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Cooperatives: Animal Crossing

Chris Plante co-founded Polygon in 2012 as editor-at-large and is now editor-in-chief. He also created and occasionally teaches NYU’s Introduction to Games Journalism course.

Welcome to Season 2 of Cooperatives, the only video game show on the internet about two dudes stuck in an infinite white space that may or may not exist on a parallel plane in an alternate dimension. This week, the dopey duo decipher the capitalistic subtext of a child's game.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a drug that provides its user an inflated sense of confidence and accomplishment. As the mayor of a small town, you may put in 15-30 minutes a day and feel that you have not only improved your life, home and career, but the lives, homes and careers of a small village.

Of course, a good Animal Crosser is simply collecting, consuming, buying, selling and reselling anything and everything. All day. Every day.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf operates, at its core, on one bizarre principle: the American Dream could exist if we had one super leader who spent gobs of money at our stores, donated mounds of art to our museums, single-handedly paid off our public works projects, and still made time to pick the weeds in the forest and harvest the crops in the fields.

Which is to say, we don't stand a chance.

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