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