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Take a Break from Real Life with Wii’s Animal Crossing: City Folk

Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs

The Wii continues to reinvent the paradigm of game play with its multipurpose uses that blur the lines between actual and virtual worlds.  With the release of Animal Crossing: City Folk on November 16th, your offline desires have found a new online home.  The game’s narrative unfolds in real time as you navigate your customized Mii character through a world that you’re free to explore depending on your whims.  Watch a fireworks display or take the bus into the city to go see a concert – it’s your life to live any way you choose (except it’s not real).  If there’s any point to the adventure, it could best be described as getting to know your neighbors, a mix of computer generated animal characters and other players from across the globe.  Sort of like a version of the Ungame updated for the digital age. This communication aspect of the game is furthered with introduction of the Wii Speak, a microphone that connects to the existing system, allowing gamers to speak across a broadband connection.  In addition to working within the context of the game, Nintendo plans to release an independent channel in December that will allow friends to utilize this technology to stay in touch from the comfort of their own homes.  A compelling option perhaps, but we’re not ready to write off the telephone just yet.

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