Animal Crossing Promotes "Otaku Citizenship," Posits PBS

Animal Crossing Promotes "Otaku Citizenship," Posits PBS

"Does Animal Crossing promote Otaku Citizenship?" That's the question posed by the latest PBS Idea Channel video, and its exploration of the topic should not be missed.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the newly-released, latest entry in Nintendo's Animal Crossing franchise. As with its predecessors, New Leaf offers players the chance to explore a sleepy town populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals, tons of secrets to discover, and bees that exist purely to screw up the picture on your official Mayor's badge.

PBS' Idea Channel is a YouTube channel that explores pop culture topics in an erudite, clever fashion. Its content generally tends toward the geeky, but the main theme running throughout all of the clips is one of examining concepts that otherwise go largely undiscussed (mostly because few, if any gaming journalists thought of these topics before PBS got to them - the Idea Channel is impressively infuriating in that way).

The latest Idea Channel video (which you can find embedded at top-right) begs the question "Does Animal Crossing promote Otaku Citizenship?" For the purposes of this arguement, the Idea Channel is relying on the broad, proper definition of "otaku," which is best described as a person with an intense devotion to a particular idea and a compulsion to collect and categorize as many related concepts as possible. Think: A gamer who owns hundreds of classic games, or a comic book fan with stacks of longboxes in the attic.

The Idea Channel video points out that this idea of wanton, unbridled hoarding is a key aspect of the Animal Crossing franchise, only made more appealing by the new additions found in New Leaf. It's a game with no true "end," and one can only really "beat" the thing by gathering enough items to satisfy whatever personal requirements you might have decided on as a victory condition. Given the number of items to be found in Animal Crossing, it's easy to see why this can take players months or even years.

If nothing else, this clip should spark a discussion on why exactly we like Animal Crossing so much. I've spent every single day since launch playing the thing, and I've yet to figure it out, so maybe a spirited discussion in the comments below will help us all find clarity.

Or failing that, we can trade durian.

Source: YouTube

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gee, I don't know what makes Animal Crossing sooo appealing but Katrina said I have luck today ;) this game is truly an adiction *goes back to Club LOL* :P

Wow, I didn't considered the game that way. I mean, I've never played any Animal Crossing game, maybe I played the NDS version for a bit, but not enough to decide wether I liked it or not. The game seems pretty much like your very own "collectathon" of yore introduced in Banjo-Kazooie and other Rare games, but without the OCDness of Pokémon (I doubt you have to assist some obscure event in Japan to get some rare objects).

I've fired up the game every day since launch, and I can say my goal is simply to make the whole town into a lovely little self-created hamlet. I've already got a fully expanded castle-home now, and slowly decorating it with furniture sets I enjoy.

I just enjoy it for much of the same reason I enjoy MMOs. The socialization aspects are great, my partner and I visit eachother's town most every day. The Happy Home Academy (this games version of Streetpass) allows us to check out random peoples homes we passed off in the real world, appreciate their designs, even buy copies of some of their stuff. The Dream World allows us to walk about downloadable versions of peoples towns, see them for design tips or just appreciate what they've done.

Overall: Definitely digging the collection aspect, especially when paired with the social stuff.

That was pretty interesting. The host's got a good presentation style.

I know I am in the minority, but I bought a 3DS last week in anticipation of MegaTen with Animal Crossing, but I just couldn't get into it. It seemed like an original EQ-style grind raising funds to develop things. Maybe it's just all too realistic since I work in a development field, but I mailed it to Amazon today for store credit.

I gotta admit when I read the thread's title my thought was initially "Aw great, someone is accusing video games of promoting bad social behavior without even knowing what otaku means." But after I watched the video I was floored by how much thought and research this guy put into it. He's totally right about Animal Crossing promoting otaku citizenship but makes it sound like a good thing, or at least not as bad as some people think when they hear about otakus. I feel really silly now :/

lifeat24fps:
I know I am in the minority, but I bought a 3DS last week in anticipation of MegaTen with Animal Crossing, but I just couldn't get into it. It seemed like an original EQ-style grind raising funds to develop things. Maybe it's just all too realistic since I work in a development field, but I mailed it to Amazon today for store credit.

I don't blame you. Animal Crossing is a bit of a niche series. At least now if people ask if you tried it you can say you have even though it didn't appeal to you.

Otaku citizenship is not a thing. It is my opinion that this guy made it up just for this video.

So yes, it Animal Crossing perfectly promotes this thing that was just made up for the purposes of making a video about Animal Crossing promoting this thing.

One thing I took away from this video
I need to start putting up posters in my room again.

No idea what the appeal is here, not at all. (goes back to filling every city house and hearthfire house in Skyrim with rare weapons, armour and trophies)

I don't even... understand? The guy made up his own definition "Otaku Citizenship" to essentially match Animal Crossing. So yes, Animal Crossing "supports" it insofar as the game is literally about the thing he coined the phrase after.

Do I think this has any real world applications or is in any way parallel to real world government? No.

I consider the original to be the best, merely because it contained the NES consoles that provided playable rom versions of the great classics. Played that game for so damn long. Did weird shit, as a fully grown adult in my 20s, like wake up extra early on christmas to get my digitized presents.

Cornered the turnip market.

I don't have a 3ds, But I kinda want to turn over a new leaf. I love collecting shit in digital games, which I suppose makes me an otaku (or digital hoarder).

Side note: I thought otaku meant something else. Something deviant. Thanks for clearing that up!

Animal Crossing is a bit of a zen game to me. When I first got it, what I was looking for was a game that could replicate a specific feeling: the feeling of taking a break from working in minecraft when it starts raining and just sitting in your warm, safe house, soaking in the coziness of it and listening to the rain - but on a handheld so I can just lay in bed with it instead of sit at the computer.

T-Shirt Turtle:
I gotta admit when I read the thread's title my thought was initially "Aw great, someone is accusing video games of promoting bad social behavior without even knowing what otaku means." But after I watched the video I was floored by how much thought and research this guy put into it. He's totally right about Animal Crossing promoting otaku citizenship but makes it sound like a good thing, or at least not as bad as some people think when they hear about otakus. I feel really silly now :/

"Otaku" does pretty much mean "geek" in Japan, and "Japan-geek" everywhere else.

For the past years, has been a very popular pastime for smartasses to constantly point out how supposedly "the weeaboos got it all wrong", and ironically their chosen word of identification really means "smelly neckbearded basement-dweller", but really, while such an attitude can be supported with some sources, those attitueds are nowadays about as common as nerd-bashing in the west.

Fappy:
That was pretty interesting. The host's got a good presentation style.

You should watch the rest of their stuff. Every episode is excellent.

 

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