“Wtf is Animal Crossing” tweeted NeNe Leakes a few weeks ago. I’m sure that exact same question has been on a lot of people’s minds lately. Since the game was released for 3DS on June 9, social media has been overrun with Animal Crossing-related images, comics and jokes, which has triggered many people to wonder, “What is this Animal Crossing game and why are people so obsessed with it?”
Animal Crossing, simply put, is a casual game where you live in a neighborhood full of furry creatures. You can furnish your house, go fishing, chase butterflies or simply linger around and chat with your animal neighbors. The goal of the game is…well, nothing: to simply enjoy your neighborhood and relax. That’s right, relax. These aren’t words that are typically associated with games. And yet everyone can’t stop talking about it.
So why is this a bad thing? For one, I’m actually a fan of Animal Crossing. I owned the original GameCube version and also the Wild World version for Nintendo DS. But there was no social media implosion of Animal Crossing-related news back in 2001. And, frankly, it’s not needed.
The best thing about the game is its simplicity, its subtelty. It’s not the type of game you shout from the rooftops about. It’s not the type of game where “sharing” should be encouraged. The game itself is boring from a third party perspective. The only person who is interested in that amusing thing your penguin neighbor said is you. No one else cares! Although I’m a fan of the game, I wish people could simply enjoy the game for what it is and stop trying to drag it to Farmville levels of annoyance.