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Gillette's Inclusive Designs Show the Strengths and Weaknesses of Animal Crossing's Customization

There's always more that can be done.

Nintendo has partnered with razor company Gillette to create new, inclusive designs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons called the “Skinclusive Summer Line.” And they’re available now.

The interesting thing about the line is that it highlights the ways Animal Crossing: New Horizons, despite some notable steps forward like allowing players to choose their own skin tone and a ton of personalization options, hasn’t given people a level of customization to see themselves in the game as they truly are. With all 19 designs having been created for each of the eight skin tones the game offers, there are 264 total designs, each highlighting different skin types. This includes freckles, acne, and wrinkles, as well as designs to represent skin conditions like Psoriasis, Rosacea, and Eczema. Each of these were made using the game’s in-game customization tools, and can be downloaded through use of the design codes included on the Skinclusive Summer Line’s website.

One that specifically jumped out at me though was the Poppin Prosthesis design, which uses New Horizons’ customize design tools to give your character a prosthetic leg. Designer Nicole Cuddihy said one of her first designs in the game was to make one that gave characters a robotic arm, and that a fan reacted positively, saying she was excited to see it was possible to represent different kind of bodies using these kinds of tools. This prompted Cuddihy’s desire to create the Skinclusive Summer Line, and while it’s a valiant effort, I personally am hoping that having the different kinds of bodies spotlighted in this way will show Nintendo that there are options the game doesn’t have that fans are having to make on their own.

Having the tools to make these designs is a good step forward, as it lets anyone, should they be patient enough to unlock these features, really take control of their character and express themselves. But it would be great to see an actual prosthetic option in character creation, or to see some of these skin types available at the outset. Even things like wheelchairs are available now in New Horizons, but they’re furniture and you can’t actually use them to move around your island. There are steps being taken to make Animal Crossing as inclusive as possible on Nintendo’s part, but Gillette’s Skinclusive Summer Line shows that there are still a lot of people having to make their own representation in the game.

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Nintendo recently launched the second of Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ summer updates, which brought fireworks to players’ islands, even if it was a month after the Fourth of July. It also added the ability to visit other people’s islands through dreams, and if you want to know the ins and outs of how that works, be sure to check out our guide on that new feature before you go.

About the Author

Kenneth Shepard

Kenneth is a Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He still periodically cries about the Mass Effect trilogy years after it concluded.