#244: Animal Crossing is the game we all need right now. We share how Animal Crossing: New Horizons is helping us and other members of the Geek Therapy community in different ways. We also talk about other games we like to “prescribe.”
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Josué Cardona 0:00
You can support geek therapy and get access to exclusive content by becoming a patron at patreon.com slash geek therapy.
Welcome to gt radio on the geek therapy network. Here Geek Therapy we believe that the best way to understand each other in ourselves through the media we care about. My name is Mike Cardona. And I'm joined by Lauren Keller.
Lauren Keller 0:24
Josué Cardona 0:25
And Lara Taylor.
Lara Taylor 0:26
Josué Cardona 0:28
So before recording, we were talking about how sick and tired we are of talking about Coronavirus. It's a lot. We were talking briefly about Lara, you said you were recommending to people that they they stop watching the news.
Lara Taylor 0:45
Josué Cardona 0:45
And that reminder l
Lara Taylor 0:48
Or limit their news.
Josué Cardona 0:50
Yeah, yeah. It's like yeah, like stay informed, right. I don't know. Like my local newspaper sends these update emails. It's like, just like a paragraph with like, here's the headline like, this is breaking news. is important. There you go. Nothing else. If you want more, click here. I appreciate that. All that might be too much in some cases. But it reminds me of something that seems to work for most of my clients, this idea of, you know, figuring out what is a powerup or something that makes you feel better. And something that makes you feel worse or diminishes you or if you look at stuff like energy or attention or even happiness, you can start identifying things that either drain those things, or add to those things or help refill some sort of tank or meter, whatever, whatever metaphor works best for you. And like my mom, just a couple minutes ago, wrote to me and my sisters like, like I stopped going on Facebook, so I feel I feel pretty good you know she identified Facebook as a thing that was not helping was not making her feel better. So she kind of get rid of that and so I think about that constantly like I'm always thinking about things as oh this drains me and this this refills me and there's there's one thing that for the last we can have two weeks now I guess has has definitely added or seem to to refill my my tanks made me feel better and that is Animal Crossing.
Lauren Keller 2:38
Josué Cardona 2:41
I know I'm not alone on that. It almost seems like the the internet is collectively not just enjoying but like feeding off of Animal Crossing to I mean, I've seen you know, means it's like it's the game we needed right now.
Lara Taylor 3:05
switches are sold out, sold
Josué Cardona 3:07
out. It's crazy. What happened? Well, it was a combination of a health crisis and Animal Crossing. And it has been, I don't know that that's what it's been like for me. What has it been like for you, Lauren?
Lauren Keller 3:23
Oh, yeah, it's absolutely been a balm. You know, we were dealing with pandemic and and everybody is sort of dealing with uncertainty and to some, some degree. Some people of course are you know, have have more stable lives so it'll be okay. But there are other people who you know, are really, really concerned about making friends and, you know, not being able to care for family members or travel to funerals and that kind of stuff. And that gets that gets really really overwhelming to be seeing and thinking about every day and not having any real control over it. But on my island in Animal Crossing, I have complete control and everything is nice and happy and calming. And if somebody gets sick, you just give them a medicine and that's fine.
Josué Cardona 4:24
That's true. There's medicine in the game. That's true.
Lara Taylor 4:27
Yeah. Mm hmm.
Josué Cardona 4:29
Laura, what about for you has it has it been like this for you too?
Lara Taylor 4:33
Oh, absolutely. I love playing animal crossing
Josué Cardona 4:39
your first Animal Crossing, right.
Lara Taylor 4:40
This is my first animal crossing. And I was on the I was on the fence. Yeah. When my wife was very like, anti Animal Crossing. And now she's more obsessed than I am.
Lauren Keller 4:51
This is why my first Animal Crossing as well though I did play pocket camp a little bit. Gotcha.
