My Addiction

Considering the amount of drugs I take on a daily basis, it's surprising that I am not jacking up on some illicit substance every day. I do, however, have one addiction that, considering my "demographic" (that is, 36 year old, white male in a relationship with children!) it's a strange one.

For my birthday, Kellie got me a DSi. Previous to that, I had a basic DS Lite which - to be very honest - had seen better days. The hinges were gone on it (so it flopped closed at random in a comedy "Fingers Trapped In The Piano Lid" style), the top screen was knackered (it had a massive black line running straight through it) and to get any game to work, you had to put the cartridge in, turn it on, turn it off, remove the cartridge, blow into the gubbins, re-insert the cartridge, turn it on... And so on and so on until the game works.

So yes, as I said, it had definitely seen better days... And so I was bought a spanky ungraded version.

Now, you may think that is nothing strange - especially considering I am a geek, that I own a hand-held gaming device. There are all sorts of Brain Training games, and Puzzle Games and Shooting Games... And yes, I DO play those game, but the sad addiction is the game I play a LOT.

Yes, I - a 36 year old man - am engrossed and addicted to Animal Crossing.

For those of you not sure what I am talking about, Animal Crossing has no guns, no adventures, no quests, no loot tables, no bosses... It has Fish, Bugs, Fossils, Paintings, Sea Shells and Fruit. It has up to eight other characters in the town, plus nine "staff" and the occasional visitor.

The point? Well, technically there is no actual "point" to the game... Sure, you can collect every kind of Fossil, Fish and Bug, collect all the paintings, and plant the right balance of Trees and Flowers to get a "Perfect" town rating... Which is HARD, because the different collectibles only turn up at various times of the year, and at various times of the day - and even then they can be weather dependant which is FrUsTrAtInG as hell...

If I happen to have some free time, I don't play the epically-scaled World of Warcraft, nor do I sit and destroy demonic hordes in Diablo III... No, I am trying to catch that poxy fish, or chase down that stupid bug, or collect that missing bit of a dinosaur. When I go to bed, if I can't sleep, I play it. When I'm on the loo (and not texting people to tell them I'm on the loo) I play it. When I'm waiting for a washing load to finish, I play it...

Most of you will find this tale amusing, but some of you will be pissed off. And I know who (whom?) and why: Those that are pissed off are the ones that I take the piss out of for playing and enjoying Animal Crossing.

And if I am very honest, I have been taking the piss out of people for almost three years... I've been playing it for two and a half years. So if I have mocked/ridiculed you in recent history for bug-catching, fishing or fossil hunting, I apologise. In truth, I am probably more addicted than you are.

So if, like me, you are a sad addict of something that you should probably not be proud of, cast off those chains, stand tall and be proud of it!!

Unless you're into loving animals, in which case, keep that to yourself.

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