Animal Crossing’s new name in China is “Macho Man Picking Up Tree Branches”
Chinese players adopt a new code name to sell virtual services and in-game items on ecommerce platforms, where the official game is banned
When you think about Nintendo’s adorable new simulation game Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a muscular man probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But that’s how Chinese gamers have been referring to it recently.
Vendors on Alibaba sites Taobao and Xianyu, a used goods platform, have been using the Macho Man name to sell in-game items. Some creative sellers even offer paid services to help players tend their virtual gardens and islands, removing weed and watering plants. (Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba.)
It’s not clear who coined the new code name for Animal Crossing. But one of the most circulated screenshots shows a Taobao vendor referring to the game as “Macho Man Picking Up Tree Branches” when a buyer asks about it.
Gathering tree branches is one of the most common activities players need to perform on their virtual islands. The “macho man” reference could have to do with Chinese netizens’ habit of using the name in reference to cute things online.
But “macho man” has long been used on China’s internet for humorous effect on content considered cute.
A search for “macho man must see” on Bilibili, for instance, brings up many videos of cute babies and animals. On the videos, users post comments like “macho man is pleased” and “macho man is crying”.
But if you’re thinking of doing the search yourself, know that it’s not all babies and puppies. It also predictably brings up some videos of scantily clad women.