Part V: More Than a Game
This coming Friday, the fifth installment of the wildly popular Animal Crossing series will be released for the Nintendo Switch. I have fond memories of playing the original Gamecube version nearly twenty years ago; I can still feel the pride in my chest that came with paying off my mortgage and earning yet another expansion of my house. Animal Crossing has always been a laidback, wholesome experience, and my girlfriend and I are both excited to be able to build a cute little world together.
The other night I was talking to her about the game since she's never played before and my head started to pound. The high from my previous creative writing shitpost that I'd been riding for the past few days was wearing off and I was coming down, hard. I needed a fix. But how? I couldn't think of anything to write about; I hadn't been tossing around any ideas in my head.
And then it dawned on me. Why not take the innocent and adorable conversation my girlfriend and I were having about our island name (Augusta Islands, for the month we started dating) and hair color and house locations and completely turn it on its head? In a community of supportive and friendly and passionate fans, anxiously awaiting the latest release, why not be the villain?
So around a month ago I (31M) preordered the new Animal Crossing game that comes out next week. I've been a huge Animal Crossing fan since the original 2001 GameCube version and to say I'm excited would be an understatement.
My girlfriend (23F) lives with me and she has never been a gamer. I've tried to play games with her but she just isn't good. She has no concept of defense in Rocket League, she can't hold a candle to me in Smash and the only time she ever wins Mario Party is if she gets bullshit bonus stars. You get the point. Gaming just isn't her thing, which is fine. I still love her and it's never been an issue.
The other day she apparently stumbled upon a YouTube video of the new Animal Crossing game and started telling me how excited she was to play. I asked her if she was going to purchase another copy and another Switch and she was stunned. She asked me why she would need to get her own when I already ordered one and I explained to her that it isn't the type of the game you share.
She got all upset and told me that she thought it would be cute to live in the same village and be neighbors and I told her that simply wasn't the case. There's only one town per game, and I don't want somebody who has zero concept of how the game should actually be played making decisions that negatively affect the town. I don't want her stealing exotic fruits from my orchard that I plan to sell, I don't want her buying furniture from Tom Nook's that I might want to adorn my living room with and I certainly don't want her placing her house next to mine because she thinks it's cute, thus spoiling what I plan to develop into a lavish estate.
She told me that it was just a game and she thought we could bond over it but we've never been able to bond over games so why start now? Of course she doesn't get that it's a game in which grinding and planning is key. I can't be prevented from carrying out my vision simply because she wants to run around with her dumbass pink-haired character catching butterflies or making a constellation out of our initials which I know she would do.
I told her it was nothing personal, that I still love her, but she started crying and told me she doesn't want to play the stupid game anyway. I kind of feel bad but I also feel like it's unreasonable for her to just assume she can just insert herself into one of my passions without considering how disruptive doing so actually is. I make more than her so I even offered to buy her her own console and game but she said that wasn't the point and now I'm lost. AITA?
To be honest, I was worried that people wouldn't buy the whole 31-year-old man obsessing over a game with cute, talking animals but they bit this one hard. I love video games but I think the whole "gamer" identity is incredibly lame but apparently "gamers" take this kind of stuff very seriously. And they especially don't react kindly to any suggestion that gaming is not a space for women.
Amazingly enough, however, the true Animal Crossing diehards, those who understood the struggles of sharing a town with others, came to my defense. A few of them, afraid of catching heat in the echo chamber that is Reddit, messaged me privately.
This one martyr actually jumped to my defense in the Reddit thread and got downvoted to hell.
I actually reached out to /u/gripleg in an attempt to find the Facebook group where the argument was happening. Unfortunately, he said it looked like it got removed because the two sides were at each other's throats. I was disappointed at missing the chance to put faces to the grown adults fighting over the merits of my fictional argument but the fact that it happened at all brings tears of joy to my eyes.
But perhaps the most rewarding part of all of this was actually the confirmation that I'm actually an extremely cute and romantic boyfriend:
Yeah, so just so everyone knows, I, the insensitive man in the relationship, came up with that. And it's the first thing I'm doing when I download the game on Friday morning. Now every time she looks up at the night sky and sees our initials etched into the stars, she'll be reminded of how the whole internet collectively swooned over such an act and remember how lucky she is to have me. But seriously, when this becomes a thing that couples do, I want credit for it.
And finally, shoutout to the Twitter user who made this:
If you're liking my series please check out The Shitpost Diaries VI: DISillusioned where I take aim at some of the most insufferable people on social media: Disney couples.