Animal Crossing, a social simulation series created and published by the Nintendo company, has become a fan-favorite video game for many.
When the video game series first launched in the U.S. in 2002, who knew that the same lovable brand would still be so prevalent over twenty years later? The Animal Crossing series has continued to grow and expand, with many fun games available for people to play on different Nintendo consoles, including the Wii, the DS, and the Nintendo Switch.
For those unfamiliar with Animal Crossing, each game follows a similar plotline. You create a character and set up a home in a world populated by animal characters. From there, you are able to interact with the characters to accomplish tasks, including fishing, catching bugs, and collecting different items. You are also able to customize both your house and the world you live in. The game itself doesn’t necessarily have an end goal, which makes Animal Crossing so enticing for people to play as well.
The peaceful, soothing, and slow-paced atmosphere of Animal Crossing games is what draws me to the series the most. Especially in a world that is filled with so many different stressors and things to do, Animal Crossing is the one video game where I feel that I’m able to free myself from my worries and live in the moment.
While growing up, I played many different Animal Crossing games, including the original Animal Crossing game on the Nintendo Gamecube, Animal Crossing: Wild World on the Nintendo DS, Animal Crossing: City Folk on the Nintendo Wii, Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the Nintendo 3DS, and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, which was also on the 3DS.
Out of all of the Animal Crossing games I have played, my favorite has been Animal Crossing: New Leaf. The game has been and still is one of my favorite video games ever since its release in November 2012.
With the month of April being National Stress Awareness Month, Animal Crossing: New Leaf has given me an outlet to relieve the stress that comes along with my daily life of schoolwork, jobs, and personal issues.
What makes this game especially stress-relieving is its elements that convey an idealized life for all players. While in the game, you do still face many real-life challenges, such as paying off housing debts and figuring out how to afford certain things; the stakes for doing these things are low.
There are no consequences in Animal Crossing. You can enjoy your life and go about it in a way that works best for you. The game itself also has such a relaxing atmosphere, which means there is no urgency to get tasks done.
In real life, where deadlines and consequences are ample, I do believe that all the Animal Crossing games do a good job of giving people a chance to escape from reality for a while – something that I believe we all need at times.