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Animal Crossing hosts are holding swap meets, a brilliant idea

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Everyone should do this!

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A villager stands in a campsite surrounded by OK Motors-themed items in a screenshot from Animal Crossing: New Horizons Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

It’s easier than ever to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons with your friends, but what you do with your pals on the island is up in the air. Trading native fruit, and checking out shops and house decorations — that’s a given. But if you’re creative, there are all sorts of ways to take your hosting duties seriously.

I’d argue that Animal Crossing is, at its roots, a game about kindness. So it’s appropriate then that, on social media, some players are showing off dedicated areas where they set up “shops,” only nothing is for sale in Bells. Instead, everything is bartered — the idea is that you take something if it speaks to you, but also make sure to leave something worthwhile in return. Anyone who comes by the island can participate, allowing for an ongoing rotating inventory.

Sometimes, the offerings can be gift-wrapped, as if they were party bags. Other times, it’s stuff that you would expect, like fruit — but arranged nicely, and in bulk numbers, so players don’t have to go forage through a bunch of trees to get what they need. In that case, a visitor has also has a go-to area for leaving their own fruit without having to track down the host, which can be a nuisance. It’s the most heartwarming version of a flea market that I’ve ever seen ... as long as nobody is greedy!

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