Lack of Diversity in Animal Crossing

animal crossing tan
An Animal Crossing player with tanned skinned
An exciting new world awaits your virtual avatar in the Animal Crossing universe but sadly not everyone's invited. Since Animal Crossing, players have being able to control almost every aspect to their in game counterpart including hairstyles, clothes and everything else aside from complexion. You are given ultimate control over your character's outward appearance so why isn't a darker skin tone or a variety of other choices allowed?

Animal Crossing gives players two temporarily but weak solutions to this problem which either include wearing a Mii mask or tanning. Whilst these options are openly available, the Mii mask felt out of place and tanning isn't an easy or permanent task. Having only 6-8 colours to choose from in a life sim  just doesn't raise the diversity bar, ya know?

In Wild World and City Folk no matter how much you tan you're never able to get your character dark enough and this process takes players around 2-3 hour to complete, which results in a brown skinned avatar at best and fades away the very next morning. Once you awake you're back to your original skin tone. This mechanic makes it clear that the game has the assets for a variety of colours.

A solution you ask? Well instead of giving players only 6 colours to choose from there should be a scale with a variety of colours to select, from lightest to darkest! There could even be a tanning service offered to players by the pink poodle Harriet  in Shampoodles. Once you select a new tone you can keep it rather than it reverting back to your original default tone.

Last year sometimes after the game's release many fans took to Twitter and other places around the world wide web to express their displeasure to Nintendo. There honestly is no excuse for developers to exclude access to darker skin tones or pretty much any realistic colours in this day and age when other games get it to a tee, but hopefully Nintendo will actually listen this time round and set things straight in their upcoming sequel of Animal Crossing, right?

10 comments:

  1. I've always hated the animal crossing series for doing this, it's one of the major flaws this game has.

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  2. This is a wonderful post, and something that has bothered me as well, I hope that in future AC games there can be more options for the characters complexion!

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  3. They should make a tanning booth in ShamPoodle!

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  4. There's zero reason why Nintendo can't add the option for darker skin tones. While they may be a Japan-based company, they know perfectly well that their games are marketed to and purchased by people of darker ethnicities. The "you're playing a Japanese character" is complete nonsense. Most of the faces aren't even particularly Asian in appearance.

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  5. Animal Crossing encourages customization above all. We should all be able to make our characters look like us if we choose and the game makes that incredibly difficult unless you're naturally pale.

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  6. What makes it even more annoying that some people respond with, "omg it's not even a big deal everything is a race issue omG JUST LET IT BE!!1!" and it's like...come on. We're not even talking about a 'western thing', here; there are a lot of Japanese (Asians, in general) who are naturally dark; this isn't news. It wouldn't kill you to include that one, little feature. Whether they consider this in whatever future versions they plan, however, I truthfully doubt it. I just don't like having to spend a week on the Island every time just to get my desired tan; but eh, what can I do.

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  7. In the localization process, they added different eye colors for starting mayors, from the original all black eyes in the Japanese. That's proof that they are aware of demographic differences and can tailor their products in acknowledgment of them. Now they need to start adding skin tone options.

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  8. At the very least, maybe they could give the option to permanently wear the selected shade of the tan you get (either from the Island or during the summer). If I tan for 4 hours, I want an option to keep that 4-hour tan.

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  9. i agree wholeheartedly. hopefully things change in the next series installment.

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