Escapism

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Me outside my house in Ceti IV with my Starfleet shirt.

Sometimes we all need someplace to sneak away to even if it is a fictitious hamlet filled with furry animals. What? Let me explain. I recently downloaded Animal Crossing New Leaf to my Nintendo 3DS. My wife and I spent far more hours than we would care to admit in the original release on the Gamecube. The latest release plays much like the original with a few new twists and customization. Also due to the magic of advancing technology the game looks a little better despite being on a handheld.

The hardest thing about Animal Crossing is explaining the game to others. You don’t earn points or level up. There are no bosses to fight, stages to clear or even an end to the game. Most of your time will be spent doing things like weeding, digging up fossils, running errands and fishing. You do these things to earn bells, the currency in Animal Crossing, that you will use to buy furniture for your house and clothes for your back. Speaking of your house, in a game that mimics reality, somewhat, you even have a mortgage that must be paid off if you want a bigger house. You will want a bigger make believe house, for more pretend furniture.

Typically I prefer video games with more story behind them. Animal Crossing is sort of a throw back to when games were just fun and you only played for the enjoyment of the time spent. That was back when said enjoyment only lasted until your next quarter ran out. There was no story in Pong, just hit the white box across the screen, or Space Invaders for that matter. Even the game that launched an Italian Plumber to stardom, Donkey Kong, had no story other than don’t ket yourself killed on the way to the princess. I bet you didn’t know this, in the original Donkey Kong, Mario was only known as Jumpman, his moniker would come in later games. Stories eventually evolved with the technology and the medium, but sometimes escaping to a little place for some fishing is just the thing after a busy day at work. And that joker on the commute home that wouldn’t get off your tail, it’s nice to know you can go someplace to forget about him where all you have to do is hand a duck an orange to make their day. Oh I still get my head shots on in first person shooters and quest for hidden treasures but I am so glad I have Animal Crossing for times when I want to get away.

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About Vincent A. Alascia

Vincent is the author of, "In the Presence of Gods," "Xristos: Chosen of God," and coming soon, "Undead Heart," available on Kindle and paperback, as well as works that have appeared in anthologies and online. Originally an East Coast native, he makes his home in the Phoenix area of Arizona with his wife and three attention grabbing felines. Vincent is an active member of the West Valley Writers' Workshop and an Adult Services librarian at the Maricopa County Library District Northwest Regional Library in Surprise, Arizona.
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