It's been almost four years since it's debut and Animal Crossing is still a very popular title for owners of Nintendo GameCube. It's adorable animal characters and evolving world make it a great game for kids and grownups (well some, say me) alike. But never, ever, under any circumstance play Animal Crossing with your husband. Take it from someone whose been there, some games are better left unshared
If you have never played Animal Crossing and are a fan of the ‘cute and simple' games like Harvest Moon and Spyro the Dragon, this is a really fun game. You take on the persona of either a boy or a girl who decides it's time to leave home and strike it out alone. Somehow you end up in a town inhabited by (talking) animals. It is a lovely little town and you decide to stay. In the town there is a shopkeep (Tom Nook), who is also a slum…er… landlord on the side. He will be happy to sell you one of the four homes he owns in trade for doing some odd jobs. Working hard you eventually pay off your home and can have an even bigger one made if you desire. At Tom's shop and around the town you can find TONS of items and furniture to decorate with. Fun!
After having your basic needs for shelter and a cute coffee table met, you decide it's time to get to know your neighbors. Have I mentioned they are talking animals? This town is a habitat for so many different types of wildlife, you ask yourself how they can possibly coexist as they do. They make it work and some eventually become friends of yours, or at least tolerated neighbors. You can visit their homes, give them gifts or just hang out with them. You can even design clothes for your toon or an animal friend to wear. Because everyday in the ‘real world' is also a day in the Animal Crossing realm (say it's September 17th here, it will also be Sept 17th in the game) there will be interesting things for you and your animal friends to do. You might pick fruit, fish, collect butterflies or attend a holiday festival. There is even a post office where you can write letters to the animals to let them know how much you like them so they don't feel lonely and move away(it's always sad when an animal feels neglected and leaves town).
I played Animal Crossing happily for many months, enjoying the changing of the seasons and the holidays. There is no violence or crime in the Animal Crossing world. The worst damage you can do to a resident is to hit him on the head with your butterfly net until they get angry and stormclouds brew over their heads. It was a peaceful existence I had with the animals and I cherished each moment. Until that one fateful day when my husband moved in.
My landlord had three other homes for rent so I thought I'd extend the offer to my husband. I wanted him to share in the lovely world the animals and I had created. I should have known early on, when the animals asked what his name was and he replied Jerk-Face that things would get ugly. But I have never been good at seeing red flags.
Jerk-Face worked hard to pay for his home. In fact, he had a much nicer home than I did within days. He toiled for Tom Nook and I admit to being a bit envious. He had not, however, made friends with any of the animals yet and I felt he was missing out on the comaraderie of the town. I urged him to venture out and meet his new friends. Although four people can live in the Animal Crossing town, only one person can play at a time. I had a long week at work so I told him that he was in charge of keeping the animals happy while I was away. On Friday I asked him how things in the Animal Crossing world were going. He smiled wickedly.
I had seen that smile before. We had played Sims together for awhile and this was the same smile he had when my sim-girl up and left my house to marry his evil, scientist sim, who made her work all day while he made potions. I think the scientist's name was Jerk-Face, too. Why hadn't I learned my lesson then?
I grabbed the controller and logged in my character. I quickly saw what he was grinning about. All of the animals were bringing me letters that Jerk-Face had written them. They went something like this…
Dear Cow….Sleep with one eye open you stupid buttwipe. I'm having steak for dinner! mwahahaha…Love and Kisses, Jerkface
The animals were also wearing new clothes, Jerk-Face exclusives. They were bright red and black nightmares with pictures of devils and skulls painted on them. I glared at my husband and he shrugged.
But, perhaps, the very worst thing he had done was to chase the animals with the butterfly net all week, hitting them so many times that a few left town without saying goodbye. He was quite proud of himself.
“What have you done to my town?!” I asked, wanting to find a butterfly net of my own to beat him over the head with.
“I've cleaned out the rabble.” He reported happily.
My face reddened. The animals had coexisted together but the whole town was in mayhem because Jerk-Face had moved in.
“You can't play anymore.” I said to him, comforting a camel. That would teach him to destroy my fantasy world.
“Thank you.” he said, kissing my cheek and heading to his computer to turn on Grand Theft Auto.
I played AC after that, but it was never the same. I missed my friends that had moved away, and weeks later animals were still bringing me the letters Jerk-Face had written. Without anything to capture, beat, kill or zap my husband had been bored. Though we were both gamers our tastes differed greatly in genres. He had given mine a try, but in the end it played out his way.