My recent homecoming to Animal Crossing was not the joyous reunion I expected.
For months, me and my roommates were addicted to Nintendo’s Animal Crossing. We fought for the biggest houses and the coolest furniture. Dennis had built a whole boxing ring in his basement and I had an Apollo moon-landing reenactment built in my attic.
Animal Crossing is billed as the game that plays even when you’re away. It operates on a real 24-hour clock, and simulates seasons throughout the course of the year. But, you know how it is with games. One week Animal Crossing is absorbing every moment of your life, and the next thing you know, you and your roommates all get the Battlefield expansion. And then it’s Metroid Prime. Pretty soon, you’re playing Legend of Zelda 24/7, and it’s been months since you paid attention to the animals.
But me, I decided to go back and check in on the little guys inside the game. I figured their economy would be doing great after all that fruit I planted, and Nook’s big department store would have by now attracted a whole commercial downtown district. Come to think of it, it was kinda exciting. I plugged in the game, fired up the GameCube, and signed in.
It was a bad sign during the login process when Anchovy the bird appeared, missing an eye, and asked me to spot him five bells for his “medication.” Once I got into town things got worse. So far as I could tell Biscuit the puppy and Biff the hippo had been living on the train for the last six months. The seats were torn and there was graffiti all over the walls.
When I stepped out, I saw just beside the station the boarded up burned out remains of Nook’s shop. I walked on until I found the neighborhood where I used to live. The paint had long since peeled off my old house and it was surrounded by weeds -- the only way I could tell it was mine was because it still had a wiener painted on my door. I found the mayor’s body in my basement and Peewee the Gorilla living inside the moon lander in the attic. The rest of my furniture had either been stolen or burned for warmth last winter.
When I got outside, somebody shot me for wearing an 8-ball tee-shirt.
Apparently I was living in a 9-ball 'hood.
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- The ruins of our Animal Crossing town are best cleared by an elite group of heavily-armed special ops units.