What Animal Crossing Can Teach Us About the Anger of Occupy Wall Street

Don't get what's motivating Occupy Wall Street, or any of the Occupy demonstrations worldwide? Look to a video game, writes one blogger. He believes Animal Crossing supplies an allegory for the protesters' anger, and it involves being pressed into servitude by a debt you had little choice but to acquire.

"Animal Crossing was probably the first time I really understood the concept of not just debt, but being crushed by debt," writes STFU Conservatives (their name, not mine), of the clever, cute Nintendo GameCube title in which players made friends with animals, built and decorated a house, and worked their asses off to pay back its cost.

One starts the game with a house, but that shit ain't free. Local merchant Tom Nook gave it to you, and so you begin the thing with a debt of 100,000 bells, forcing you to work in Nook's store "as an indentured servant.," writes Joe on the STFU Conservatives Tumblr. After a few days of work you're free to move on but your debt hasn't vanished. "You do a bunch of random gathering to gain up money to pay back your loan and just when you think you're finally free from the crushing weight of Tom Nook's thumb—he adds a second story onto your house! And the cycle of debt begins again."

The real-world allegory that STFU Conservatives seeks to draw is that, like your character in Animal Crossing, many have no choice but to go into massive debt just to participate in mainstream society: student loans for college are a great example. Home ownership is accomplished with this kind of leverage—a good thing—but a lot of banks exploited the hell out of the relationship. If there were people who had no business taking loans, there were also banks who had no business trying to sell them one.

Anyway, that's the analogy. I'm sure we're going to have a very robust, very informed, very polite and public spirited debate of all this below. Try to keep it to a dull roar.

Occupy Wall Street Meets Animal Crossing [No High Scores]


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