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Why I Spent 1000 Hours with Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Why I Spent 1000 Hours with Animal Crossing: New Leaf

One thousand twenty-eight hours and thirty-three minutes. That comes out to just shy of 43 days, or almost a month and a half. That’s how much time I spent playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS over the course of about five years. Why did I spend so much time in a single game, much less one that’s reviled as hardly a game at all?

Animal Crossing, for those who may not know, can best be described as a series of life sim games. You play as a young human who moves into a small town full of animal villagers and spend your days fishing, digging up fossils, decorating your house and making friends with your neighbors. There’s no end to the game and no set goals to accomplish. It goes on forever, and it moves along in real time. If you start playing at 3pm, it’s 3pm in your village. It’s designed to be relaxed, easygoing and something that doesn’t demand very much of you.

Animal Crossing is my favorite game series. I’ve played and loved them all ever since the original game hit the GameCube back in 2002. It’s a story for another day, but I owe some of my best friendships and my marriage to Animal Crossing. It’s incredible how much it’s steered my life.

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