Ever considered the political persuasion of your favourite TV or movie characters? How about leanings of video game characters?
One New Yorker and long-term fan of community sim game Animal Crossing couldn’t shake the idea that one character, Tom Nook, must be a Republican.
Jake Garner, 22, eventually decided he could map out the whole anthropomorphic cast by political standpoint – and his Twitter followers supported his idea.
Encouraged by the response he set about making a political Venn diagram for the game.
“I just sort of took different inferences from the game that would determine each character’s political party and went from there,” Garner told the Press Association.
“Some were hard, but others were just clear by their ideals or, for example, just stereotypical traits of Americans.”
Garner even worked through how the politics could intersect with stories in the gameplay.
“There is a love triangle between Pelly, Pete, and Phyllis in Animal Crossing. Phyllis has said some conservative things in the game before so I thought oh, Pete could be moderate and Pelly would be a liberal and that’s part of what divides them.”
As for the reaction? Garner is taking it all in his stride.
“A lot of people liked it or said it was really accurate. I think a lot of people were upset when their favourite character ended up not being in their desired party. People would try and debate that they were which is reasonable.
“I made the chart really fast and I’d probably shift some around in hindsight. Others were mad and said I shouldn’t do that to a children’s game, but I really don’t think it’s that serious… it was all for fun.”
It’s only as Garner has matured and become more aware of real-world politics that he wondered how it could be transferred to Animal Crossing – a game he’s played and loved since his early school days.
He said: “Getting older means politics become more and more ingrained in my life, so it wasn’t something that I ever thought about or wondered until thinking of making the Venn diagram.”