I have always been suspicious of the Animal Crossing series. Somehow I found it hard to understand why people well beyond the age of thirty would spend their free time after office hours meeting the demands of a big capitalist raccoon and paying off horrendous debts. Day after day.
But now, in spring 2020, this should change. Nintendo pulled off the feat of launching Animal Crossing: New Horizons in Europe at the start of the Corona pandemic, making the promise of moving to a faraway island and experiencing a little routine and order there suddenly highly attractive to me as well. A good 50 hours later I had mastered the story corset. K.K. Slider now plays heart-warming concerts every Saturday, the island was transformed into a small town, nature was conquered and a likeable cast of residents was found. And yet I can’t rest until I have done it – and my house is finally paid for.
Make it your project, or so says the DIY advertisement.
Although I’m not familiar with building loan agreements and I can cope quite well with the horrendous rents of an apartment in an historical building, the dream of owning my own home has grabbed me. I spend lively discussions with friends about how the basement room should be extended. Which wallpaper fits well with the new floor. Whether the facade might need a general overhaul after all. And my imagination knows no bounds: In the basement, an excellent music studio. I can sleep in a racing car bed, which stands next to the model railway in my children’s room. If I cross the entrance room, I stand in the home cinema, with a 55-inch flat screen and elegant cinema furniture. I’m still not quite happy with the attic, where up to now all sorts of objects have been stowed away, from which I somehow can’t part with, but which also don’t really fit in with the rest of the furniture.
A friend of mine sent me a photo from her holiday the other day. An opulent beach house. Her dream, she wrote, was to be able to afford something like that one day. I sent her back a photo of my house from Animal Crossing.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons at the Switch, you can make friends with animals, go fishing, collect insects – and build and furnish houses. This quirky mix created a viral phenomenon in 2020 and one of the most successful titles in game history.
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