Josué Cardona 4:57
Yeah, my account, sir. Yeah, okay. Okay. Welcome. Welcome all
Lara Taylor 5:03
it's been it's been great. Like, if I have a break between clients not the 10 minute breaks, but like if I have someone cancels and I have an hour, I'm definitely playing Animal Crossing in between. It is it's a definite mood booster. Uh, the first time I got stressed was actually we're recording on April 1. It was like two days ago when I was like, I need this fucking string fish. I was so overjoyed when I caught it. Yeah, I thought I was gonna be
Josué Cardona 5:41
so good. I was talking to woody Harris, host of rolling for change. Earlier today, and he was pretty much saying the same thing we're saying about Animal Crossing, he said except when there's when that one time I found a tarantulas and they were all trying to kill me. Oh, it does not sound Like a good time. Um, I, I love this idea of, like, video games as or media right as a as a prescription. Right? It's like, what would make you feel better? What would you know for different reasons for different occasions you would recommend different things and I was thinking about how basically Animal Crossing has has been like, actually I like bomb. I like that. I like that a lot. Maybe Maybe that's more that's a more adequate or correct comparison then then medicine. But yeah, yeah, but it definitely feels medicinal in different ways. Or soothing. And yeah,
Lauren Keller 6:48
it feels like it feels like my, like my emotional processing unit is all banged up. And, you know, I keep making the joke of like, Oh, it's island. Time I grabbed this wage and I started the game and it feels like you know take it a nice hot bath with like, you know bubbles and mineral salts and it's just it's it's soothing my emotional processing unit
Josué Cardona 7:18
like this. Yeah, like, let's just keep coming up with more ways to talk about how Animal Crossing makes us feel good. Um, when I when I brought it up as whether or not Lauren actually suggested that we talked about Animal Crossing is irrelevant
Lauren Keller 7:33
to you. That's irrelevant. Yeah, it's literally the first thing I suggested
Josué Cardona 7:37
when I when I decided that we were going to talk about Animal Crossing today. Laura said, Hey, have you seen what john posted on the discord? So john Caldwell, a huge member of the community, very active on on our Discord. He posted this yesterday.
Lauren Keller 7:58
Hey, des Did we check in with john to make sure it was okay to read this?
Josué Cardona 8:04
So I didn't check in with him because the discord is open to the public.
Lauren Keller 8:08
Okay. Yeah, yeah. All right. That's fair.
Josué Cardona 8:11
Yeah. Yeah. So that's, that's why I didn't check in with him. Okay, I'm leaving the episode after and if, but yeah, maybe I'll chime with him before we post it. But,
Lauren Keller 8:23
I mean, but
Lara Taylor 8:24
but, but it's, but it is it is public. And we encourage everyone that's listening to join the discord because of interactions like we're about to talk about.
Josué Cardona 8:33
Yep. Yep. So this is wasn't like a private message, which is why I'm bringing it up, but thank you for checking in. So john said my beloved mother passed away earlier this month. As long as I can remember, she always loved pears. When my first letter from mom arrived in Animal Crossing, it had pears attached. This is the pear tree I planted next to my house in memory of my real life mom, every day It makes me happy to see it. When I walk out of my house for me Animal Crossing is so Much more than a game. It's a place of genuine happiness and healing.
Lara Taylor 9:06
I'm not crying. He kept posting to get making. It was worth more crying. Ah,
Josué Cardona 9:17
yeah, I mean hammer crossing what is Animal Crossing? i? I tried to explain what Animal Crossing was to you, Laura to get you to get you into it. I don't remember what I said. I think it was like a cross between like Sims and I don't know, I feel I feel it's way less stressful than Stardew Valley for example, which I found Yes. Which actually
Lara Taylor 9:43
get to the end of the month and you need to catch this little thing going away.
Josué Cardona 9:47
You don't have to catch the string fish. So this string
Lara Taylor 9:49
fit the string fish is not coming back to like December. It's
Josué Cardona 9:53
fine. I didn't I didn't catch it. I'm okay. I know. I have something to look forward to in December. It's fine. Fine, but I remember playing a lot of Stardew Valley right after Hurricane Maria. It was it was soothing, in a way. But it's also we brought this up before that. Brandon said he recommended it to someone who was really anxious and we're like, oh, wait a minute. The days pass every five minutes, something like that, right? A whole day's
Lauren Keller 10:27
not that fast. But it's it's like a thing. It's like a 10 minute day cycle. Okay.
Josué Cardona 10:33
Okay. So then like things if you like, Don't catch or don't pick your fruits or your crops or don't water, things like things die and you're like, there's a cycle. And there's things that have to happen very quickly. If you're in a dungeon, like the night cycle, like everything happens. Oh, you actually get very tired, right? You have to actually go to bed.
