What Animal Crossing is Teaching Me About Life

I know, the title sounds silly. Animal Crossing is a game series widely thought to be geared towards younger players but is taking all generations by storm with its newest release. Like many others, I’m new to the game. I did not play Animal Crossing: New Leaf because I didn’t have a Nintendo 3DS at the time and I, too was under the impression that it was meant for kids. I played a little of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, but mobile games never hold my attention for very long. Due to social distancing and my tendency to experience game FOMO when a good majority of friends, YouTubers, and Twitch streamers are playing a game that I do not have, I bought the game and decided to see for myself what all the hype was about. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is delightful, relaxing, addicting, and all around the best game I have played in a while. With everything going on in the world right now and the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Animal Crossing has come to me at a perfect time. It gives me something to think about, something to plan, and something to look forward to. It has also, to my surprise, reminded me of a few life lessons. If you know me or you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know I’m a sucker for a good life simulation video game. I also appreciate sandbox games, but I tend to shy away from social games with too much of a creative element. Why? Because I’m not particularly creative. I have OCD and very much suffer from what Jenna Marbles potentially coined the “too much gene”. I’m also a perfectionist and my worst critic. All of these qualities are a lot to handle when I’m given too much free reign in a customizable world. If I can’t design the most fashionable, pixel art clothing or construct the perfect town layout I get frustrated and feel inferior, especially compared to what others have created. Here’s what I’m learning about Animal Crossing: New Horizons and why it’s so valuable in my own life. You don’t have to be the very best, unless you’re Ash Ketchum. Do your best, do what makes you happy, and enjoy the time spent. Whatever you design, whatever you plan, whatever you create is enough. Seeing the work of others should be inspiring, not degrading. How wonderful is it that we live in a world where everyone has their own style and their own way of doing things? Animal Crossing is an outlet and a place to showcase our individuality, however subtle or flashy we may be. It’s also just a fun game, and irresistibly cute! Connect with friends or relish in peaceful solitude. TLDR; I highly recommend you wholeheartedly experience Animal Crossing: New Horizons and remember that the game and life are whatever you make them to be.

To wrap things up, if you are playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, here a few helpful tips I’ve learned…

  • You can press A when crafting to speed up the process

  • You can press B during conversations to speed up dialogue

  • Dig three holes in a line behind you when mining rocks for the best chance of getting all eight resource drops

  • Find the one tiny, glowing spot on your island each day and dig up bells; plant the bells back in the hole to grow a money tree and pat yourself on the back for being patient

  • Shake your trees! I know it seems fruitless (pun intended) but drops like bells and furniture make it worthwhile

  • Speaking of shaking trees, hold your net while you shake your trees and catch wasps if they swarm. They’re profitable, little buggers

  • Sky presents are usually signaled by a gust of wind, keep your volume on if you can

  • Roam your island regularly to find visitors, shells, messages in bottles, and more

  • Visit other resident houses, if they’re working at their DIY station they usually give you a DIY recipe

  • Keep an eye on the sky and you might see a shooting star, press A to make a wish if you do and check for star fragments on the beach the next day

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