As if I didn’t spend enough time staring at my phone like a slack jawed fool, my daughter recently alerted my attention to an app called Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. Now, I am an Animal Crossing purist. Don’t give me none of this New Leaf bullshit. I like it old school. Working in Tom Nook’s shop. Paying off my mortgage so I can get a basement and a second story. Getting rich selling oranges for dolla dolla bells, y’all. Chopping down trees until my ax breaks. That’s how I like it.
After my daughter assured me that Pocket Camp wasn’t as lame as New Leaf and still retained a lot of the charm of the original Animal Crossing that we spent infinite hours playing in our garage at the old house, I downloaded it onto my phone. She gave me a quick tutorial, showed me how to become friends with her and my son, and I’ve been hooked ever since. As far as possibly recurring tumor distractions go, Pocket Camp is almost as good as cracking open a brand new bag of Skittles.
The basic premise is, you’re a human and you’ve got a campsite. You do favors for animals at their campsites so you have the money and resources to make furniture, accessories, etc. that make all the other animals want to come and hang with you. Kinda like that dad that buys the dune buggy after the divorce so the kids will still like him even though he ruined everyone’s life.
And thus began the vicious circle of fetching objects for cartoon animals so that I can make fake money to create furniture and goods for my campsite that lives in virtual reality to attract friends that aren’t real. And somehow this completely unreal life takes up more of my energy than my actual life and home and children and loved ones. This is my existence now and if that doesn’t make me the epitome of someone with superior mental health then I don’t know what will!
Let me walk you through some of my Animal Crossing highlights.
First, you’ve got to get dressed. That’s another way this game is my jam. My character has an extensive wardrobe. I can buy shoes all damn day long and my husband can’t say anything. These are my bells that I made hunting down beetles for some freakish cartoon frog. I don’t know what he does with the beetles, nor do I care. Maybe he eats them or watches them have sex. I couldn’t care less if he puts them in Hot Wheels cars and pretends like he has a tiny Monster Truck rally going on in his living room. I got my money and now I own more shoes than I could ever wear in a lifetime.
Granted, they’re virtual shoes worn in a fake lifetime, but what the hell. Shoes are shoes are shoes, am I right?
You might notice I look a little high in that denim clad picture. I think I am. I think all the animals get high all the time because they say some weird, trippy shit and they’re always wanting snacks and eating strange combinations of food. They’re probably drugging me when I log off. They reward you with this stuff called “friend powder” when you share your bats with your camp neighbors and I think “friend powder” is code for something nefarious. No, I’m not high now. I’ll explain the whole bat situation later.
I also think all the animals are high because they are lazy AF. You go around to their different campsites to do their bidding and half the time they’re asking you for shit that’s right under their nose.
Dude, I did not travel all the way to Saltwater Shores so I could get you a coconut that is literally right behind you. All you have to do is shake the damn tree and there it is! I can’t do all your work for you. I have a campsite to worry about! Why don’t you ever take my needs into consideration?
But the bats, let’s get back to the bats! In Pocket Camp you have the option of having a garden. At first I was like, oh hell no. I don’t have a green thumb. I don’t even have a brown thumb. My thumb is gangrenous and teeming with maggots. I couldn’t even keep my daughter’s bamboo alive. And that’s basically a weed.
I decided to go for it even though my track record hasn’t exactly been stellar and I’m so glad I did. My Animal Crossing garden is on point. I’ve got rows and rows of gothic roses with fat, juicy blossoms. And you know what LOVES gothic roses? If you guessed bats, give yourself a prize. I’ve got bats all over my damn garden. Normally that might be concerning, but this time it’s not because these are bats you can capture and turn in for prizes.
Again, I have no idea what they do with the bats. Maybe they make purses out of them or dress them up in Barbie clothes and make them put on shows. I have no clue. All I know is they keep giving me “friend powder” and steampunk hats every time I capture the bats, so I guess I’m going to keep capturing bats, now aren’t I?
Now, there is one part of Animal Crossing Pocket Camp that concerns me. No, it’s not that the animals in my camp are getting high and possibly drugging me. And it’s not the fact that I am part of a black market animal trade solely for the reason that I want more shoes. It’s this guy.
There’s one animal on Pocket Camp named Pietro. Pietro is some strange clown/sheep/serial killer hybrid and I think he’s going to eat my brains. No, not my virtual brains. Like, I’m kind of concerned that he’s going to climb out of my phone and murder me in my sleep and feast upon my grey matter with some fava beans and a nice chianti. One time I had to bring him fish and it got a little dicey.