What Animal Crossing Taught Me About Roleplaying



Let me start out this article by asking a few questions. You’ve heard of a series called “Animal Crossing” (or, for some, “Animal Forest”), right? I’m sure that most, if not all, of you have. Here’s my next question for you; have you ever played it? Once again, I am sure that most of you have answered “yes”. Now, I have one final question; what do you do in Animal Crossing?

I’m sure that most of you have answered in a similar manner. “You fish.” “You catch bugs.” You build a house.” I’m sure that there are a few brazen and cocky enough to say “not much”. Honestly, I’ve been asked the same question myself and it always makes me a little confused. What IS it about? What truly makes this game so enjoyable for me? Sure, collecting bugs, growing flowers, and furnishing my own house is fun, but none of those things are really something that makes a series stand out. At least, not to me.

Eventually, the answer began to dawn upon me; the villagers! No, that’s not quite right. It can’t be the villagers, and the villagers alone. Rather, it’s how I view them. The thought-filled letters I send to them. The joy I get from visiting their houses. The favors that we do for one another. I realized that I put so much effort into the game, so much effort into trying to befriend these talking animals, that I had naturally begun roleplaying. Every time I picked up my 3DS to play Animal Crossing: New Leaf, I would immediately and completely become immersed in what was going on in my town. I would find myself wondering things like “what’s Cherry up to?” or “I wonder if Lionel will invite me over today?” Yes. I was roleplaying, and I loved every minute of it.

Believe me or not, all of that immersion taught me some things about roleplaying. First of all, we all roleplay. Just because you think that roleplaying is “something that only D&D nerds or weirdos do” doesn’t make it true. It’s a natural process that occurs whenever someone becomes invested in anything which requires them to adopt an alternate persona. Whether it’s in a game, a sport, a play, or just entertaining one’s younger siblings, roleplaying is everywhere. The sooner you see it as something natural and fun, the sooner you ‘ll begin enjoying it more.

Roleplaying allows you to see past what is physically there, and into a vast and wonderful world beyond. The more creativity and thought you put into something, the more enjoyment you will get out of it. It’s no wonder the people who see Animal Crossing as “just this” or “just that” have less fun. Let yourself believe that what you’re doing is real! Trust me, it’s a lot more fun that way.

Finally, it’s a great way to relieve stress. Having a hard day in day-to-day living? Is the hustle and bustle getting you down? Just leave it for an hour or two. It will be there when you get back, trust me. Focusing on the everyday stresses of real life too much can make a person feel upset, or even get sick. By allowing your conscious to get sucked into the realm of fiction for a while, you ‘re putting all of that stress at ease. Loosen up a bit!

Well, I guess that pretty much sums up what I’ve learned from the wonderful world of Animal Crossing. Until next time, keep on gaming!

Starting out with nothing more than a Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Kenny has happily been gaming for almost his entire life. Easily-excitable and a bit on the chatty side, Kenny has always been eager to share gaming-related thoughts, opinions, and news with others and has been doing so on Hey Poor Player since 2014 and has previously worked with both PKMNcast and SCATcast. Although his taste in gaming spreads across a wide number of companies and consoles, Kenny holds a particular fondness for Nintendo handheld consoles. He is also very proud of his amiibo collection. You can also find him on Twitter @SuperBayleef talking about video games and general nonsense. Some of his favorite games include Tetris Attack, Pokémon Black Version 2, The World Ends With You, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, Yo-kai Watch, Donkey Kong Country 2, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Kirby's Dreamland 3, Mega Man X, and Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (among many others).

Join Our Discord!

Join Our Discord!

Click the icon above to join our Discord! Ask a Mod or staff member to make you a member to see all the channels.

Review Archives

  • 2022 (242)
  • 2021 (523)
  • 2020 (302)
  • 2019 (158)
  • 2018 (251)
  • 2017 (427)
  • 2016 (400)
  • 2015 (170)
  • 2014 (89)
  • 2013 (28)
  • 2012 (8)
  • 2011 (7)
  • 2010 (6)