CampaignCensus 2020 in Animal Crossing town

Census 2020 in Animal Crossing town

Role: Editor in Chief

Time: 2020 Summer

This is a educational project to encourage Chinese-speaking residents (including people from mainland of China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore and American born Chinese) in the Greater Seattle Area to participate the Census 2020.

The opening ceremony of the clothes shop on my island.


Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) is definitely the hottest buzz and placebo in the first quarter of 2020, when people were stuck in quarantine at the outbreak.


To avoid copyright and other legal issues, I contacted Nintendo about the Animal Crossing’s UGC and derivative works use case.

Got reply from Nintendo USA’s PR agency in 2 weeks:

We are delighted that so many people around the world are having fun with Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) and the user-generated content (UGC) that it enables. The game features a number of ways that allow players to bring their island experiences to life in their own personal way. We ask that you adhere to the following direction though if you have custom ideas you are considering,

•            Only use ACNH in positive ways that are not vulgar or that would offend anyone.

•            Do not infringe on the rights of other companies, individuals, or intellectual property that Nintendo does not own.

•            Do not leverage ACNH as a ‘marketing platform’ that includes a call-to-action outside of the game and/or results in monetary benefit for the organization. Here are some examples of what is not allowed:

o     Encouraging or facilitating the sale of in-game contents and game currency in exchange for real-world currency.

o     Distributing coupons or offers for real-world products outside the game.

o     Using the in-game components, including game screenshots, as part of sweepstakes, contests, and other activities that are tied to monetizing products or prizing outside of the game.

o     Do not indicate Nintendo as a sponsor or affiliate of the created content. 

After precluding copyright issues, I worked with the editorial team on the storyline and the way of combining ACNH elements into the content. Different from other articles, we drafted the storyboard in order to explain why Census benefits all people living in the U.S (no matter if you are citizens/non-citizens, immigrants, or non-immigrants).

We translated and interpreted Census Q&As to short chapters of the story, all taking place in the Animal Crossing town.

We recruited voluntary “actors”, “actresses” and “director” to “film” these scenes. I also built an imaginary Census office in the old times when online participation was not permitted, mocking a messy and inefficient work scenario:

One of our voluntary directors provided us with a chic, cozy and decent office scene. And we combine those into a “Before and After” comparison to encourage younger generation and people without digital challenge to respond online.

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