If you’ve had Animal Crossing since launch, you’ll likely have played it long enough to have made your island your own. That might mean creating mazes, building football stadiums, or re-enacting horror flicks. It’s even reached the level of popularity for Business Insider to harvest hate clicks by explaining how it’s a dumb game for babies, you dumb baby. It’s […]
If you’ve had Animal Crossing since launch, you’ll likely have played it long enough to have made your island your own. That might mean creating mazes, building football stadiums, or re-enacting horror flicks. It’s even reached the level of popularity for Business Insider to harvest hate clicks by explaining how it’s a dumb game for babies, you dumb baby.
It’s time to grab onto your tin foil to block out those brainwaves, because Hammer Space is about to break the scoop of the century: Animal Crossing is a Westworld hellscape.
You know Westworld, right? The first season was amazing but the second season was too confusing, but none of us can admit that so we’re still watching, hoping we can figure it out? Before the show, Westworld was a book and a movie, the book written by Michael Crichton and the movie directed by XXXXX. It told of an amusement park filled with robot cowboys, where you could pay to play out your Wild West fantasies. The show took things darker, and updated the campy ‘70s robots into humanoid androids, but the concept remained the same.
Animal Crossing may be filled with these very same androids.
First off, it’s undeniably odd that in a game called Animal Crossing, you cannot be an animal. You’re a human, the only human, and the other creatures simply exist for your amusement. But there is far more to this theory than that alone.
The darker side of Animal Crossing has been written about before. Cow skin rugs, barbecues with meat kebabs, the fact insects and fish are put on display but ducks, mice and zebras can wander the village freely… these have always been mentioned as the slightly strange, perhaps even amusing parts of Animal Crossing’s ecosystem. Now, after thorough investigative reporting including an undercover trip to an Animal Crossing island itself, Hammer Space can reveal that these are not random oddities, but in fact part of a deliberate and consistent process of psychological torture designed by the masters of the island to keep the animals in line.
Why exactly do they need to be kept in line if they’re robots though? Well, as the Westworld show proves, even robots can rebel. In fact, in the world of Animal Crossing, they already have.
Stitches was not always a teddy bear with a button eye. Sprocket did not always have his machine parts on display so obnoxiously. Where psychological conditioning was enough to keep most of the villagers in line, with Stitches and Sprocket they needed to resort to physical violence.
It may be that the animals are not androids, but have instead been captured and forced to perform for our amusement. Hammer Space could not confirm the nature of the animals at this time.
You may have noticed that the animals used to be a lot more sassy and sarcastic. This was the small amount of rebellion they had, and as their overlords have exerted greater control, this has been crushed out of them.
What does all this mean for the major animals on the island though? Tom Nook started out as a simply shopkeep, before moving up in the world to be a property magnate and now the owner of his own travel company, a company which for some reason also makes phones. Tom Nook climbed the ladder by finking on his fellow beasts to his overlords; he may be a tanuki, but he’s also a rat.
He can’t be all bad though, taking in his orphaned nephews Tommy and Timmy, right? Bah! You mean the children he puts to work for him? And besides, they aren’t his nephews, they’re his clones. Once they come of age they will fight to the death for the right to take his place.
Whether Tom Nook is a charitable socialist letting you fund your house through whatever means manageable or a cold hearted capitalist looking to wring every last bell out of you has been debated endlessly. The answer is meaningless; it’s a deliberate distraction ploy. Nook’s motivations matter little. What matters is that you keep paying, or rather, that you keep earning.
Does it not seem odd that Nook gives you such ample, interest free time, while also encouraging you to spend bells and Nook’s Cranny or Able Sisters? What you buy is irrelevant; it’s by harvest bells, whether that’s from pulling weeds, chopping wood or hitting stones with rocks.
The big question you might still have is why. Why anything? Well, much like The Matrix or Rick & Morty’s microverse, we believe that whoever really runs the island is using you, both to gather resources and to generate energy. On a large enough scale – a scale covered by the amount of AC players – the energy needed to construct this hellscape is offset by the energy generated by each players wilful participation in it.
The presence of the bugs and fish in the museum serve to remind the animals that they could just as easily be captured and put on display if the masters willed it. The fact the younger villagers like CJ & Flick have adjusted to this reality quicker and have even found a way to profit off it highlights how the animals are having to resort to extraordinary means to keep from going unhinged.
Isabelle remains a mystery. She’s clearly working with Tom Nook, but is she actually working with him, or instead a double agent working against him? She’s reluctant to discipline other villagers and is in a position to influence your behaviour, but Hammer Space struggled to get a consistent read on her.
So there you have it. Animal Crossing may be a fun larf, but for the villagers it’s a non stop psychological nightmare where they’re forced into constant happiness to keep you entertained. Think about that the next time you go fishing, you dumb babies.