5 Things ‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ Taught Me

Gameplay screenshot via “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp”

“Does anyone want to be my friend?” I asked the office. “On Animal Crossing? Is anyone playing?”

A coworker sipped coffee from his gray Starbucks thermos as his eyes staggered around the room and back to me. Another co-worker looked up from his phone, as if to be polite, and quickly back down again.

“Anyone?” I pestered.

Someone crumpled a piece of paper and threw it toward the trash.

It missed.

I may not have any work friends, but I do have plenty of “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” friends, whose Kanji names I can’t pronounce. From shakin’ up trees, to perfecting my wardrobe (gingham, anyone?) the past two days on “Pocket Camp” have dared transformed my life with more adult wisdom than my entire college spiritual phase.

Check out some of the top things this cutesy pocket game taught me about about being an adult.

1. Make friends with strangers

“Pocket Camp” suggests the best way to make friends is by stalking them outside their homes and offering favors. And who could argue when your neighbors are charming animals?

But in real life, where my neighbor is an angry old Korean man and not an elephant in a yellow striped shirt, perhaps I will read between the lines and infer the best way to make friends is to “put myself out there.”

2. Check your mailbox

As an adult, some pretty shitty shit comes in the mail: electricity bills, cable bills, phone bills, gas bills. Even more depressing is going “paper free” and having a mailbox stuffed with nothing but depressing pizza advertisements for a new pizza with cheese-stuffed cheese. But, like it or not, you should probably check your mailbox.

“Animal Crossing,” however, has taught me that it’s so much better to check it when there’s something to look forward to. Maybe I’ll get a pen pal. Maybe I’ll just mail letters to myself.

3. Clap like no one’s watching

If there’s on thing “Pocket Camp” has taught me, it’s not to be self-conscious, especially about my clapping. Pocket Camp animals don’t care; they just clap their little nubs away until flowers shoot from their noses.

4. Hoard fruit

The verdict from doctors and other important people is that fruit is good for you, so you should probably eat more of it. In “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp,” cherries, pears, apples that totally look GMO, and coconuts are all a shake away.

An even deeper lesson I suspect developers threaded into this game is that the fruit eventually grows back after you pick it. Does a cow regrow after you eat it? No. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

5. Pay off your loans

The auto-men (Is that what you call them? Car people? Zoom-zoom workers? I don’t know.) in “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” won’t expand your vehicle’s interior until you’ve paid off your first loan —the loan the game takes out for you before you even know what’s happening, much like in the real world.

The verdict is out: “Pocket Camp,” is more than an adorable game in which to waste your time; it’s an important lesson in friendship, health, and life.

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