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Animal Crossing

40,000 people are asking Animal Crossing for more inclusive hairstyles

And the petition is still growing

There were moments over the last five months when it felt like Animal Crossing was the official sponsor of lockdown it was so ubiquitous. A wholesome, low-stakes game set in a blissful tropical island inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, it was offered some needed escapism while we were all stuck at home. 

When Animal Crossing New Horizons was released in March it was celebrated for the variety of customisations offered which allowed people the opportunity to really see themselves in their avatars – birthmarks and all. As beloved as it has become, however, the game still has much room for improvement which is why a new petition has been started calling on the game to expand its appearance options to be more diverse. The petition asking for more inclusive hairstyle options was started by player Taniesha Bracken-Hucks after she noticed a lack of Afro-textured hairstyles available for the customisable characters.

“Every person should feel represented when playing a game they love and making their avatar. Ethnic hairstyles are often forgotten,” Bracken-Hucks wrote on the petition which currently has over 40K signatures. “In light of what is happening in America concerning Black rights, it would be amazing to have gamers of all races represented on all gaming platforms.”

Representation of Black people in the gaming industry as a whole is more often than not severely lacking. A 2014 study found that across the top 10 most-highly rated games for each year from 2007-2012, only 3 per cent of main playable characters were Black. Meanwhile, The Sims 4 announced this week that it would be making additional darker skin tones available and improving the quality of existing shades in the game after over 86,000 people signed a petition demanding wider diversity. 

Sign the petition here.