Lara Taylor 10:54
You have to go to bed. Yeah,
Josué Cardona 10:55
yeah, so it's definitely way more stressful. So So Animal Crossing is just relaxed, you can go on for 24 hours straight. I mean, I'm not recommending that but I'm just saying, you know, it's like the game. It's just,
Lara Taylor 11:07
that's my new extra life goal.
Josué Cardona 11:11
Just Just Island it up for 24 hours.
Lara Taylor 11:14
I can I can do it while I'm playing other things it's good. Yeah.
Josué Cardona 11:18
And like the day cycle is a is an actual day cycle it's 24 hours is what I was trying to get at and, and everything's just relaxing other than you know at the end of the month things disappear but there's something there's something special about it. Like John's example is very, is very unique. Like the fact that that matched up that way and when you boot up the game you come out of your house so you see the house from the outside and the fact that he put that tree there. Again, I haven't talked to him I've only seen his his posts on this court. But I get it. I really get it you know there's there's an there's something There's a tribute there to someone that you love in a space that you feel comfortable in. And it's the first thing you see every time you boot up the game. So that's got to feel even better. You know? And I think for everybody, there's something different that that you can get from it.
Lauren Keller 12:19
Yeah, I went to john from here comes a thought podcast. I went to his Island yesterday, and he was showing me around and we went into his wife's house. And she has a painting on the wall. That is a picture of her cats that passed away. Last year, I think it was just really, really nice to see this cute little room full of cute little furniture. And then it's like, you can sort of scan around the room and there's like flowers on the wall and then this this little, you know, it's I think it's 32 by 32 pixel image of a kitty and it's very sweet and like you said is very much like a tribute inside of your little your fantasy world. And it's nice to have spaces for memorializing like that even even in virtual spaces.
Lara Taylor 13:18
Yeah, yeah. I've seen stories of like, I think it was on Twitter. A couple had to cancel their wedding because of I saw shelter in place. And their friends through them a wedding. In Animal Crossing. Yep. Yep. It's beautiful.
Lauren Keller 13:40
Yeah, I've seen it on the blue shirt Day
Lara Taylor 13:42
party on the beach. Yeah, birthday parties. Oh, it's so cute.
Josué Cardona 13:48
Yeah. I just moved, right. And one of the things that I was most excited about doing when I moved was how An extra room to make into the geek therapy studio for lack of a better word is going to be recording space I was there stuff I wanted to set up there put up there. And none of that is going to work out right now in part because I had to move my plans around way sooner than I wanted. I can't really go check out furniture and the stuff that I need I can't really there's a number of reasons why this isn't gonna happen now and probably for a while. But But an animal crossing I finally bought a microphone
Lauren Keller 14:36
Josué Cardona 14:37
Yep, yep. So as please actually this is a call out to everybody as as other like recording equipment or stuff shows up. Please buy me one. I will I will trade I'll buy from you. hooked me up. Right now I only have a microphone but I need I actually need a few more things to set up. That recording studio. But in my house, the first thing I did was like I created gt wallpaper. on the walls, I made a GT hat, which I've always wanted to make, and they have brought that up before, but I don't haven't actually,
Lara Taylor 15:15
I'm, I'm flying that gt flag over my place. Oh,
Josué Cardona 15:19
yeah, I put I put one up too. And he said that I was like, Oh, I didn't know we could put up a flag. So I put up a GT flag. So it um, you know, I'm gonna start building out that studio in there, which is something that I can't do right now. And something I was looking forward to doing right now, but I can't do just yet. So as as that gets built out, I'll make sure to invite you. We've all visited each other's islands, which is pretty cool. When I saw your island learn, I was like, This is beautiful. And it was stupid. me. I was like, oh, like I can't like, like, why does this look like wide open and like, Oh, it's like so peaceful and stuff and I loved it. And then it gave me a whole bunch of ideas for stuff to do on my own island and yeah, you still have the coolest room I've seen so far. Uh huh.
Lauren Keller 16:08
I was I was okay. So that was that was just basically luck. Yeah, there's a character named Sahara, a camel who sells you carpets and wallpapers and flooring, but they're they're random. You don't get to know what they are until you've bought them already. I happened to be visiting a friend and saw her was there. And I bought everything that I could.
Lara Taylor 16:32
That was that was my place. That was Yeah.
