Animal Crossing Over

AnimalCrossingSmile

PostStrip: Welcome to your New Leaf

Why do I so thoroughly enjoy Animal Crossing: New Leaf? I work ceaselessly for more bells, catching scores of sharks and billions of beetles, striving to earn enough cash to pay off my loans and buy a new couch, besides. And some wallpaper. And some clothes. It’s essentially capitalism: the game, and capitalism just isn’t that fun. Animal Crossing is toil. I don’t like toil.

“Welcome to your new life!” hollers the back cover, in a neighborly sort of way. And indeed it will consume and replace your life, constantly drawing you back with its aura of pure pleasantness. You need to visit the store every day to purchase fortune cookies and get official Nintendo items (the best kind of items, really), but then you happen to see some cracks in the ground, so you go hunting for fossils and gyroids. While you’re at it, you may as well search for the fabled money rock, as well. And gems, don’t forget about gems.

But then Sally sees you, goes ding with revelation, and asks if she can visit your house in, oh, fifty minutes’ time. So you begrudgingly say yes, only because Sally is the greatest, and spend your sweet time collecting seashells. You see a shark fin poking out of the water and cast your line, hoping to earn a 20,000 bell payoff. You travel to and from the store selling seashells, use your slingshot to shoot at balloons, and go buy some new shoes.

By the time you’re finished, Sally has come and gone. You missed her. Poor Sally. And now you feel bad, so you go buy her a present.

It all just adds up, and it eats away at your life. Your old life. Past tense. Gone. Yes? Yes.

Why do I enjoy this game? I dunno. Animal Crossing is a special case. The emotions involved are incredibly complex.

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