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Why You Wouldn't Survive Life In Animal Crossing

There's something very peaceful and Utopian about playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You spend your days on a beachfront property catching fish, crafting furniture, watching shooting stars, eating fruit, and buying things, all on your own schedule. Of course, you can add a bit of excitement by taking out a loan for your house or taking on a task for another villager, and you can spend hours terraforming your town to suit just you — but you don't have to. You don't really have to do anything, really.

If you don't think too hard, this is pretty much an ideal slice of virtual life. You experience no pressure to complete anything. Money literally grows on trees, if you plant a bag of bells. Animal Crossing is one of the chillest games you'll come across, and playing it is a pleasure. It's one big reason you can't find Nintendo Switches on store shelves right now.

Ah, but that doesn't mean you'd survive life in an Animal Crossing environment. This adorable locale, cute and colorful as it is, hides some quirky mechanics that make living there pretty unforgiving. Here's why you likely wouldn't last long in an exclusively Animal Crossing-like world.

Tarantulas and scorpions and sharks, oh my

First, consider the tarantulas, scorpions, and killer wasps. These creatures seem to proliferate not just on your island, but islands you fly to. Sure, if you catch them you may get a big payoff in bells, but you're just courting death here. Animal Crossing actually encourages you to seek out encounters with these creepy animals. With wasps, you only walk away with your face horribly disfigured, but tarantulas and scorpions are a different story.

Apparently, despite the mortal danger of trying to grab a tarantula with just a net in hand, this is the only way you can capture such an arachnid in Animal Crossing. Additionally, if you went hunting for great white sharks in real life, you'd probably take a shark cage and other protective gear, along with long projectiles. In Animal Crossing you can walk around in your gold flip-flops and your flimsy fishing-pole will do the trick! You're living next to shark-infested waters and that's no big deal at all.

Finally, don't forget: there are wild animals living next door to you. Popping in for a surprise visit to a crocodile, bear, or tiger in real life is a recipe for disaster — not to mention hitting them on the head to rid them of fleas.

All fruit, all the time

Pretty much the only thing you can eat on your island in New Horizons is fruit. With the exception of your yearly Birthday Cupcakes, there are no carbs and don't even think about getting your recommended daily protein.

Forget for the moment that eating one measly fruit makes you strong enough, temporarily, to dig up an entire mature-growth tree with just your trusty shovel. What about bacon? What about garlic knots? You can buy stoves and campfires and all sorts of items designed to turn raw materials into a palatable diet, but there's nothing to cook.

Sure, you can catch fish all day long, but thanks to the game's animal-friendly mechanics (not that PETA would agree), none of these animals die while in your care whether you stuff them in your pocket for three days straight or decide to keep giant fish in tiny pools in your backyard. 

Basically, you're forced to subsist on an all-fruit all-the-time diet. According to the Cleveland Clinic, such a diet exposes you to health issues such as diabetes, weight gain, tooth decay, and nutritional deficiencies. You won't be getting enough vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. You may experience fatigue, anemia, and immune system dysfunction. 

Considering in New Horizons you only have a choice of apples, cherries, coconuts, oranges, pears, and peaches, you're sure to get tired of your forced diet pretty quickly. But what can you do? Nothing at all.

There's a lack of basic, evidence-based medical care

Not that anyone in New Horizons has time to conduct peer-reviewed studies, but there's no modern medicine on your island. You can fix your wasp-stung face with a combination of weeds and a wasp's nest, somehow crafted into a wonder antibiotic and cold remedy all in one. While that's all when and good, where's the penicillin?

Given you wildly swing your iron shovel on a daily basis, and your fellow island residents are incredibly bad at social distancing (and may even sneeze on you on occasion), you'd think Tom Nook would like to attract some kind of doctor or hospital to the premises. But no. Medical care is non-existent here, and you're just out of luck if you need anything more than an herbal infusion to fix your health issue. Considering you're living among wild animals, this seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

Death is all around you

You know Lloid the Gyroid, who stands around collecting donations for community projects? He's reportedly based on ancient Japanese statues called haniwa, which were once buried with the dead for reasons archaeologists have yet to explain. They have been thought to act as containers for souls, though. Coco the Rabbit may also be based on these statues, which is not at all frightening.

Don't forget Wisp, your friendly neighborhood ghost who roams around the island at night and keeps losing bits of his spirit when he's scared. Is he the only ghost? Well, consider the fact that you keep finding fossils of long-deceased creatures on your island, which means a lot of death happened right under your cute little feet. There are proven supernatural beings running around, so maybe you ought to be a bit wary of Animal Crossing's creepier elements.

Don't forget the environmental destruction that's coming

With how you've been running around over-fishing and introducing invasive species such as fruit trees to your island, you're likely changing the environment — and not for the better. Remember, islands are very sensitive ecosystems, which is why, for example, you're not allowed to bring snakes into Hawaii. Not to mention one of the ways you get more bells in New Horizons involves flying to a deserted, pristine island, stripping it of all its resources, and then returning home, never to worry about said island again.

In the real world, you'd likely see consequences for this degree of exploitation from other governments, NGOs, environmentalists, and nature itself. Apples take over your cleverly-named village, YourNametia, and crowd out all the pear trees! The insects that evolved to eat those pears can no longer survive! They all die out, which has consequences for larger animals and the island's economy.

Oh, and don't forget climate change. Your tiny island will likely end up completely underwater in a few years anyway.