If you, like me, have been trying to find a timesink as COVID-19 strips you of most worldly pleasures, you’ve probably come across discussions of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. After years as something of a cult favorite, New Horizons has burst into the zeitgeist as it became the most popular Animal Crossing title to date. That’s not saying that any previous title could be considered “indie” in any sense, but rather that New Horizons has become virtually unavoidable across game communities and social media. With that, the community has revved up into full force, with a surprisingly intricate online network that tried to meet the community’s material and social needs. Across Reddit and elsewhere, the game has formed its own online economy, down to a literal credit rating as a form of digital citizenship.
If you spend enough time in this space, and have your brain rot just enough where things start to fit together, some phenomena become visible. Namely, that it essentially crashed and rebuilt itself on two separate occasions since March.Continue reading Simulated Markets in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Community: An Exploration