Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Animal Crossing and International Museum Day!

Today's Guest Post about Animal Crossing and International Museum Day is by Tom Gille.

Today is International Museum Day, and although it might seem odd, I was reminded of this by a video game!

You may be familiar with Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) it's a very popular game for the Nintendo Switch. With 32 million copies sold worldwide and an award for Best Family Game of 2020, it has a huge and extremely loyal following among children and adults.

I began playing to have another way to spend time with my 5-year-old granddaughter. She loves it, as do her parents - they've also gotten aunts and uncles involved.

If you don’t know anything about ACNH, it’s a simulation game that allows players to move to a deserted island. Without going into greater detail, it's a real-time game that is tied to your time zone and season. The sun rises and sets as it does at your real home, and it snows in winter, etc. You can gather and craft items, customize the island, and form it into a community of anthropomorphic animals. 

One of the items you get to work on is the island museum:

You build the collection yourself by digging fossils or collecting insects:

 and buying famous works of art:

Just be careful who you buy the art from - the museum doesn’t accept fakes, and a knowledge of the actual art can help you spot them before you buy.

Since it's a real-time game, international holidays are celebrated with special events - things like Easter and Christmas (called Egg Day and Toy Day) and many others - and for today they have a Stamp Station event at the Animal Crossing Museum. (You can see some stamp stations in the pictures above.) Once you visit each of the stations in the museum halls you receive a special plaque for that hall.

Visitors are even greeted with a speech by the museum director:

“May 18th is International Museum Day, and to honor it, we’re holding a stamp rally! International Museum Day is a day to understand the wonder that only museums can provide. As a collecting place for all types of knowledge, museums are a critical resource for learners far and wide. Indeed, they can spark imaginations, making difficult ideas easier - and perhaps even more fun - to grasp. But to put it simply, International Museum Day is a day for getting to know your local museum!”


The grey-haired guy with the beard and glasses is my character, named Grumpdalf by my granddaughter. The museum director is a funny character named Blathers, a wise owl who gets carried away by his topics and talks a lot. He's also terrified of bugs, though he will accept them and tell you a lot of interesting information about them, and anything else you bring in. (It may be throwing a little shade to call him Blathers but it does fit many museum folks I know. It certainly fits me!)

Whether you play Animal Crossing: New Horizons or not (the event runs through the end of the month) take Blathers’ speech to heart and celebrate the wonder your local museum can provide. I couldn’t have blathered it better myself.

And just in case you think ACNH doesn't truly take museums seriously, here's a picture of the back of a fossil  -- what other video games use accession numbers?!?

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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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