ETAO Podcast, Episode 84.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been stealing hearts, blowing up timelines, and filling in blanks in our shared social fabric for about two surreally protracted months now. For once, the zeitgeist hasn’t outrun our goofy, research-heavy way of picking topics!

So in this episode, Lauren Villegas joins in to talk about Animal Crossing, inclusivity, games-as-platforms, our shifting notions of gendered play, and some 90s miscellany.
A scene from Animal Crossing: New Horizons. From left to right: Apple the pop star squirrel, Lauren in a toga and movie star sunglasses, Drew in a samurai wig and a groovy tunic, and DM Jazz Hands (of The Last Refuge) in a dress.
We don’t need to tell you that you can get Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch.
You can also follow Lauren on Twitter.
• Here’s that Polygon piece about how the “games are for boys” idea crystalized.

• And here’s Shigeru Miyamoto’s talk about the wife-o-meter.

• By way of decoding the 90s references, Polly Pocket (for girls!) and Mighty Max (for boys!)

• Here’s a full playthrough of Rockett’s New School.

• And an IndieCade interview with Brenda Laurel of Purple Moon, as well as a few of her “games for girls” contemporaries. She gets into how some of her research back in the day (which Lauren and I do feel has some stereotypey gendered assumptions in retrospect) is “historically situated,” and very much a direct response to the videogames market of the time. Her book is something I’ll definitely give a read at some point, too.

FEMICOM is a fascinating resource, too.

• I think about the Bartle taxonomy of player types kind of a lot.

• As a contrast to Animal Crossing-as-platform, here’s Dan Olson’s piece on the hellscape that is (was?) Fortnite-as-platform.

• Here’s the episode of Animal Talking with Danny Trejo and Elijah Wood.

• Here’s a story about the Getty putting a bunch of its collection online in Animal Crossing form. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York did something similar, too.

• And here’s the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s collaboration with the Chicago Field Museum.

• Kurt Vonnegut did indeed do an interview in Second Life.

• In case you’re not sure what I meant about seeing the true ending.

Here’s that story about FOMO-fueled Animal Crossing save deletion, as well as Nathan Grayson’s piece.

• Here’s my Destiny 2 tidying stream.

• And here’s that piece about skin tones and representation in Animal Crossing.

“All The People Say (Season 3)” by Holly Hyperion.
“Sand” by Andy Iona and Billy Abrams, performed by Andy Iona and His Orchestra.

We’re on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify, PocketCasts, Overcast, and RadioPublic. You can also subscribe using good old-fashioned RSS.

Logo by Aaron Perry-Zucker, using Icons by by Llisole, Dávid Gladiš, Atif Arshad, Daniel Nochta, Mike Rowe, Jakub Čaja, Raji Purcell and IconsGhost from the Noun Project.

Left-click to play. Right-click to download.

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