Lauren Keller 16:36
Well, that yours was the third place. So it's a different friends Island. And then the next day she was on my island and I bought everything I could and then like two days later, I went to Lara's Island and Sahar was there I was just like, oh, so I ended up with I have to have the the lava flooring and so I can have lava floors in both rooms of my house right now. Got the The cityscape wallpaper is really cool. I've got a wall that looks like from the matrix, the second matrix with the the wall of of TV screens. Oh,
Josué Cardona 17:13
that's so cool.
Lauren Keller 17:14
It's very cool. Actually, john, john was like, Hey, can I have that? Sorry, but I've only got one. But yeah, so I've definitely enjoyed that, that there's sort of these other little elements that make it really cool to socially engage with other people in this game. It's really, really neat. Like, you can completely play this by yourself, never visit anybody, never do any of that stuff. And it would still be a really fun and soothing game, but having all the social elements is making it so nice, especially since so many of us, like, can't interact anyways. You know, the GT family is we're spread out all over the place as a lot of times, you know, online stuff is the only way that we can interact but this is also a way I'm keeping in touch with friends that I'm usually seeing once or twice a week in person, and it's, it's the same thing where it's really nice to be able to have this space. Even if we're not really like talking or anything. We're just like, whacking each other on the head with the fishing or the butterfly net. And then and then like, dropping random stuff on the ground and being like, I made this for you. Ah, I should it's I love Animal Crossing. It's so nice.
Josué Cardona 18:32
Is it is? Yeah, I mean, so I have a there are multiple theories. I think it depends on the person Why? It's medicinal for different people. I think one of the I don't know how overlooked This is but like, I think there's there's, we're talking about that we've talked about the social aspect we've talked about. There's just something like calming about it in a way
Lara Taylor 18:59
the music The fishing the being outdoors. Hmm.
Josué Cardona 19:03
I like that. Yeah, yeah, right now that's probably a big part of it. Yeah. Yeah. Like we're cooped up inside but it's in the game where? Yeah, we're landscaping and walking outside.
Lauren Keller 19:14
It's also you know, it's it's nice, nice color palettes and everything has sort of a soft texture to it. You're, you know, surrounded by cute animal friends.
Lara Taylor 19:26
Some of them are cute. Okay, you're right. I have
Lauren Keller 19:30
I have the clown, the clown Ram. Oh, move to my island. And I don't know, I have a lot of feelings. We'll see. So
Lara Taylor 19:37
you might have to get that one to move away. Right. So yeah, well,
Josué Cardona 19:40
it's a question we'll see. So I went to Isabel and she was like, Are you having trouble with anybody? And she asks you, what is it is it like, was it the way they look like you can complain about that? And I almost did it but I felt bad. Because I had I did the same thing. I have one character who is I don't like the way that
Lauren Keller 20:03
he was named names owl. I don't know which one I was. So
Josué Cardona 20:08
I was like, I guess, are the gorillas right? It's like It's like the ape one. Okay, but he's like, his skin is like a yellowish green. And like he It looks like a rainbow character generally, like a coconut.
Lauren Keller 20:29
I see. I see.
Josué Cardona 20:30
Do you see him? Do you see? And I was like what like I have Louie on the island first and then how showed up and I'm like, What? Why? So I didn't know that Isabel could do something about it. But then I felt bad. I was like, oh, like I was been really nice. He gave me cool presents. He was He's like, he's actually pretty chill. But
Lauren Keller 20:51
wait, you ended up with two apes on your islands. Yeah,
Josué Cardona 20:54
yeah. Wow. Okay, and I don't I don't even have like that was just in the front. Like when you get three people to show up, the first three one of them was was out. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. And this is in part of the therapeutic part of the game, but that was, yeah,
Lara Taylor 21:16
that was something odd. I mean, it is kind of therapy puting
Lauren Keller 21:20
to be able to be like, I don't like this person. I'm evicting them from my island,
Lara Taylor 21:26
but also you changed your mind because he was nice and gave you presence and like, Oh, he's a good person. I shouldn't judge him by his books. I know it's like
Josué Cardona 21:37
saying this out loud has been very uncomfortable just now like
Lara Taylor 21:42
even though it's a fictional animal with like, really weird. I don't know that the either if it were the if it were Lauren's clown Ram. Absolutely not.
