Surprises in Animal Crossing: Wild World

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So I’ve been play­ing AC: WW for over a weeks now and I must say it has lived up to my expec­ta­tions. It’s a cute and quirky game that does not fol­low con­ven­tion­al game design rules. There is no way to die, no (real) way to loose or even win. In a sense it’s more like a toy than a game; you can play with it end­less­ly, there is no goal to reach (apart from dis­cov­er­ing all it’s lit­tle secrets).

Cockroaches

One of those secrets was par­tic­u­lar­ly fun to dis­cov­er. After a few days of play I con­vinced my girl­friend to give it a try. So she put the car­tridge in her pink DS Lite. While I was cook­ing din­ner, she went through the begin­ning stages (dri­ving to the town in a taxi, get­ting a job with Tom Nook). A bit lat­er, I picked it up again and went about my busi­ness (I think it was fish­ing, I still have a large loan to pay off after the first house expan­sion).

After a while I went back into the house and found (shock! hor­ror!) a bunch of cock­roach­es run­ning around my care­ful­ly kempt inte­ri­or. “We have cock­roach­es!” I shout­ed to my girl­friend while run­ning around the house try­ing to squash them. The appar­ent source was some apples lying around. “Didn’t the ani­mals tell you don’t leave stuff lying around the house?” I asked her. They had, but where should she put them (the apples) oth­er­wise? Good point.

We had a good laugh after that episode. Be care­ful who you play this game with; it might be a chal­lenge liv­ing togeth­er in the real world – Ani­mal Cross­ing is no dif­fer­ent! But the real genius of the game is in these things. It’s a rules based world for sure (leave apples around the house, get cock­roach­es) but the mini-nar­ra­tives that it allows you to build in this way is crazy.

Letters

Anoth­er exam­ple is the let­ters I find myself writ­ing to the ani­mals. I’m sure they’d be hap­py with any kind of let­ter, as long as I men­tion some spe­cif­ic words maybe (like ‘hap­py’ and ‘friend’). In stead, I’m writ­ing ful­ly formed sen­tences, and include lit­tle details that would be appre­ci­at­ed by real peo­ple. In that way, it’s allow­ing for sub­tle role-play­ing.

Charity

On the sub­ject of role-play­ing (and there not being a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ way to play the game); I know I should be hard at work pay­ing off the afore­men­tioned loan (to progress to the next ‘lev­el’). But in stead I find myself spend­ing a lot of time and mon­ey on present for the ani­mals, and dona­tions to the muse­um. That might be role-play­ing (or that might be my real per­son­al­i­ty influ­enc­ing what I find plea­sur­able in the game) but the coolest bit is that it doesn’t mat­ter; any way of play­ing is valid.

Have any oth­er peo­ple had sim­i­lar expe­ri­ences with the game? Are there ways to apply this log­ic (the pat­terns inher­ent in the game) to oth­er domains?

Some closing links:

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.

7 thoughts on “Surprises in Animal Crossing: Wild World”

  1. I’m get­ting AC: WW in like, 33 weeks and I can’t wait. I’m not stu­pid, i saw videos and read guides and research it. here are orange Dss? Cool. =]

  2. Heh, no! That was half of the fun actu­al­ly. Clean up the room first (i.e. pick up any stuff lying around that isn’t fur­ni­ture.) Then, go after the roach­es! Run­ning around the house repeat­ed­ly press­ing the A but­ton did the trick for me. You see your­self actu­al­ly stomp­ing on the roach­es!

  3. Heh thanks cars, its fun­ny you lit­tle white roach ghosts fly­ing up after you step on them.

  4. can some­one help me? theres noth­ing lying around my house, that isnt fur­ni­ture. but every­time i move some­thing, a roach comes out. and when i go into my house. roahces are juss there, every­time.

  5. If after get­ting rid of all the roach­es they keep com­ing back, it prob­a­bly means you have too much stuff lying around. Either remove some fur­ni­ture, or buy a big­ger house!

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