tomorrow's calling - studying the world of Animal Crossing

No Instructions or Commandments: Serving Others in Your Town

In the world of Animal Crossing, you aren't just pursuing your own goals--there are also many ways that the game series encourages helping your neighbor. These services range from doing favors, caring for a sick neighbor, and writing letters to donations made to Boondox and/or the Town Fund.

A Magic Wand: Altruism's Greater Game Purpose

I love that this game series includes these moments of altruism, however. Without it, the game loses a lot of its realism and sinks into purely self-serving motives (though one could argue that it is self-serving to play a virtually one-player game anyway). Even the act of helping a virtual fellow villager can instill a sense of having accomplished something truly good, a feeling that can spill over into our real lives. This also adds to the feeling of Animal Crossing's world being a utopia, a haven for those who desperately wish to see our real world become something better than it is now.

There's More to This Than Love: The Freedom to Choose

You're not compelled to help anyone else if you don't want to.. If it doesn't suit your purposes, you don't have to deliver any packages, write even one letter, or donate a single Bell. You have the freedom in Animal Crossing to choose that way instead, and there's no lasting judgment or punishment in-game for doing so. I admit that for me, choosing the more self-serving route feels distinctly more dystopian, but it's still an individual's choice...which makes the game world feel driven by will instead of guilt. It also helps those who wish to give do so from a cheerful heart.