How to make your kids hate video games with Animal Crossing

Japanese daddy turns play into punishment.

Video games less and less of a niche hobby, thanks to modern society’s advanced familiarity with technology and the growth of software libraries with titles suitable for an ever-widening range of skill levels, styles of game and time commitments. Especially among kids in Japan, where so many of the companies that have shaped the modern gaming industry are based, you probably won’t come across many kids who would say they don’t like games, even if they don’t. are not hardcore gamers themselves.

So it’s a safe bet that the Japanese elementary school teacher and Twitter user @zikatu1 has many students who like to spend their free time indulging in interactive electronic entertainment. He was surprised, however, when a boy told him that he no longer liked games, and in fact hated them now.

Wondering what caused the change, @zikatu1 asked him why. Actually the boy’s father is a fan of games, with parent and child sharing the family’s Nintendo Switch. Like most modern consoles, the Switch has an internal clock/calendar, and the boy had decided to advance his by several dayssupposedly to reduce the wait time for a real-time triggered event in a game he was playing.

The boy did all of this without telling his father, however. So when dad turned on the Switch to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons, he was surprised to see that the weather had advanced several days on his in-game island. Unfortunately, one of New Horizons’ game mechanic is buying and selling turnipswhose prices fluctuate over time (it’s a pun, since the Japanese word for turnip, kaboualso means stock, so you play the kabou Marlet). The problem, however, is that at the end of each real world week, every unsold turnip you still have loot and become completely worthless, and the boy had advanced enough time on his Switch that his father’s entire investment was lost.

The father was extremely upset and decided to discipline the child by making him pay back the million bells (like Animal Crossing in-game currency is called) in virtual monetary damage it has caused. It is not allowed to stop playing the game before that, and probably not allowed to play any other games on the Switch either. Since there is an element of risk in the turnip trade, he repays his debt by picking shells and fruititems that can be found in Animal Crossing and sold for bells. “After I get home, I have to go to work” says the boy, as his job in the game now resembles the daily grind of a repetitive, unpleasant job in real life.

Other Twitter users reacted to the story of the boy losing his love for games with:

“If the dad wants to play games, he should buy a separate Switch just for his personal use. Sharing is just asking for your save data to be messed up, and that’s something he should have learned at home. era of the Famicom and the PlayStation.
“I heard a high school principal say that the way to make your kids hate games is to turn their progress in the game into a liability.”
“Quotas steal all the fun and dreams out of an activity.”
“I completely understand. I loved playing games, but then Xbox and PS3 came along and they started having built-in achievement and trophy lists, and I just lost interest because it felt like a quota that I had to respect.

Let us return to the specifics of the sentence, earning a million yen by picking fruits and shells is a very difficult task. The sums the player earns by selling pieces of fruit are 500 and shells are 1,200, so the boy would need to collect at least 834 seashellsbut with prices for fruit and shells tied to their rarity, he’s actually going to have to harvest a lot more than that.

It’s also worth remembering that the boy and his dad share the Switch, which means that every time the child passes by looking for shells and fruit, it’s time that dad can’t play games either, so in a sense, he’s punishing himself too. Considering all of this, it seems more likely that dad’s real goal isn’t to end up with a million bells as compensation for his wasted turnips, and more likely just wants his kid to learn a lesson about modifying shared electronics settings. between family members without discussing it first. That’s probably not a bad idea, considering playing around with a parent’s smartphone or the family computer can lead to real money loss, but hopefully dad manages the teachable moment. in a way that will not permanently transform his child. out of a fun hobby they could do together.

Source: Twitter/@zikatu1 by Otakomu
Screenshots of Animal Crossing: New Horizons taken by SoraNews24
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John C. Dent