I don't see what's so difficult about being able to choose your default skintone.
You shouldn't be forced to have a specific color as your default. It's a customizable game, you can choose other features, but not your skintone? It promotes the idea that white is "default". Even the Japanese argument is a little weak considering that in Japanese media a lot of characters, especially main characters, are white rather than Japanese. And Japan has a big problem with people trying to be more white through surgery and treatment.
Harvest Moon recently added color choice. It's not anything spectacular, but it's something. Change has to start somewhere. And it won't happen unless there is a big enough voice for it.
Tanning is not a solution. It's a temporary change in the game. It's not fair for millions of kids to basically have the color of their skin written off as something as temporary as a tan.
It may not bother you personally, but it does bother people. Maybe not even directly, but you have to understand that race issues aren't just the upfront and obvious oppression, but a good portion of them come in small seemingly subtle packages. When games constantly have white only playable characters, you're silently telling every child of color that to be someone important in a game, you have to be white.
Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Schim, that was a perfect post. Perfect.
I was getting all geared up to contribute to this thread, but you said everything much more eloquently than I would have.
Does your skin have to be the correct colour in-game to enjoy the game? No, not really.
It might just be cosmetic, but it's important. Perhaps if they had kept customization to the bare minimum level it was in the GC game it would be defensible. But they added new hair colors and styles, new facial features, and the option to change your eye color. A logical supplementary addition would be to add a choice of skin tone OUTSIDE of just the tanning feature. The fact that such a thing was omitted is disappointing.
It'd be nice if we could choose our skintones. I have a brown skintone and the only way I can effectively (permanently) portray that in the game is with the Mii mask. It doesn't detract from my love for the series, I played Wild World without the Mii mask and still enjoyed every second playing that game. It just sucks that we can't use accessories/hats when using the masks, I know why it's not possible but yeah. I just hope that the 3DS has more Mii style options than the Wii.
They definitely should, it would only improve the game. The new Pokemon game revealed options to change your skin color and that's a Japanese game as well, so it's not like it can't be done or they aren't aware of other races besides Japanese people. I'm willing to guarantee that the next Animal Crossing after New Leaf will include this because it's past the point where it's okay. It's basically like having The Sims with only white people, wouldn't that seem really crazy? There are all kinds of people out there and in a game where you essentially get to customize the way your character looks, the color of your skin should be an obvious addition too. It wouldn't hurt anything. It's like boys being able to wear dresses in this game. If you want that option, there you go. If you don't, don't use it! :P