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Animal Crossing villagers to me: ‘You can’t sit with us’

New horizons of loneliness

Animal Crossing character wearing an all yellow outfit sitting along by a river Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

On Thursday, I booted up Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons after quite a while away. (I know, this is a consistent pattern.) I’ve left and returned so many times that I’ve grown used to the shaming from my villagers that absolutely awaits me. It’s just part of the experience now — my villagers are just going to have to get used to an absentee resident representative.

Anyway, I immediately headed over to the Resident Services building to purchase the new Reactions, one of which I was very excited about: the ability to sit down. On my way there, I passed a few villagers, all of whom seemed happy to see me (albeit with a bit of shade). Once I had the Reactions, I headed out in search of a villager to sit with. That’s when I spotted Beau, wearing his very cute reindeer sweater, sitting by the river. I plopped down next to him. And he left.

Now I am sitting alone, staring into the void. Unfortunately, I had a feeling this would happen. It’s happened before, plenty of times — just not with sitting on the ground. Occasionally, I will come across a villager, say, Rosie, sitting on a bench or a cushion. When I sit down to join, there’s a 99% chance she’ll just get up and leave. Meanwhile, when Samson over here is sitting on a bridge blocking my path, there’s literally nothing I can do to get him to get up.

So I’ve come to a conclusion: Sitting in New Horizons is just another way for my animals to passive-aggressively send me a message. I’ve only just gotten over returning to my island to immediately receive a scolding, and now I have to get used to this. This is, as one might say, a new horizon of loneliness.

It seems like other people are having the same experience, whether it’s sitting on the ground or on a chair, too. Some of us just can’t keep a villager around.

So if you need me, I’ll be over here sitting in a pile of leaves.

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