This ska-jazz cover of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons theme is everything

I'm a little late to the party as I've just discovered the fantastic world of YouTuber Pickitup's ska covers! K.K. Slider himself would be impressed by his ska-jazz cover of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons theme. Now, if that's not your thing, Pickitup's got a huge catalog of other ska/[insert music genre here] covers on his channel Ska Tune Network that are sure to delight.

From his Patreon:

I have been given this gift and love for music, and i've chosen to do the most important thing I can possibly think of with it, and that's to create ska covers of various songs.

This entire journey began on christmas of 2016, when I jokingly posted on facebook saying I should make a bad ska cover of a christmas song, and everyone encouraged me to actually do it, so I did it and people loved it, so since then I've been using my resourses to record myself playing guitar, bass, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, keyboard, and sometimes unconventional instruments like viola, ukulele, euphonium, and honestly anything I can get my hands on to create covers of songs I find interesting or songs other people tell me I should do!

Here's another fun one: A ska-punk one of Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy."

screengrab via Ska Tune Network Read the rest

The real musicians behind the Animal Crossing theme performed it in a virtual concert

Tom Nook himself made a special announcement on Twitter Friday. The real-life musicians who play the in-game theme music for Animal Crossings: New Horizons had come together for a virtual performance of it!

Best comment: "What do you mean 'The musicians behind the main theme', where is that dog with the guitar?"

My reaction to the concert?

screengrab via Nintendo/YouTube Read the rest

Guy behind that Animal Crossing sea bass joke is tired of it too

Nintendo staffer Rob Heiret and his colleagues worked on the localization of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, translating its Japanese dialogue and culture for an English-speaking audience. Well, on Sunday, in a long and insightful Twitter thread, Rob shared some thoughts about their work on the game, and the story behind its sea bass joke... which he wrote. If you're not familiar, when you catch a sea bass fishing in the game (and it's a common catch), this joke appears in a pop-up,

"I caught a sea bass! No, wait — it's at least a C+!"

Cute for a few yuks, but can grow tiresome, as he admits:

If you've played the game, you're tired of the sea bass joke. I get it. *I'M* tired of the sea bass joke, and I wrote it. But here's a secret about the sea bass joke:

It was originally "I caught a sea bass! Well...maybe a C- bass...)

He goes on to explain:

And when we were workshopping the fish jokes, someone pointed out that, as a joke people were going to see many, many times, generally along with disappointment they didn't catch something better, maybe it would be better to spin it positive. Make it a C+ instead.

He furthers:

From a comedy-mechanics perspective, it's the same joke, relying on the homophones "sea" and "C" to change how you perceive the description of the animal (and, let's be honest, it would work better as a verbal joke than it does in print, but that fish has sailed).

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Disneyland fan re-creates the Haunted Mansion in Animal Crossing, and it's glorious

A San Diego-based Disney fan has made "happy haunts materialize" on his Animal Crossing: New Horizons island. Player Weary Bones (who goes by the Twitter handle @capuchinokappu) has re-created the experience of the Haunted Mansion as his in-game home, and it's nothing short of A-MAZING. It must have taken him weeks to make this. The level to detail is impressive — a real dedication to a worthy concept!

Take a look:

Incredible, right?

He has since added the attraction's gate:

By the way, if you're looking for that wallpaper, it's called "Corridor of Doors" and it's available here. You can follow Weary Bones on Twitch.

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A quick note about the game, from my perspective: At the beginning of this shelter in place, my 15-year-old asked for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and a Switch Lite to play it on. I obliged, not knowing that I would soon be swept up into this great quarantine escape. Before this, it had been about 16 years since I've played a video game regularly (Sims). Now, every time I play, I find something new and joyful. Read the rest

'I painted Animal Crossing and Doom Eternal at the same time'

“I painted a happy little scene from Animal Crossing. Doomguy is there too!”