Lauren Keller 21:57
Okay. Okay. So I'm still up in the air about my I think his name is Petro, the clown friend but I have freckles on my island, which is like a pink duck, I guess. And I was like, Oh, she's kind of cute. But then I talked to her and she's like, kind of a big jerk. She's like, super diva. And so that was the person I went and talked to Isabel and was like, yeah, it was something she said. And, and Isabel's like, do you want me to talk to her for you? And I was like, Oh, nevermind, nevermind, that's when I backed off. I was like, Don't Don't rat me out Isabel. What the heck. But then, later, I was just running around and I was in the, you know, the the open space in front of the resident services and oh, gosh, what's her name? I have a cute pink alligator and I really like her. I'm forgetting her name right now but she's very cute. And she was outside in the in the open space with freckles and she had to learn Little angry bubble above her head and I went over and talked to her. And she's like freckles just says some, like really messed up stuff sometimes. And I was like, Oh, hell Nah, ain't nobody's talking smack to my cute Gator girl. And so I walked right in there. And I was like, Isabel, you, ya know, you give her talking to you right now. Nobody's allowed to talk to my friends that way. And so it's like, it almost actually reflects like, my real life is like if people talk smack about me, I'm just like, oh, whatever. Okay, if you talk smack about my friends. Oh,
Lara Taylor 23:33
oh, it's all on.
Josué Cardona 23:37
So it's a sandbox to practice this stuff.
Lauren Keller 23:39
Yeah, I'm still getting that kind of social interaction. Haha.
Josué Cardona 23:46
The Geek therapy network and all of our projects are made possible by the support of listeners like you, you can become a patron for as little as $1 a month and gain access to exclusive content behind the scenes stories, swag and more. Sign up at any tier and we'll send you a welcome kit in the mail. anywhere in the world to celebrate your first month. Thank you so, so much for supporting us. We couldn't do it without you. You can learn firstname.lastname@example.org slash key therapy. Well, I think a big part of the game is the fact that there's so much to do, like, in a time when I do want to be completely distracted, and not think about the world and what's happening and what I can't do. I go into Animal Crossing, and it's very much like, like Breath of the Wild. I think the sun's Yeah, right. Well,
Lauren Keller 24:33
yeah, that's another game where if it had come out right now, that would be like, yeah, I mean, that kind of happened with Breath of the Wild anyways, even though we weren't in a pandemic. But yeah,
both of these games have very, I feel like Animal Crossing is even less, you know, even more calming because it doesn't have like any of the combat stuff but very much the
Lara Taylor 24:56
villas and wasps Yes, but really like
Lauren Keller 25:02
the temple guardians are kind of. I mean, they only have four legs but they're kind of Rancho shaped because she's getting at you. You should see me and Nina scream when the last of the tarantulas come after us. It's like It's like we're fighting. Temple Guardian I've gotten much better at catching the last spike. The every so often the ranches like legit startled me. Night. I just get I just get it
Josué Cardona 25:33
I don't realize what you meant by ranches until like
Lauren Keller 25:36
oh right yeah.
Yeah, I just that's a that's a bam bam goof they is yes, tarantulas ranchos. The hairy boys
Josué Cardona 25:50
learn you and I did an episode of headshots where we where we talked about Breath of the Wild and flow and I think That's a big part of it. Right? It's like, so absolutely. I'm, I can decide to like one thing I did. I think I think Laura, you and Woody's wife were on my island at the end you. I think you were there. And then like, what his wife mentioned, like, why is there wood all over the ground? I think Right, right, right. Because I'm systematically using a stone axe on every tree to get three pieces of wood from each of them. I'm just doing it to all the trees and then I'm gonna go around and pick them all up. And so that's, there's a lot of trees that I had on my island, so there was a lot to do. But then, like, even if that got tedious at any moment, or monotonous like oh, there's a butterfly. Butterfly. Oh, there's there's a shadow in the water. I can fish. Oh, wait a minute. There's a bug over here. Yeah, I can move this. Like there's always and like in your field of vision. There's always a few different things that you can do. So there's you're never in different things right? Like, I don't want to really go fishing right now or I don't have a fishing rod. So or if I don't have a fishing rod, that's another thing I could do. I can go craft a fishing rod
Lara Taylor 27:08
or and then go craft like 50 different pieces of furniture.
