Skye Newton has been playing, living, weeding Animal Crossing for 11 years. Here, we get to know more about the AC lifestyle.
Bryce: Not everyone has chucked this Old Favourite into a NintendoDS and experienced a feeling some people would call, joy. Can you talk us through the game, on the whole?
Skye: Yeah alright. Animal crossing is an open world rpg where you get to experience governing a small town populated by inconsiderate animals as mayor. In a lot of ways, it reflects real life and in a lot of ways if you’re going to make me explain this more it’s going to affect my self-esteem. Negatively. The age rating is 7+.
Do you have a favourite animal crossing villager?
I have multiple favourites. Usually I get attached to the ones who leave, you know. You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. Erik left most recently. He was a deer.
Did you know him very well? How long did he live in your town?
We were best friends. Literally, I maxed out on our friendship on the game. I sent him a lot of letters.
What do you mean by maxed out?
I got the highest possible friendship on the game. It means that he would send me gifts and letters at random, sometimes ran up to me asking if he could give me a nickname. Like “cool guy.”
Do you find this to mirror your real-life friendships?
What are your favourite parts of the game?
(Weighty exhale). I couldn’t pinpoint one aspect of the game. You have to appreciate it as a whole, and a hole. It sucks you in. I haven’t gotten out for the past eleven years.
You’re only eighteen, so that’s a fair chunk of your life so far.
Okay then. I already know that this is only the beginning of a lifetime. To clarify, my lifetime.
When did it all begin?
When I was seven. Its had me in its clutches for years. My DS was a cutting edge brick. It still is. I haven’t really considered the amount of time I have been playing this game. Could have gone pro by now, but instead I’m living in a house my friends aren’t impressed by, and I’m still paying off my mortgage to Tom Nook.
Looking back on it now, I didn’t have any teen romances, but I did have Animal Crossing.
Sorry this is getting a bit personal, let’s get back into talking about the game. I did not come here for your life story. What do you think of Animal Crossing: New Leaf compared to Animal Crossing Wild World?
New Leaf has definitely lowered my appreciation for Animal Crossing Wild World based on graphics alone. They also added a bucket load of new features, so. However, a lot of animals lost their bite. They used to be really mean and you can tell they toned it down. This wavered the authenticity for me a little. Now I just have to rely on real life insults to get a kick out of being alive.
So Animal Crossing: New Leaf over Animal Crossing Wild World?
Can’t say I’d pick up Animal Crossing Wild World again. But maybe one day I’ll pick it up and say “ha, ha. This classic.” Somewhere very far into the future.
As a player myself I actually found it hard to swap over to the new game.
I thought this interview was about me to be honest.
Ugh, so what kind of relationships do you have with the townsfolk and their inability to contribute to town projects?
Not a very good one, though each time I do complete a project, I like to select the Mayor speech of “onto the next project,” and in my head, I am laughing. Very slowly.
Do you find your responsibilities in your Animal Crossing town affect your life and other commitments?
Sometimes, yes. The obligation to do something for my town comes in waves. I mean tidal.
What are your thoughts on Tom Nook?
He has come a long way. I own a small figure of him which many I know has simultaneously been admired and disgusted through peer evaluation. You never know 3D until it’s actually 3D. Do you understand?
How was your dinner?
That’s not AC related.
There’s a lot of options when it comes to style. Does the fashion mean anything to you?
Yeah. But it’s not my whole world.
Do you care what your villager looks like?
Yes. Though I’m not aiming towards replicating myself in them. I like pink or white hair. Jinbei shorts. Sandals. A straw hat. A shirt of my own choosing. Band-Aids or lemon slices are optional. I don’t change my look for anyone. New villager, same look.
What is your favourite activity in the game?
I don’t have one. I don’t gain any enjoyment from doing the activities fishing, bug catching, felling trees; it’s all mind numbing. I only get enjoyment from the results.
Hey we haven’t talked about your house, other than that your friends are disappointed by it. How do you feel about the space? How does Happy Home Academy (home design rating) feel about it?
It’s a place I haven’t put that much time or effort into.
Wait, so what have you been doing then?
Isolating myself. I’ve been on the island (a separate destination to the town, my town). Collecting beetles at night. Returning. Waiting day by day until a lazy camper enters my town so I can exploit them and make millions of bells (AC currency), through playing a game they like to call “guess what I want to eat.” Risky business, if you get it wrong, you lose a lot of time, money and any semblance of happiness you might have grasped on to.
Interview by Bryce Newton. Image by Skye Newton.
This article first appeared in print volume 88 edition 4 GIRL.