In response to my previous post on Animal Crossing New Leaf, I've put the new game to the test with a real world family.
They have been set-up with the game and asked to film their progress through the experience each day. More than just charting what was happening in the game I wanted to see how their family enjoyed it together. Where and when did they play? Who played the most? And perhaps most importantly, how did they collaborate in developing their new Animal Crossing town.
Ten days into the experiment and it has been interesting to see how Animal Crossing fitted into family life. Not only was it a source of some maths homework, but also got the family discussing tactics and strategy while cooking the tea.
The game, if you've not come across it before, offers a town management scenario with a difference. The town in which you play is linked to the real world clock of the 3DS. If you play at night or early in the morning, the game world matches that. If you play in the summer there will be leaves on the trees. If you play during winter there will be snow on the ground.
This may sound like window dressing, but the different times and seasons determine what fish and insects you can catch in the game -- something that has already become important for our test family.
What started out as a project for the son, soon spread to both mum and daughter as they discovered that each family member could create a separate character. This meant that together they could contribute to the upkeep and progress of their town.