My talented photographer friend, Maddie, helped me out with this piece — check her out on Instagram!
I have a nice little routine on my days off when I’m home for the summer. I wake up, pour my coffee, and turn on my Wii to play Animal Crossing: City Folk. The game came out in 2008, and I have been a loyal villager ever since — to the point where I have pretty much run out of things to do. My house is paid off. I have filled my fish encyclopedia. All of the fossils are in the museum. Which begs the question…
Why am I still so addicted to this game?
I think the biggest thing is that it’s a comfort. Life is different in my fictional town of Forks (yes, I made it during my Twilight phase). I don’t face the same things I do in real life. I instead live out what I would argue is the millennial fantasy.
- You pay off your home loan at your leisure.
Sure, Tom Nook is a money hungry capitalist. But while you work hard to pay off your loan, he doesn’t ever bother you. In fact, you could never pay it off and just live in a tiny home with no penalty whatsoever. When the time is right, you can expand overnight. A new basement? Just wait twelve hours, boo. We’ll get it done.
- Even with a loan over your head, you can still comfortably buy locally sourced clothes and coffee.
Millennials love to shop small, and the town makes this possible. Able and Sable get to live out their dream of owning a clothing store, and the prices are reasonable. You can watch them make the clothes, each day, so you know they’re sweatshop free!
Brewster is always happy to tell you just where your beans are coming from. Sure, maybe he pressures you to drink your coffee before it cools off, but it’s just because he’s passionate.
- Not only that, but legendary musical artists come into YOUR TOWN for FREE.
Gas prices are WAY too high to keep traveling for music festivals. In Animal Crossing, the gigs are only steps away. K.K. Slider is a pretty big artist to book — any animal or villager you run into knows that name. He even gives you his music for free as a souvenir. We love a local legend!
- Female villagers can walk alone at night.
IMAGINE THAT! I mean, in City Folk there’s a big spider that will bite you. But even then, you pass out and nobody takes advantage of you. What a world!
- And no cat calls — not even from cats!
Sometimes Moe lights up when he sees me, but he won’t talk to me unless I approach him first. A true man.
- Cheap, spontaneous vacations to remote islands are not out of the question.
When I was in my hardcore New Leaf phase, I took some time to go to the island and relax at sunset every single day. It hardly cost any bells, and it was free to fish, snorkel, splunk, you name it.
- No political parties. Heck, hardly any politics.
The only sign of a political hierarchy in Animal Crossing: a friendly Tortoise for a Mayor. He’s just chillin and throwing events on Town Square. Newer games have the Q U E E N Isabelle, who acts as an assistant to you, the mayor. And as mayor, the biggest decision you’ll have to make is where to build a bench. In these newer games, Tortimer is somehow able to afford to buy the aforementioned island, and retire. We are happy for him.
So I will happily keep living out my fantasy life in Animal Crossing while I work on getting there in real life. Just don’t laugh at me when I accidentally refer to my cash as bells.