Animal Crossing is a much loved, and very popular, Nintendo game franchise, with versions appearing on each of their consoles since the turn of the century. AC is a “community simulation”, possibly best thought of as having elements of Sim City and The Sims, but taking place in a village inhabited by anthropomorphic talking animals where you are the only human character.
The “game” (if it is a game, but that is a separate argument) is open-ended; you can do tasks and participate in events – or you can wander around, visit other villages, collect things like fossils, shells or furniture, decorate your house, chat to the other characters, or simply do nothing.
The simulation is tied to (your) real time; for example, you see dawn in Animal Crossing when you see it IRL (in real life), and events are scheduled to attend or miss, as you see fit.
I have explored and played all the iterations of Animal Crossing extensively. For the GameCube (2004, Europe) iteration, I played AC every calendar day through 2005. With New Leaf on the 3DS (2013, Europe) I’ve uploaded a few screenshots from interesting scenarios onto Flickr.
I am interested in any funded collaborative research or analysis involving Animal Crossing. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Research into the narrative arcs within Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
- Writing concerning the history of the franchise.
- Analysis of the fiscal and economic components of Animal Crossing, and their suitability in teaching financial concepts.
- Identification of learning-relevant scenarios and situations.
- The mapping of learning-relevant scenarios and situations onto a specific formal educational curriculum.
- Analysis of the narrative arcs within AC, and possibly their comparison to narrative arcs in other games.
- Reviewing academic and other research on Animal Crossing games to date.