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  • Writer's pictureIndy Goodwin

Animal Crossing - How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love my Island Again

I love this game. Probably more than I should. I still play daily, dutifully watering my flowers and chatting with my islander friends. It is my little island paradise to escape from real life and quite frankly I don’t know what I’d have done without it during the first lockdown. I feel like more people will rush back as the UK plunges headfirst into another lockdown. However, a relaxing game can easily turn into a mad dash if you have a type A personality. Do you aggressively achievement hunt? Then you might be type A too.

My need to have the best island was compounded by seeing everyone else’s islands that flooded social media. Envy and burnout nearly made me stop playing all together. With the new sharing capabilities of the Switch people can share their beautiful island layouts and dream villagers more easily. TikTok is still flooded with Animal Crossing videos, with people making memes or even short dramas starring their favourite villagers. YouTube has also seen a lot of Animal Crossing content, and I admit to having a particular weakness for Chase Crossing’s island tour videos.

In the face of all of these beautiful islands however it is all too easy to look at your little place in the sun you worked so hard on and suddenly feel inadequate. You compare everything you’ve done to the videos you’ve watched. That island was created by an interior designer! How could I ever compete!

So you get grumpy and redo and redo your island in frustration, trying to make it into an insta worthy paradise. Sometimes you succeed. Sometimes you make it worse. And then you get completely fed up with the whole thing and stop playing. Or at least, that’s my experience.

The most important thing to remember here is this game is supposed to be fun. Relaxing, even. Do you prefer to keep your island a little more rustic? Do that! Want a white marble monolith with gold statues? Go for your life. There’s so much you can do with the space, especially with the terraforming tools allowing you to reshape the land as you will. You can do anything you want.

Everyone’s island is unique to them. Like fingerprints. Comparing your island to a famous Youtuber’s who has many millions more bells than you and a thousand hours in the game already is pointless. Comparison is the thief of joy. Your island probably won’t look like the mega detailed islands you’ve seen on the internet, and that’s ok.

Animal Crossing can be a relaxing and fun way to spend your time, if you let it. No matter what you do with your island, Timmy and Tommy will always be happy to see you in Nook’s Cranny. Your villagers will greet you with a smile. So what if your hybrid flower patch is overflowing or your terraforming is a little wonky? It’s home. Don’t let your type A personality ruin it for you.

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