Soapbox: Why Do People Love Games Like Stardew Valley And Animal Crossing?

Playing games shouldn’t feel like work, right?

One of my favourite things to do after a long day of nine-to-five work is crack open a beer, get cosy on the sofa, and play two to five hours of a game where I have a nine-to-five job. It seems ludicrous to spend my free time doing exactly what I do in my non-free time, and yet, here I am – one of millions of people doing tasks for fun and zero profit. In fact, I paid for the privilege to pretend that I have to restore and maintain a struggling farm/tourism spot/tiny café.

What gives? Why are games like Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing so dang popular? Are we just so entrenched in capitalism that we can’t even fathom escaping it, and playing a game in an economy-free world?

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