What is it about Animal Crossing that has kept its hooks in me so long and dormant after so many years?
Is it constant carrot sticking of goals in front of me? To constantly repay my loan on projects I never asked for from a tanuki who simply won't leave me alone? But having the best house ever is a needling taste of mine. I'm so anal about design and aesthetics sometimes. Everything belongs someplace in my room because I deemed it necessary. Those headphones. They better fucking stay there because that's where I want them be. Same thing in Animal Crossing; this Arwing is going in the corner because it flows well. It ain't going in the middle or against the wall because that's dumb, get our of my town.
Is it the daily tasks that promise a completion? Every day, I'd play Animal Crossing back in the day with hopes of getting a new fossil, a new bug, a new fish. I wanted so much to complete my museum because that would prove to humanity how good I am. Even with duplicates, I could sell it for mad bells on top of the daily bell rock and whatever else gets caught up in my trees. How did this fancy dresser get stuck in my tree? Who cares, it's bells in my pocket now. If it's not the catalog of specimens for the museum, it's the catalog of items that I can fill out of my total collection of items.
Is it the characters? Tom Nook is straight up the most legit tanuki I ever want to keep calling a raccoon ever. He knows what's up. Bells is what makes the world go 'round and he's just doing his part. K.K. Slider is the musician everyone wants to be or be with. His hipster cred is through the roof. Even the regular townies are charming when you see them on a daily basis. Gruff is forever my favorite billygoat neighbor. We were buds. Underneath that tough exterior was an even tougher and crabbier inside. But we knew the deal. We be cynical together and we homies dawg. Plus his house was too legit to quit. A collection of guitars? Gruff is secretly a burnt out musician who spends the rest of his days dreaming about his old career that he may one day rekindle, man.
(read that last sentence like a burnt out hippie talking to an outsider normie)
Perhaps it's crafting your own head canon (as they call it over on tumblr). I mean, Gruff is a crabby archetype character. But when you get to know him, at least from my interpretation, he becomes a real softie. Or at least he gets as soft as a stone hearted crabbie guy can be. But then he invites you into his house and you see this perfect house set up. Four lone guitars with barely a bed to sleep in. What was his story? I can only help but wonder. Then one day he sends me a letter with a gift and it's his prized electric guitar, right out of his home.
"I've been doing a lot of thinking and I thought you should have this. I'm too old to continue chasing after my dreams but you probably know this up and coming guy named K.K. Slider. Go see him for tips for the guitar. I'll always be at my house in the corner of town if you need more help."
Dammit Gruff! You can be a star too! Just like on that shirt you always wear! I believe in you!