Wk 2 — Activity — Virtual: Worlds

Crossing the Animals

The world I chose to visit is: Animal Crossing. I actually started playing back in March, at the beginning of the pandemic, and I was obsessed with the ability to chat/play with friends at a safe distance. I had to search so many Targets and Walmarts looking for the Nintendo switch lite because it was sold out almost everywhere. I initially wanted the coral (pink) one but I had to settle for the yellow one. Animal crossing is easy to use and can be played by any age group. I think the initial audience was meant to be kids or adults with the nostalgia of the old animal crossing games. The game is easy to play because there is no actual goal and it isn’t as stressful as a survival game. The most “stressful” aspect is that you have to pay off your house using bells (the game’s currency); however, I found it easy to gain more bells because I played so often.

I started playing with my IRL friends and coworkers who I didn’t get to see because of the pandemic. The only drawback is that you need a steady internet connection and you have to pay for “nintendo online,” which isn’t too expensive. Thus, this gives you access to the Nintendo online phone app that allows communication through text and voice audio. For this assignment I played with my friend Daniel. In the game, I visited his island and caught fish to sell in exchange for bells. Overall, the game is not stressful and has a very soothing soundtrack that I can vibe to. One of my favorite things to do with Daniel is wish on shooting stars because then we get star fragments in return.

The ways in which this is different from CSULB IRL, is that I cannot see my friend’s facial expressions when I say something. This can be a problem because I don’t always know if they are being serious or sarcastic. The great thing is that I can use the voice chat option but not everyone feels comfortable using that. My friends actually hosted a graduation ceremony for me on Animal Crossing back in June. Since this is my last semester at CSULB, I would have attended commencement this year 2020. So I didn’t get to experience the IRL ceremony but my friends still made sure I got the recognition.

As for Zoom University (ZU), it has been a series of headaches and keyboard slams. The only similarity between ZU and Animal Crossing is the chat function because I can interact with others. While comparing ZU and Animal Crossing, I feel like ZU instills a lot of pressure to participate; in contrast to Animal Crossing where I don’t feel the pressure to participate. I feel like Animal Crossing allows me a sense place because I know the community and I interact with those same people on social media.

On the subject of Instagram and Facebook, I don’t think it is quite comparable to the IRL experience because everything on those social media mediums is curated into illustrating a certain persona.

This pandemic has made me miss many things like going to coffee shops and peacefully shopping. Thus, I have used Animal Crossing to pretend I can do those things with my friends. The feeling of being at a coffee shop is great because I can smell delicious coffee and have the pressure to finish school work. However, at home there is no coffee smell and I end up neglecting my school work to watch Netflix shows. In conclusion, the IRL and online experience is totally different but I appreciate both.

This is my animal crossing basement that I designed to look spooky and witchy. This was posted my Twitter, feel free to follow me :)

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