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Saturday Night Social: Should I Start Playing Animal Crossing?

Illustration for article titled Saturday Night Social: Should I Start Playing Animal Crossing?
Image: Getty

I’m not someone who refers to themselves as a “gamer.” Save for a brief period of time where I was very into Kingdom Hearts, and that one infamous summer where we all decided to play Pokémon GO for whatever reason, gaming and the culture that surrounds it have been largely absent from my life. I have friends who game, they play something called League of Legends, which I understand is apparently very popular. However, even though it involves magic, which is the first way to get me interested in something, for the most part, it’s entirely lost on me.

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Recently, it has come to my attention that a game called Animal Crossing exists, and today I was made aware of the fact that yesterday a new Animal Crossing was released. This is, it seems, a Very Big Deal for a lot of people. It’s a game, I’ve learned, that is played on the Nintendo Switch, which is something I do not have but am now suddenly considering purchasing, for the sole purpose of getting into this game.

I truly know nothing about it, although it is seemingly a cultural phenomenon. I usually find it annoying when people talk about not knowing about something that is wildly popular because it usually means they’re trying to come off as too cool to know about it. All I can promise you is that, based on what I’m now learning about this game, I don’t feel too cool for not knowing about it, I feel sad about missing out on this apparent fount of joy.

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Of the new game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Simon Parkin wrote for The New Yorker, “New Horizons subscribes to a specific, materialist vision of society, but it also offers the opportunity to transcend that vision and to find purpose in mundane acts of kindness and reciprocity.” Considering I haven’t had any in-person interaction in the last five days, finding purpose in mundane acts of kindness and reciprocity sounds pretty good to me right about now.

What do you all think, is it time for me to get into gaming?

freelance writer living in San Francisco. Please clap.

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Krispy Porkchops

Shelter Catstravaganza!

Despite the chaos of the outside world, life goes on at the shelter. And I am very glad for that!

In Blue Unit, Max got himself a roommate named Rusty. Very shy but extremely curious (which basically describes most of our new kitties lol), Rusty was brave enough to explore the room. He reeeeally wanted to get up on the corner shelf, so I assisted.

Turns out that was just a stepping stone to the *real* destination, the top of the supply cabinet. A careful inspection of the ceiling revealed no apparent escape routes. Sad!

However, the silver lining is that these two kitties became instant buddies!

This morning, I discovered Rusty has turned Max into an extroveert. Turns out, they both went to the Quinn School of De-Fur Interruption.

Chase was feeling social and came down off *his* corner shelf for some attention.

He also discovered the benefits of Sunbeam and Scritches.

Shane is still reticent about coming out of the cage, but scritches are welcome, tyvm.

While that was going on, the theme in the rest of the room was “Grooming Time”. Granger on Mama Colette.

Bianca on Anastasia.

As you were, ladies.

Holly and dancer are two kittens who joined us from a foster home. Here they are before Lullaby Therapy.

And here they are after Lullaby Therapy. Dancer is making some serious air biscuits.

Here we have Tiger (front), Pumpkin( middle), and Griffin (in the back). They were TNR’d by a person in cooperation with our shelter. But someone who moved in next door started threatening the cats. We suspect them of using inhumane means to trap them, but have no proof. Pumpkin lost part of a hind leg due to an injury, and Tiger has an injured leg as well. I spent an hour just stroking them and singing my lullaby. Griffin was hiding in a cave bed, while Pumpkin was where you see him and Tiger ended up moving over to the window. They all accepted stroking and petting, but they are still clearly traumatized.

Yesterday, I spent another hour lullaby singing and petting them. Pumpkin was okay with that, occasionally burying his face in Griffin for comfort. I got Griffin to stop shaking, too. But Tiger is having none of it, yet.

On a lighter note, this may be my favorite photo I took all week. Hello, Caleb!

Piper is not impressed.

And after weeks of staying in bed, Erle Stanley came out for a visit!

Adoptions! Speck, Patti’s roommate, was adopted, as was Yami! Yay!

Finally, Patti continues to rock at tug-of-war.

And her cunning Master Plan finallt came to fruition, because I ADOPTED HER!!! Yes, she has found her forever home with the Porkchop family. She’s currently staying in the guest bedroom while getting acclimated. I introduced all three of our kitties to her yesterday, one at a time, for a short period. Mocha hid under the bed and growled, Myles inspected her litterbox and helped himself to her catnip stick, and Marble was just very confused, though he did have a rousing paw fight with her under the door later in the day. And man, does she eat fast!

Catnip mousie!