The Tanuki Race: Pawns in Tom Nook's Game


"Greetings, my name is Tom Nook! I am so happy to have you join us on our tropical paradise. We have a saying amongst our fellow vacationers, 'New Horizons is the journey of a lifetime!'. Now, why don't we get those bags off your back and get you settled?"

Congratulations, you're probably very excited to embark on this getaway vacation from the monotony of everyday life; after all, that is why you've decided to come here, no? You know what, let us even assume that your life is as extravagant as say Jerry Seinfeld.

Still, even when being known on the streets as a "Fancy boy", you've decided to vacate those premises for a life of even more fance. In a Capitalist society, you'll be busy buying, not living. An epiphany almost everyone has had—either on the internet, on drugs, or in the shower—but an epiphany almost everyone ignores. How do I know we ignore it? Well, because in my 23 years on this spinning blue rock, I have heard more pseudo intellectuals describe the "Rat Race" than I have Twitter followers. Familiarity with the rat race is practically a coming of age story for those of us organized within well-defined Capitalist borders. An Insatiable desire to consume is sadly often associated with that of cattle.

Unlike that tired old subject, I got a new one for you, I call it "The Tanuki Race". It begins with a well-known Nintendo franchise called Animal Crossing. For whatever reason, I have heard countless times that people flock to this game for its ability to escape the anxiety of life. I myself fell victim to this upon purchasing the new installment to the franchise, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, however I was shocked to reminisce on my short 60 hour grind on this game. You see, I was too preoccupied in that first week to be concerned with life. I had a job to do. I was one of the first three inhabitants on a tropical island straight out of a fantasy novel. Tom Nook was a kindred spirit who celebrated our arrival with a bonfire! Before I knew it, I was convinced, this is the spot for me. You should've seen it, it was right on this canal which stretched through to the shoreline. I didn't have the money at first, sure, but Tom in all his generosity gave me a loan. I was finally starting my new life in the Boggly Woods. Unfortunately, I received a visit from Tom the very next morning.

Okay, so perhaps I was a bit quick on the draw. Obviously, I wouldn't be able to just start playing the game until after I had paid Tom back for his help. Long story short, I decided to get a job in game, one which would pay extra for logging in daily—you just can't beat something that easy! I played for hours with a close friend of mine; due to our joint efforts, we managed to cheat the system and pay off our debts in no time. Finally, I was going to start my new life in Boggly Wood. It's been hard here in the United States what with the pandemic and all, but now, not later, but now was the time to finally start relaxing!

Ill spare all you all the falsehoods and get to point. There was no start. More appropriately, there was no beginning. Nintendo's Animal Crossing, is one of the best parallels to life as a consumer. What's nice is that you at least know very well who holds the leash. That's got to be comforting for some people...One of the most intriguing aspects when viewing this video game as a reimagining of a consumer-fueled society is that the people who govern us have been referred to with the following monikers: special interest groups, The real whites, financial elite, etc. point of significance being that it is always a collective of dealers who ultimately direct their cattle in the most preferred direction. Well, as I said, I find a certain aspect of the video game very intriguing...

I think we could all take a step back and appreciate how brilliantly this game summarizes our greed. I personally love that Tom Nook requires us to work in order to further explore the mechanics of the game, and I am even more appreciative of Nintendo's real-time based system giving the player the option to change the clock on their system producing fruit in trees exponentially faster. There is a large community of players *cough* employees who would grab a pitchfork at the mere idea of "time traveling". Well, do we not already do something similar with tax loopholes? There are plenty of people who have made life changing sums of money because they took time to review the fine print. If they could do it without repercussion, why would I not? If anything, maybe that's the one example of you breaking free of Tom Nook's game...Maybe we should all start learning how to break the rules.


Thanks for reading!

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