Josué Cardona 27:11
Yeah, like I need, like, yeah, it's like, oh, I don't want to do anything outside, I want to go remodel my house. And then you start doing that. And it's like, oh, but I don't have the word that I need to make that more job I want. So then I've got to go, it's
Lara Taylor 27:23
on the ground, cuz I've already chopped everything off the
Josué Cardona 27:27
trees, right? But if I didn't, then now this is something else I have to do. And if I did, so it's this chain of things that you're that you're always doing. And you can set your own goals. Or you can kind of go with the flow and go with whatever's happening. Right, like, oh, wait a minute, now there's a shadow on the ground. There's a gift in the air. That means I need a slingshot to pop the balloon. Sometimes, randomly, like someone will run up to you and say, Hey, I need help. Like, there's always new things happening on the island. It's always changing. And yeah, it's only been on for two weeks. I don't know how sustainable Because they add the huge pieces of novelty to it at times. But I think like, the way it's ramping up is genius. And then if you just like to be in that space, there's always something to do. And with so much to do, and, you know, we could argue whether or not you know, you can achieve a flow state with, like, so many disparate things happening at the same time. But you're definitely distracted enough to not think about the, you know, the pandemic that's outside of your window.
Lara Taylor 28:26
Well, definitely when you're sitting and being like I can do I'm just gonna do like one more thing. I'll catch one more bug before bed, and one more bug and then all like, go sell the stuff into my inventory and go to bed. Nope. Then you do that and you walk outside the store and there's like, a prisoner flying across the sky. Oh, I gotta get that. Oh, there's another bug out. There's another. It's like, you can just keep going for ever
Josué Cardona 28:54
or ever. Yeah.
Lara Taylor 28:56
Unless you have a wife. That's like my Turner place. To When do I get to play?
Josué Cardona 29:03
That is why switches are sold out because people used to share switches now they can't You can't share switch. I tried.
Lara Taylor 29:09
I tried. I tried to find another switch. I tried you cave. Yeah. I tried. Oh, maybe an anniversary present or something? I don't know.
Josué Cardona 29:19
I know. I tried. There's a verge article about like, Animal Crossing is tearing my family apart. And I've already heard a couple stories.
Lara Taylor 29:29
We're doing okay. It's just a matter of sharing in the evening after work.
Josué Cardona 29:36
Yeah, well, Woody and Susie, his wife, they actually they started on one island, and then she ended up buying a second switch. She found it on Amazon Fresh through the delivery
Lara Taylor 29:48
Josué Cardona 29:50
when the Animal Crossing edition one. So then
Lara Taylor 29:55
I'm so jealous.
Josué Cardona 29:56
I know. So then they reset the Iowa then each started their own And you know,
Lauren Keller 30:02
Oh, that's nice that they reset so they could start start over together.
Josué Cardona 30:06
Yeah, cuz you know, resources.
Lara Taylor 30:08
Yeah, I would keep mine. And then Nina would have her house on my island. Yeah. And then and then when she would come to play with hers, she would have her own house.
Josué Cardona 30:20
Is that does that the way it works?
Lara Taylor 30:22
Would not it? In some ways? Yes. Like, in some ways
Josué Cardona 30:25
in some ways like I would have to move things around for her and stuff but nobody like a shirt profile goes I don't know. I don't know. I hope you get to try this out, let me know.
Lara Taylor 30:34
Because it would be cool. Or she could log in on the one on the on my switch and then move things around and then be like, Oh, this is so my house. I would give her resources and stuff. It would be cool. Yeah, I mean, I'm already carrying most of the burden anyway, paying off loans and building bridges and building inclines because we split our island in half divided by our river. So Like if I build anything on my side I have to pay for it.
Josué Cardona 31:05
There are definitely some real life aspects to it that I wouldn't say are soothing balm like like owing hundreds of thousands of bells to Tom knuck
Lauren Keller 31:16
but it's a really no you say that but there's no interest,
Lara Taylor 31:20
no interest, you can just sit on it. Yeah, no really payments fees or anything. I hit
Lauren Keller 31:27
like, Oh, hey, you you owe more on this island house than you do in like real money for your student debt. But then I can pay off my house debt in like a day and a half.
Lara Taylor 31:39
Yeah, it does not work in real life. I really like that there's some aspects of this game that can teach kids about loans and like payments and the stock market and Oh, it's so great.
Josué Cardona 31:54
I just learned today that my the money in my Add Account accrues interest That. Yeah. Yeah. Just done that today. Yeah. It's amazing. I really think it's a great way of kind of introducing these topics to kids. If I'm ever described, Animal Crossing is simple, I apologize because the more we talk about so many systems in place, it's so complex. It's super complex.
