Animal Crossing: New HorizonsThe big winter update was the reason for a lot of celebrations in November as the new hair options allowed some black fans to look better in the game. But what was meant to be an integrative addition to the life simulator is controversial, especially as non-black fans have begun to appropriate the hair options and whitewash them.
The problem came to a head when an Animal Crossing gamer made the mistake on social media of calling the new brothels “Space Buns,” a cute nickname used to describe hairstyles made popular by stars like Ariana Grande. While this post may be the most talked-about example of the controversy, discussions about whether non-black gamers could put on the new hairstyles, or whether they were exclusively black hairstyles at all, began immediately after Nintendo announced they even existed. Now that the hair is rampant, the conversation has largely focused on what the new options really are and what fans should call them.
This apparent confusion about the hairstyles has led some fans to explain while liking the trains look
Racists who call the Afro Puffs space buns when they cross animals, as if we don’t have space buns that look like hair with a completely different structure pic.twitter.com/AoNSRW8RnT
– madANXiETY | (129/300) (@MahouEcho) 22nd November 2020
LISTEN!! If the afro buns Nintendo recently added to ACNH were space buns, they would NOT be textured. They would look like the bun left. This is not a “gatekeeping” hairstyle. It’s as simple as: WHITE PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE TEXTURED HAIR. They are not the same. pic.twitter.com/fCkvrCSjq8
– Nesreen ☾ (@lilbittysherb) November 21, 2020
Part of what makes this a weary problem for some Black fans is that it took the series a long time to recognize this segment of its user base. New Horizons Overall, better than previous iterations, forcing players who wanted darker skin in the game to tan their characters for hours while not wearing masks just to portray themselves in the game is better than previous iterations.
As a critic, Funké Joseph stated in the gamespot in June“I can be my villager now and I love that, but it took so damn long. I find it hard to praise Nintendo for recording it now than I and so many others needed it years ago. The bar for representation is so dauntingly low that companies are being praised for including content that should have come from there [the] Begin; that we celebrate that we have our hair as a “win” in a game or that we have a black character who is not a stereotype as something innovative. “
Speaking to Polygon via Twitter about the space bun controversy, Joseph added, “It’s obviously a black hairstyle, something people have been pushing hard for, and the obvious trolls will say things like ‘space bun xP’ in seemingly quirky ways, however she knows what they are doing, whom to delete. “
On social media, reactionaries have taken this opportunity to delve into the subject, frequently posting pictures of white characters wearing the afro poufs as if defiantly. Opinions on this phenomenon differ. Some black players have proclaimed that they have no problem at all and I don’t care what other fans wear in the game. The players Polygon spoke to for this story have recognized that they may not necessarily have control over what others will do. The potential problem is that by naming space buns, fans are erasing the context of a hard-won and long overdue inclusion in the game.
“At least call them Afro Puffs if you have to wear them,” says Animal Crossing fan Morgan, who enjoyed the new update.
“So these people picked a hairstyle and renamed it so they could pretend it wasn’t a black style,” she continued in a Twitter message. Morgan told Polygon that ever since write a tweet When she asked people to stop referring to her as a space bun, she was harassed by users who pointed out that, among other things, she has pronouns in her bio. This, in turn, has led Morgan to believe that this is not really about Animal Crossing at all – some of the people arguing over the brothels may not even be gamers, but people who are reluctant to go over the very idea of racial inclusivity where whatever it may appear.
This is just the newest battleground for watchers who may not have a stake in the larger Animal Crossing community. A moderator from the largest Animal Crossing community on the internet told Polygon that fans on their forums were mostly respectful of the topic. even if they did not agree. Instead of becoming a fireworks display of harassment, the discussions about the trains disappeared pretty quickly.
“I don’t like paying any attention to such users, however,” Joseph said of the Space Bun Brigade. “I’m just glad these hairstyles are for my whole family !!”