In light of having a birthday this week, I’ve finally started playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS. While later to the game than most of the people of Twitter, it seems, I’m taking the game at my own pace or rather – I’m taking it at Animal Crossing’s pace. Welcome to Balamb.
I played Wild World, the second game in the series, extensively back on the Nintendo DS. And if there’s one thing that the series has continued, it’s that it teaches you patience. It teaches you patience in a way that is very dissimilar to many free-to-play games on Facebook that make you wait before you can have more credits to spin the wheel.
While New Leaf’s vision of existence is far removed from how most of us in the developed world experience like, things still take time. Different things happen at different times of day, in different seasons. It’s nice to play a game where you’re not rushing about. You have to wait for circumstances to line-up, there is no instant gratification.
This weekend just pass I’d been playing through Final Fantasy IX and the story creates a great sense of urgency, so that even when you’re grinding – levelling-up and learning abilities – it doesn’t feel like you’re taking the game at your own pace. And thinking back to my recent stint on Skyrim – perhaps that’s the only game I’ve played in the past year where I think I’ve been going at my own pace, not bothering about heading straight to goals, just doing things as they come.
Actually, New Leaf and Skyrim have a great deal in common. Trading, home building, making friends. Just there’s dragons and undead in Skyrim.