Animal Crossing Isn't Escapist; It's Political
But with coronavirus deaths soaring and the real economy tanking, Animal Crossing might inspire Americans to reclaim structure and routine, and to motivate it toward modest rather than remarkable ends. Nobody really wants to live a pastoral-capitalist equilibrium of humdrum labor-unless that’s what everyone wants, actually, and not even so secretly. Civic life, after all, coheres not in abstract fantasies about politician-heroes, but in habitual practices that take place in real communities. All video games aestheticize busywork. But few make it feel like freedom.
— Animal Crossing Isn’t Escapist; It’s Political - The Atlantic, Ian Bogost in The Atlantic