This video is from Two Ruru Paints, IMGURian @tworuru's YouTube show in which he paints landscapes and scenes from video games and pop culture. Read the rest

Financial Times: Animal Crossing's Bank of Nook slashes interest rates

The Bank of Nook cut the interest it pays on bell savings from .5% to .05%, or next to nothing. According to the Financial Times, the Bank of Nook was responding to a trick players discovered in which they could deposit a large sum of bells and then time travel into the future by adjusting their Switch's clock. From the Financial Times:

The total interest available on any amount of savings has now been capped at 9,999 bells — the in-game currency that can be bought online at a rate of about $1 per 1.9m bells.[...]

“Now that the [Bank of Nook] has cut interest rates to near zero, their next logical step is quantitative easing. It’s essential that players try to hook their game up to their printers as it might start churning out money,” [Albert Edwards, a strategist at Société Générale,] joked. [...]

As many users pointed out online, the much lower interest rate means that the most effective way of making money is now to gamble on the game’s internal “stalk” market — a bourse in which the only commodity is turnips, sold to investors during a single session on Sundays. The root vegetables rot and their value drops to zero after a week.

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Husband builds 'accessible' Nintendo Switch battle station for wife with aggressive MS

All for the love of Animal Crossing in the coronavirus pandemic. Read the rest

"Animal crossing is a political hypothesis about how a different kind of world might work Dash with no losers" - Bogost

Writer Ian Bogost is in typical top form in his Atlantic review of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. He says "Animal Crossing is a political hypothesis about how a different kind of world might work—one with no losers. Millions of people already have spent hours in the game stewing on that idea since the coronavirus crisis began."

[In the United States], capitalism and pastoralism are often seen as opposing forces. So, too, personal benefit and collective good.

This goes all the way back to John Locke, who held that individuals had a right to turn natural resources that belonged to no one into individual property for personal use, through labor. The Lockean idea justified all manner of accomplishments and violations in American history, including the colonial seizure of Native lands and the justification of resource extraction via the efficiencies of industry. In the nation that grew from those assumptions, the accrual of wealth became incompatible with a return to the land. Agrarianism forked into factory farming on the one hand or farm-to-table luxury on the other. And pastoralism never really got a foothold in America as it did in England or Japan: Land was so plentiful that its survival was taken for granted.

But according to the Tom Nook doctrine, pastoralism and capitalism coexist perfectly. You can fish for high-value red snappers and sell them to buy espadrilles for your character, or 1950s-diner furnishings for your house. Or you can fish for never-before-seen specimens, to donate them to the museum. Or you can cast a line just to enjoy watching the moon dance across the water.

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How Animal Crossing is modeled on 18th century debt-based Japanese villages

Naomi Clark is on the faculty of New York University's game Center. In this video she talks about how Tom Nook, the leader of the island communities in Animal Crossing, is much like the leader of an 18th-century Japanese village, who is task with managing communal debt.

Image: Nintendo Read the rest

A review of Animal Crossing by someone who hates it

My daughter and I are enjoying Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but when I read Cecilia D'Agostino's negative review of the smash hit Nintendo title in Wired, I couldn't help but think she has a point. Read the rest

Nintendo just released a 27-minute video of the soon-to-be released Animal Crossing for Switch

Learn about "Nook Inc.’s Deserted Island Getaway Package" in Animal Crossing: New Horizons  for Nintendo Switch, which is coming out on March 20, 2020.

Image: Nintendo Read the rest

The best games about home are the ones that make you leave it

There's something comforting about games that mirror the everyday rituals of departure and return, the rhythms of our real lives.

The new Animal Crossing game will let you choose your skin tone

Finally, Nintendo's popular anthropomorphic town games will allow you to be something besides white—or tan.

Want to listen to Animal Crossing music all day?

Sometimes, your workday just needs the kind of pastoral background music that makes you feel like you live in a village full of animals, right? Nintendo's popular Animal Crossing lets you make your living through labor no more complex than collecting shells, fishing, and shaking trees for surprises, which fills one with simple longing. Read the rest