and enjoy the title - even to ask if fishing (a fundamental and necessary aspect in-game) was ethical behavior for practicing vegans.
More serious, however, has been the response of foreign governments to clamp down on citizens using the heavy social aspects of the game to voice free speech, and criticism against authority, government policies and individuals. Also reported by Business Insider, the Chinese government has since banned the sale of the game as its citizens took to the title to create and hold rallies, voice their opinions regarding Taiwan and Hong-Kong contrary to the policies held by Beijing, and design their homes, islands, and towns in pro-democracy or pro-liberation motifs.
With individuals around the world risking their safety and freedom to use Animal Crossing as a tool to protest and gather in assembly against their own governments, it seems that attacking publications and journalists for free speech - an act that represents free speech on its own - might be put into perspective.