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When All You've Got is Animal Crossing

Back in 2003 a close friend of mine used to visit me very regularly. At that time I was pretty stupid and didn't really know how to entertain guests. Luckily for me she was seemingly fine with watching me play singleplayer video games and switching off every now and then. At this time I was big into a few relatively new releases, Animal Crossing and GTA: Vice City. Her favourite game was Animal Crossing, but when she came over all she wanted to do was play Vice City. I figured this was because her parents didn't let her play these rated M games and used me as a way to enjoy them, that or she just had great taste. It was great fun, as I'm sure you all know, killing people, shouting racial slurs at Cubans and Haitians, listening to A Flock Of Seagulls "I Ran", it sort of became our thing. However, one day I was invited to her house, the anti-Vice City house and we had to change our game plan.

So we were at her house just sitting and talking and looking at each other, y'know like regular human beings, when she mentions that she wishes she had Vice City so we could play some more. Then I had a momentary lapse of brilliance, I had thought of a way to bring the Vice City experience to Animal Crossing.

She had no idea what I was planning, but I promised her it would all be worthwhile. I created a town called Miami and began working for Tom Nook(Every kingpin has to start somewhere right?). Once I had paid off my debt I was ready to take over Miami. If you think about it, Animal Crossing and GTA are essentially identical. Both are about earning money and power and supporting friends while you take down your enemies. So, I head down to the tailor to create some designs for my gang, y'know, guns with bullets firing, a gang symbol so people recognize our turf, some police tape for crime scenes, the outline of a dead body, pretty standard Animal Crossing fare.

Now I'm sure you're wondering how I could turn this cutesy game into a GTA-style experience. Well let me explain how things worked in Miami. You became friends, or enemies with the animals in town based on the way they reacted to you and the way they treated you. You would do favours for your friends, and you would try to drive your enemies out of town. The most common way of finding a new enemy was based on the way your friends talked about them. For example, my best friend Cube didn't like Billy, because Billy was always borrowing stuff and not returning it. His nickname for Billy was "flaky" because he was always flaking around or something fucking stupid like that. It was then my job to retrieve the "stolen" item from Billy and proceed to force Billy out of town. This meant going to the acre billy lived in and putting up signs of gunshots pointing at his house, kinda like a drive by. As well as putting up my gang sign so people know who did it. I would then proceed to chop down all the trees and dig up all the flowers on his lot and drop garbage all over the place to make his area real ugly. Next I'd dig holes around Billy so he could not move anymore. Finally I would send him angry letters full of insults and obscenities, kinda like the comments I leave some of you idiots on this site.

Eventually Billy got fed up and ditched town. That is when I go in and place down the police tape, outline of a corpse, and gang signs. This was done to claim the turf as my own, and send a message to those who think of (animal)crossing me and my friends.

In the end, this new form of Animal Crossing became our favourite thing to do(only for a few days, it gets boring after a bit, there's only so many times you can do that...).

Animal Crossing is kinda like an art game almost. It's a game about nothing, but it's a game where you can do anything as long as you've got creativity.

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About ZephyrGamgeeone of us since 4:28 PM on 04.22.2011

I was born at a very young age. I am much older now.

You can find me on twitter: @zephyrgamgee

Currently playing: The Sims 3, Mother 3, The Binding of Isaac

Currently anticipating: Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Currently reading: Nothing

Currently Listening to: Tipping Point - The Roots