Animal Crossing vs Real Life

There is no more addictive game than one that makes you feel emotionally involved. Animal Crossing has been around since 2004 where it was first introduced on the GameCube console. Nintendo considers it a social simulator and communication game. The game immediately throws the player into the world. It starts with a train moving you to a new town with no money and no friends. There are no other humans besides yourself. Every other character is a type of animal. Their voices are garbled and high pitched leaving the only form of communication to be subtitles.


Once you reach the town, Tom Nook (the store owner) employs you in order for you to pay off your house. From there you are on your own to work odd jobs. As you play, you realize paying off your home debt is much harder than initially expected. There is no greater irony than struggling to pay your rent and then diving into a game which forces you to do the same while still giving you satisfaction and enjoyment.

There is no actual way to beat Animal Crossing. It is a real time game with an endless story that requires maintaining friendships and making money. If you look at the aspects of the game you come to realize that it mimics real life. What is enticing about working all day, interacting socially, but then having a desire to come home and play a game that virtually has you taking all the same steps?

The answer is control. Animal Crossing allows you to manage the aspects of life without having it as a stressor. It allows you to breakout of the daily grind and enjoy the things that would normally seem un-enjoyable. It creates similar satisfaction when tasks are completed in-game Animal_Crossing_Coverartas they would be in real life. The game is cartoony, bright, and just surreal enough to be able to escape into. However, another strength of the game is narrative. When comparing Animal Crossing to other social simulators such as The Sims, the unique factor is the presence of the narrative. Even though you’re given free choice with many decisions the story still guides you in ways of conversations and goals. The strength of the narrative being present gets the player much more personally invested with their character and every other character existing in the game’s world, adding to the game’s addictive nature and immersiveness. However, the most important fact above all is that there is never any doubt that you will succeed. I think that this is what completely eliminates all stress and allows the player to throw themselves into the world; there is no doubt that you will lose or fail in this game as long as you put in enough work and time. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for real life. But this is where the appeal of Animal Crossing lies: it’s real life, but better.

Link to review

Link to wikipedia 

Huffington Post article on the addictiveness of Animal Crossing

The horror of Animal Crossing 

  4 comments for “Animal Crossing vs Real Life

  1. Carter Nordike
    February 11, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    I like the idea of art imitating real life. I wonder how this stacks up to some other simulation games, like The Sims. The Sims can get pretty zany sometimes, especially with their various expansion packs. Does this make it more escapist than Animal Crossing? I mean, it is definitely easier to identify with characters in The Sims, as you are the creator in every way possible. However, there is this weird difference where, in The Sims, you are God, and in Animal Crossing, you are just another resident of the town. I wonder which is more relaxing to the player in general. Neither is too stressful, that’s for sure. Good write-up

  2. Casey
    February 12, 2015 at 4:48 am

    It’s interesting to think about how by just making a world cartoony, light-hearted, and unrealistic it’s appeal immediately jumps. Even though it is a life simulator of sorts it is different enough from real life so that the player always knows that it isn’t real. This seems to be its greatest strength. People want to escape the stress, they want to jump into the problems of others and avoid actual consequences. That’s what Animal Crossing seems to be to me, a world similar enough to our own but without real world consequences. While this is an engrossing idea for a game and perfect for certain types of escapism I have to ask, is it literature? If its greatest strength is potential for escapism, a quality many other games accomplish as well, then is it a work that stands out enough to be considered in the canon of electronic literature?

  3. Nelson Caballero
    January 23, 2017 at 8:48 am

    It amazes me to know the there are individual the put real life scenarios into a game in order to understand the struggles or situations in order to keep a household running. It’s not as easy as it sounds, since bills, food, and entertainment are bills that accumulate if not taken care. But as describe, the games does bring reality to real life experience. Not everyone just entrances a new city and find a job, friends, or house to live under. Individuals have to work their way up, even if it starts at the bottom. Getting adjusted to the new environment, as well knowing the individual that live around. I put it as in going into a new high school and starting from scratch, making sure we are given the best impression of what we want they to perceived us as. As well, as finding a job the will be suitable to maintain the cost of living in the particular city. Finding friends in order to keep a social life and not beat myself too much on the mistakes a make long the way.

  4. sarasciulla
    January 24, 2017 at 9:24 am

    I think your article was very well written. I agree with the point that you make in the beginning of the article, where you state how addictive Animal Crossing is. I agree this is because of the communication aspect and the part how you get to basically build a life of your own from the ground up. I think that the objective of finding items that help your character in the game is also quite addictive. I remember spending hours and hours on end on my nintendo ds playing Animal Crossing, with my only goal to collect as many items as humanly possible. I also agree with your main point, how you said this game eliminates all stress because you throw yourself completely into the game. I believe that part of a game is important, as seen in The Sims as well. I hope there will soon be more games of substance that relate to Animal Crossing or The Sims in this way.

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