Every day, for 10 to 20 minutes or so, I like to play on a little game called Animal Crossing. Well, it’s not a little game, as such… it’s well known across the whole world. But I play it on my DS, so it’s all “little”…

I don’t know why I still play on this game. Really, it’s a game that makes a game out of doing absolutely nothing at all. Ever. All you do, every day, is go on it, talk to animals, collect fruit and sell it, clean up the town, plant stuff. In other words, apart from the talking to animals bit, it’s a rather odd version of real life. Though I suppose I talk to animals in real life too. Well, my dog, anyway.

I’ve done almost all there is to do on this game now. A few things elude me, such as a massive bank balance in order to unlock the last few rewards, and getting the pictures of all the characters, but otherwise I’ve seen it all before. Everything all the same, every day. The characters have completely worn out their admittedly extensive phrasebooks. That just goes to show how much I must have played on it.

And still, I come back to it.

15 minutes a day isn’t much. And, of course, as someone with way too much time on his hands, I suppose I have to find ways to use it up somehow. Indeed, whenever I have been busy for the entire day, I tend to forget to go on it, and that causes much weeping if the consequence is that a character leaves the game without me getting their picture. Oh, what a life I lead.

But maybe the real reason why I like to keep coming back to it is just a simple form of escapism. My life is frequently dull and boring. These days, because of where I live and the fact that all my former friends around here have either moved away or I’ve lost touch with, I’m living quite a sad existence. If it wasn’t for my football hobbies, I would barely get out the house, such is the bad state of business at the moment. But of all the people I meet on my hobby, I would count almost none of them as friends.

So I’m living almost without friends right now. Sure, I keep in touch with my old friends from university on Facebook, but it’s not the same. I knew I’d miss the university life.

Perhaps then it’s little wonder that I find myself drawn to a simple game like this. For 15 minutes every day I can forget about real life and “live” an incredibly simple existence. Oh, how wonderful it would be to not have to worry about where my next piece of work is going to come from… and instead live out a life in a friendly small village where everything is just so… cosy. I think that’s the word I’m looking for. And there’s always stuff to do.

I think I’m going mad.