Does Animal Crossing 'Promote Otaku Citizenship'?

That's the question explored in this week's PBS Idea Channel video. Now, I've been writing on the internet long enough to know that otaku is Internet Dynamite. Like "dubstep" and "roguelike", it's a word that you can't even say without making hundreds of people break their keyboards typing apoplectic comments.

That said, I thought this video was pretty interesting. I don't think it gets into the nitty-gritty of why this game is great nearly as directly as, say, Christian Nutt's great recent essay at Gamasutra, but it's food for thought.

What do you guys think? Does Animal Crossing promote otaku citizenship?


    Yeah... pretty decent, I understand and sympathise with his contention, but he perhaps somewhat ironically fails to recognise (or just mention?) the freedom Animal Crossing gives you allows for different motivations for playing beyond the freedom to just 'collect.' It's an environment ripe for roleplaying, creating, interior decorating. One friend essentially plays his town like a creep fest of serial killery(yeah...), my partner just likes arranging her furniture (she doesn't really care about collecting for the sake of it, rather she wants that mixer I found because her kitchen 'needs' one.) I likely fall closest to this proposed 'point' of the game, I try and fill out my encyclopedia where possible, but I'd say my primary motivation is creating an environment I find aesthetically pleasing, from my own house setup to the town at large, tree placement is vital!

    To the general question of does it promote 'otaku citizenship,' yeah sure, he makes a convincing case, I agree, but 'does' is such a tricky word, it's not all inclusive, it doesn't forcibly, it's entirely feasible to play the game by contrary methods, and frankly I think that's why the game is so great, for all that the mechanics are extremely static, there IS a potential for your own narrative and it's utterly dynamic.

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