Inducted Year: 2021
“So, you mind if I sit here? I promise I won’t fall asleep, tumble onto you, and start drooling on your shirt!”
While this dialogue may resemble a terrible previous experience on public transportation, anyone who played the original title in the Animal Crossing series will recognize this as the first interaction with Rover, a cat who helps set up the time, player appearance, and town which will be the setting for this charming, light-hearted video game. The Japanese Nintendo 64 game Dōbutsu no Mori (“Animal Forest”) was enhanced and re-released for the Nintendo GameCube in December 2001. The international version for GameCube, popularized as Animal Crossing, was distributed globally over the next few years to great acclaim.
In Animal Crossing, a player assumes the role of a human who moves to a new, randomly generated town inhabited by sentient, anthropomorphic animals. After meeting Tom Nook, the town’s shop owner and real estate broker, the player selects one of several unfurnished houses to establish their new residence. In order to repay Tom Nook (a tanuki in the Japanese version, a raccoon elsewhere), the player will work at his shop and complete tasks for other villagers to earn Bells, the town’s currency.