Lara Taylor 32:19
And there's so many different forms of currency. There's the miles, there's the bells, like turnips that turn into but yeah, it's all
Josué Cardona 32:28
there's a why the stock market fit. Okay? Yep, yep. So good. So good. So, so what other I mean? No, I think the the idea that Animal Crossing is the game we need right now. I feel very comfortable with. I'm curious if there have been games and other times or or, you know, other things we've talked in the past about comfort media, and we've talked about, like, even the idea of making bad recommendations. You know, like, do you think that this is a good? A good piece of media for someone that you're like, I completely missed the mark? Not work. But I'm just curious what has worked for you in the past? And what is or what is something that you recommend to other people for not only situations like this, but maybe you know, different ones to answer this however, however you feel comfortable, whatever comes to mind.
Lauren Keller 33:27
I would say games in a similar similar vein as Animal Crossing, like what we're talking about. So games like Stardew Valley, the Sims, RollerCoaster Tycoon, those kinds of games where you're managing various things in a game of space, but you have control and you have self directed goals. And it's, it's sort of you, you know, you can either put a lot of investment into it or you can you know, to sort of fuck around Whatever. I think those kinds of games really fill the needs that we're having in this kind of broader experience that we're all kind of going through right now is having something where we feel, you know, in control that we have agency and power and the things that we do matter, at least in the context of the game. And having that sort of space where we, we can have those feelings when everything outside is not really supporting those kinds of feelings.
Josué Cardona 34:36
I like the idea of doing doing things that matter. Like for me, it's really important, or my favorite games, show progress. I don't like roguelikes that just reset you. Or even or even games where you get a high score. And that's it. Like, I like games where even if it's a roguelike where things are randomly generated, that there's still some sort of progress Yeah. Some kind of tree that you're unlocking or something that that is able to change over time. Because otherwise, like as much as I love Tetris, Tetris would be the type of game where it's like, well, every time you start at zero, and then there's no, you know, like, the next time you come in, there's no, although Tetris 99 those things were like you unlock, you can unlock different skins and things like that. So that's even like a part of it. But just like, there's something to show for what you when you've done so and then that way it feels like it mattered. Let's just say, No.
Lauren Keller 35:34
There is I mean, I'm just like a direct analogy here is like a lot of people are at home and you can't, you can't go to work. So you're just sort of stuck. And then you have this game space where you can, you can go to work, you can maintain regular sort of schedules. Again, definitely see that kind of stuff fulfilling a need during this time, that maybe isn't as How strong of a need. Normally,
Josué Cardona 36:04
a lot of people are working and working even more. So. Yeah, that might have the opposite effect
Lauren Keller 36:09
Exactly. Like you said earlier, it really depends on the person and how you're feeling and what you're trying to get out of it.
Josué Cardona 36:17
So one kind of job that some people cannot do right now, but they can do a video game for him, his sports athletes and and that reminds me that I've had clients in the past who were who like sports was a big part of their lives, and they couldn't play for either chronic illness or you know, just like location or time or things like that. And actually playing something like FIFA like Madden. I can be a TK. It, it was like it was super therapeutic. It was like, oh, like I can still play. And so like I like that seeing these professional athletes who are playing you know, these games online and Even how
Lara Taylor 37:00
NASCAR drivers racing. Yeah,
Josué Cardona 37:04
yeah, it's it's I don't know. It's pretty cool, right? It's a simulation. But it's still it's not the same thing. But it's in in some ways, right? It'll get you as close as we can to that, and I think it'll it'll definitely feel good if that's if you feel like that's missing.
Lara Taylor 37:21
I've seen having a Yeah, I'm having a lot of conversations with people about like nostalgia and games that are like a time suck like ones that will that are a long story or something that brings up memories like Fire Emblem, a lot of people have played several Fire Emblem games and are like, this is something I can sync like, hours and hours and hours in.
Josué Cardona 37:46
Yeah. That's other games. So Bob ran away too, right? Yeah. new ones.
Lara Taylor 37:50
Yeah. Other games like, Final Fantasy seven remake is coming out soon. Yeah, we're looking forward to that.
