...yeah, ok. The Sims is an addictive game to play. But have you played Animal Crossing?
Let's back up for a moment... Santa brought us a GameCube for Christmas. A pretty silver one. I suspect he found it on sale at Target, but that's neither here nor there. We have one. And because we have one, we also have games for it.
The kids had put a GameCube on their Christmas list for two years running, and they'd also put this Animal Crossing game on the list. The game revolves around this town filled with animal characters, and you, the only human.
The object of the game is... well... I'm not entirely sure.
You have a house and you decorate your house because some faceless committee called the Happy Room Academy judges your house every day and gives you points based on how well put together it is. Along the way you can go fishing, shake trees for fruit or bells (the currency in Animal Crossing is bells), and do favors for these animal characters that either get you furniture or new outfits to wear. It's pretty fun...
...until you get obsessed. You see, you can sell the stuff you get back to the store run by Tom Nook, appropriately personified as a raccoon because he is a crook in my opinion. Anyway, he is responsible for all the upgrades and remodels you can have on your house. And they're not cheap. You're not charged interest, nor does he pressure you for the money, but still - you owe money and have to pay it off before you can get another upgrade to your house.
You can plant flowers and trees. It's good to prettify the town. And sometimes you find a rare fruit and can plant it to get a tree full of said fruit (ok, 3 pieces of fruit, but you get more in a couple of days). You just have to make sure that people don't run through your flowers, or step on your saplings. And if you're not paying attention for a day you'll find weeds starting to pop up around the town. The animal characters move to other towns as well - you usually find this out when they send a "dear john" letter to you. Oh yes, you get mail.
Did I happen to mention that the game runs in real time? When the sun sets in real life, it does so in the game too. The seasons change (yesterday it became Spring suddenly), there are holidays. Each new thing brings another opportunity to add something to your house, or to sell to pay off the bill. Oh yes, that ever present bill.
That's when you get obsessed - with catching as many fish as possible, and running all manners of errands, and shaking every tree there is. It's all in pursuit of the bells to pay the bills. There's a bonus too - there's a lost and found in the Animal Crossing police department, and you can sometimes find things in the dump to sell.
But that gets tricky when you're playing the game with 3 other people living in the same town. Now you have competition for the bells in the trees, the fruit, and the stuff in the dump and the police department. You are going to have other people who are trying to catch the bugs that you have planted flowers to attract. You have other people who are going to submit the artifacts to the museum (which doesn't earn you anything but recognition) and others who are going to run into the mayor and get really cool jobs to do like making sure the lighthouse gets lit every night while the Mayor is on vacation.
Yes, I do play this game almost daily. So does DH and the kids, why do you ask?
DH was the first to pay off the second remodel bill on the house and did another remodel for a basement that only cost 30K bells. He paid that off, and the one after that, and now he's got a 798K bell bill for the latest expansion. As do I. Now we'll see who pays that off first.
If you don't already play Animal Crossing, consider yourself lucky that you don't have another time suck in your life. If you do, well, I feel your pain....
...and stay away from my apple trees.