Meet my Animal Crossing alter ego Camik and two of her very best little animated friends Seapea and Karmatosed…
Back in March of this year as the pandemic lockdown was sweeping the world and I had not one but two birthdays to celebrate in my home I started seriously contemplating the purchase of a Nintendo Switch. Let’s not obfuscate anything, I was looking into it because I wanted to be able to play the new Animal Crossing game. I’d played the Pocket Camp version in the past and I adored it. The thought that I would be able to play with my friends around the world and with my daughter left me completely enchanted with the idea of it all.
But pandemics being what they are, and people with disposable income being what they are, I soon found that the Nintendo Switch was in short supply. Unless of course you wanted to be price gouged by someone with enough disposable income to buy up a bunch of them and charge those less fortunate souls who couldn’t get one earlier a mint. I didn’t have a mint to spend on anything. Nor would I have been okay doing so if I had.
So I started looking at the Lite version of the Switch. They had started disappearing from virtual shelves as well but there were a couple of retailers that still had them in stock. So I very irresponsibly bought two Switch Lites as late birthday gifts for my daughter and myself. If you find compelled to ask me why I had to buy two I suspect you’ve never tried to share something with an 18 year old and/or that you aren’t clear on how people play Animal Crossing together.
Or maybe you’ve never had to share something with me? Because since the game systems arrived in early April I have played Animal Crossing every single day. Without fail. I’ve gathered, I’ve built, I’ve planted, I’ve decorated.
I’ve demolished. Oh boy how I’ve demolished. And rebuilt.
I’ve fished, cut down trees, pulled weeds, chipped away at rocks, and gone for dips in the ocean.
I’ve visited friends, attended birthday parties, wished on shooting stars, and had friends over for “yard sales” and DIY crafting parties.
I have socialized with friends as well as my kid and my mom. And I’ve spent countless hours alone with my thoughts contemplating the subtle nuances of my island. It has been a source of entertainment when I am bored. Happiness when I am sad. Calm stability when I am at my most anxious.
It has been both a joy and a practice in discipline. It’s given my days structure when structure is a thing sorely needed.
It’s given me the space I need to breathe. To occupy my active mind so my subconscious can do the work it needs to do. It’s a bit like tending my plants, coloring, or arranging rocks. It’s become a meditation of sorts for me. A place to funnel energy. And a bit like standing in the shower, it is responsible for some of my brighter ideas as of late.
So what? What’s the big deal?
Why on earth am I telling you, gentle reader, all of this drivel about my obsession with a video game?
To remind you that we should take peace where we can find it right now. We should grant ourselves moments of goodness. Be kind. Gift ourselves with the patience we may have for others.
The world is continuing to spin round and round, and as it does so I think we all can’t help but notice that the people on this world seem to be spinning out of control. While we fight the good fight to make this world a better place for those who come after us, we have to find a way to recharge our batteries somehow.
This is one of mine. How are you winding down and charging up right now?