I know Animal Crossing does not purport to be anything at all like real life; for starters, you are the only human in a world full of giant talking animals. But essentially, you play a human trying to make his or her way in the world, interacting with other beings, and generally finding enjoyment in life. Except there are a few ways in which Animal Crossing differs from the real world, which I think makes it the more appealing reality.
HOME LOANS ARE EASY
The first thing the animal folk make you do once you arrive into town is buy a house. You have arrived with no money and nothing but the clothes on your back, and they slam you with a home loan – on top of being the mayor, which it appears you are doing pro bono. What a crap job! The only way you can make money to pay off your crippling debt is by selling fruits, fish, bugs and fossils.
Since there are few objectives in the game, you can spend your days picking fruit off trees, or strolling along the beach collecting sea shells and catching fish. AND THEN GET PAID FOR IT. Suddenly, your home loan is paid off, and you got to have a relaxing day.
Oh, and if for some reason you don’t feel like collecting shells or collecting bugs for money, there’s always money in the trees. That’s right…
MONEY DOES GROW ON TREES
Or at least, money is hiding in the trees. Frustrated at the lack of bug diversity in the wintertime, I started shaking the trees and screaming “why…WHY?!” Lo and behold, some money fell out, which I quickly pocketed. Money doesn’t fall out of every tree, but it falls out of enough to warrant shaking every tree I came across.
Now go outside and try to shake a tree in the real world. Those aren’t coins coming loose from the branches, those are wasps. Good luck trying to pay off your home loan with a pocketful of live wasps, sucker!
FISHING IS ACTUALLY FUN
I think we can all agree that fishing is hella boring. You sit in a boat or on a wharf and wait for fish to come to you. And then you have to reel them in. And then you have to take the hook out of their mouth. And then you have to deal with a dead fish, along with terrible guilt of having tricked another living creature into putting a hook in their mouth. Why does anyone ever go fishing?
But in Animal Crossing, they take out all the horrifying parts of fishing, and replace them with cute puns.
Who doesn’t like puns? MONSTERS, that’s who.
No matter where you choose to build your house in Animal Crossing, it will always be a short walk away from the beach. Now, where I live in the real world is also considered a short walk to at least two beaches, but I would actually have to walk there. With my legs. Please.
In Animal Crossing, it takes you actual seconds to waddle down to a sandy shore, where you can go fishing, take a leisurely dive, collect sea shells, and find the occasional lost seagull, passed out and brought in by the waves. If it’s wintertime where you are, there is also a wharf with a manned boat ready to take you to an island where it is perpetually summer. Correct me if I am wrong, but that never happens in real life.
I’m not saying that Animal Crossing is an ideal place to live (again, you appear to be slaves to giant talking animals), but there are some pros that kind of make me rethink how great the real world really is. I mean sure, in the real world I have proper agency and there’s a pretty good chance that a giant penguin will never ask me to catch a wharf roach for it, but I also can’t shake a tree if I ever need spare change for coffee, and my local museum isn’t run by a giant talking owl.
What I am saying is, I don’t want all my animals to be giant and capable of speech, just the wise owls. Science, get on this! For now…I know I can find a simpler world with giant owls in Animal Crossing.