Watch Hamilton: An Animal Crossing Musical

Originally published at: Watch Hamilton: An Animal Crossing Musical | Boing Boing

From what I hear there’s a lot of “Work!” in “Animal Crossing”, just not the kind that Angelica and Eliza (…and Peggy) are talking about.

capitalist slumlord Tom Nook

A bit more complicated than that, but grinding against eternal debt in a podunk company town isn’t a whole lot better.

the NYU Game Center professor Naomi Clark recently offered a compelling reading of Animal Crossing to her students and colleagues, many of whom probably have been playing it to pass the time. The game, she argued, is a nostalgic fantasy for the Japanese furusato, a pastoral hometown.* Before industrialization, a seaside fishing village or hillside paddy-field farm might have sustained a simple, deliberate life of basic subsistence and straightforward agricultural trade, much like the life the player leads in Animal Crossing.

But the size and economies of these villages were too modest even to sustain their basic familial and mercantile needs, so the villages would take on collective debt—to pay for fishing nets and supplies, say. But nobody would ever pay back the debt, Clark explained. They didn’t have the money! Instead, it would bind the locals to their village—you owed something to the collective, so how could you ever leave? And so the community would persist, a tableau of georgic calm sealed inside the bottle of a company town.


The furusato fantasy offers one view on the fusion of commerce and the countryside, but it doesn’t really land in the West, especially in America. Here, capitalism and pastoralism are often seen as opposing forces. So, too, personal benefit and collective good.



Nook charges no interest, has no collection schedule, and performs no credit checks. I wish this was capitalist slumlord behavior.

And as for Hamilton - The Animal Crossing Musical, I loooove it!


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