– By Matt, Normal Happenings –
Hello there. I’m Matt from over on Normal Happenings. In the spirit of our blog partnership, Megan and I are doing a guest post exchange. Oftentimes, I discuss topics on my blog of a more practical or philosophical nature. So it’s rejuvenating to be able to just geek out about things here on a blog that’s all about geeking out. We’re publishing these articles at the same time, so you can go here to see Megan’s post over on Normal Happenings.
So I have a confession to make. I love the video game Animal Crossing. I can’t get enough of it. From designing my own home to finding fossils to interacting with my neighbors, there’s something incredibly fulfilling about playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf. In fact, since I got my 3DS, I’ve spent more time playing New Leaf than other game. Even more than Zelda, which, you know, I named my blog after.
But why? What makes Animal Crossing so special? The answer lies in its longitude. This game is not a series of objectives and combat. There is not a single bit of physical combat in the game. No, Animal Crossing is a pristine example of life. It’s what life would be like if life was free of frustration and strife.
Unlike other games, where rewards are simulations of extrinsic values, in Animal Crossing the rewards of intrinsic. Much like a Zen Garden, the simple act of playing garners feelings of peace and nostalgia. This allows the player to experience not loneliness, but solitude and fulfillment. That’s why I named my town Solitude.
Not to mention the game is funny, and the characters are a hoot. I know my neighbor in the game is a talking pig, but this is a talking pig that I really want to be best friends with.
In short, if I could move to Solitude with my girlfriend and live there, I totally would. Sometimes you just need to escape. While books have their place, there’s nothing more serene than a few minutes a day of Animal Crossing.