Animal Crossing New Horizons

Complex Reality & Consumerism Hidden in Animal Crossing New Horizons

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On the basis of the virtual reality economics setting, Animal Crossing New Horizons spawned a variety of economic practices and more complex social forms, and even made people begin to reflect on their real life, which triggered a more extensive and long tail discussion.

Some people have discovered the business opportunities hidden behind scarcity. On Google, you can see all kinds of ACNH items shops selling resources, furniture and recipes in the game.  Someone started a business around investment. Many people said that as long as they can get on the island with high price turnip, they are willing to pay a ton of AC bells. Fraud followed. Some players said that some people used the price of 600 bells as a gimmick to collect travel vouchers from eager sellers. As a result, the actual price in the store was only 73. This set off a crisis of trust in turnip trading.

More terrifying is the black market of islanders. In the Animal Crossing series, if the animal neighbors on the island have been beaten by the insect net, the animal will propose to move. At this time, other friends come to the island and can persuade the animals to come to their own island. This has developed an uncomfortable industrial chain, many players began to reflect on the alienation of people, calling for the game to leave a pure land of emotion.

The most realistic part of the movie may be its hidden consumerism. At the beginning of the game, you would go to the island of several friends every day to buy all the ACNH clothes and furniture that you liked. But within a few days, the money will spent, and the storage space in your home was full. You had to earn money to exchange for a bigger house to continue. In order not to miss new items, you had to do lot of things to make money. But later you may find out that you don’t need five colors of shoes, and don’t need to be so anxious to repay the loan, New Horizons does provide a variety of goods, but its loans have no term and interest, and life is more like an idyllic pastoral. Why do you live it into another real world full of consumerism? You can do what you like at the time you like. This is the original intention of ACNH.

In daily life, our consumption is to prove our taste, identity and existence, and it is also the operation logic of the consumer society. However, Animal Crossing is just an island. We only see other people’s big houses on social media, and endless furniture and new clothes on friends’ island. Then we make an instinctive response. In reality, we often like to throw our vulnerability to capital. But ACNH makes me reflect on how to understand and fight against consumerism, and how to face my real life. These discussions and reflections have also attracted the attention of many traditional media and further continued its topic effect.

Now you should understand that ACNH uses the economic laws and phenomena we are used to in reality to build a world with strong feedback and frequent social interaction after a little change. And this combination of virtual and reality, the most likely to trigger the birth of stem, but also the most likely to cause the spread of players.

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