Lauren Keller 37:58
My friend is like, it's not Fair that I have to wait a whole nother week about
Josué Cardona 38:04
it already. Yeah, yeah, they're posting about it and because so it that is one of those things that's happening right now that like nobody thought about right? It's like, Oh, I pre ordered a physical copy. How am I gonna get it if my game store closed or if my store is in a mall or in some other countries? I think it's Australia New Zealand currently have already shipped the game they're like, we have no idea if if this will even get to you, but we're gonna ship them out. And hopefully the the, you know, the shipping channels right now aren't too congested or crazy. So that you won't get it by the day by release. digitally, I'm think it'll still release on the day it's supposed to. That's still the plan. But yeah, they're trying. They're trying to make it work. But oh, yeah, I mean, can you? I think that's one of those examples, like learning like you said, Your friend, that is when they announced that game. I cried. I cried so hard. The trailer when they announced that game, saw the trailer, I wrote to my step brother, who I hadn't talked to in years, because that was like the game that we played together when we were kids. To me, it was like, it means so much and the fact that it's coming, I almost can't believe that it's coming. It's like, I understand. Like, I can imagine being in this moment where everything feels horrible, and having something to look forward to so strongly. Of course, not Final Fantasy seven remake isn't going to be that for everyone. But like, I can relate, I can relate. It's like, Oh, it's like, please give me that. That thing that would be that would feel so good right now. Please. What are the nostalgia stuff? Have people been clamoring for that you've talked to?
Lara Taylor 39:55
Um, people who've been playing like civilization games for a long time? time playing Civ six with their friends or their partners or whatever. Those are mostly like Animal Crossing brings up a lot of nostalgia for people to and Pokemon definitely.
Josué Cardona 40:15
So Nintendo mother haven't announced this but there are credible rumors I believe that Nintendo is going to go all out from for Mario's 35th anniversary. And they're going to basically rerelease all of the biggest Mario games for switch. So Mario 64, Mario Sunshine, Mario Galaxy, and then rerelease 3d world on switch. And if that's the case, that is, that is, that is something to Soulja fuel right there. And one game that I recommend very often is Mario Odyssey when people tell me that they feel down like I like like describing feeling sad or depressed. Like, listen, if you're looking for a game to me, Mario Odyssey is pure joy.
Lara Taylor 41:09
That's what I was playing until Animal Crossing came out.
Josué Cardona 41:13
Really? Did you just like I see it as a joyful game. Do you see it kind of that way?
Lara Taylor 41:18
I think it's a joyful game. I think it is. Like, it's so easy to play for me like yeah, there's stuff that's hard, but I'm getting like, I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something and I can always go back and get the stuff that's frustrating. But like, it is, for the most part, bright and sunny and joyful. I really love the desert, the desert Kingdom
Josué Cardona 41:43
even even like the Goombas and stuff like they don't like dancing around and kind of like yes, cute and like there's literally like a T Rex. Ray that just Yes, that has a
Lara Taylor 41:53
Mario mustache. Put the hat on. Oh, it's great.
Josué Cardona 41:57
There's so much about that game that just even the best
Lara Taylor 41:59
Guys look joyful.
Josué Cardona 42:01
Yeah, yeah, yeah, there's I don't know, there's something about that game. And I
Lauren Keller 42:06
think I think that's another game that sort of has the same, like we were talking about before, where you have self self directed and goals, a lot of the time in the Mario levels. It's just like, yeah, go around until you find something to do, because you're going to get a moon out of that, probably. And, but then it also has the added aspect of, you know, a lot of platformer games where you're gaining mastery over the moveset over time, and you're expressing that mastery through the increasing difficulty of the levels. So that has the sort of positive feedback of feedback of being like, I learned how to do that cool jump, and now I can pull it off every time instead of really sometimes. Yep, yep.
Josué Cardona 42:53
throwing your hat and then jumping off your hat to make a huge jump that feels really good the first time that's pro
Lauren Keller 42:58
Lara Taylor 43:01
I can barely do some wall jumps.
Josué Cardona 43:02
Okay, guys, barely you get there. Are you still on the or have you not played since you were on the side? Just
Lara Taylor 43:09
I just got to the metro Kingdom just got there. Yeah, it's
Josué Cardona 43:13
so good. I mean, there's there's so much about that game and again, I think it's just like pure joy I recommend that game constantly. I think it's I think it's so good but yeah, but I mean, like other than like the joyful part of it I think Yeah, like Lauren you were saying that it has all the has the mastery aspect which something like Animal Crossing doesn't really allow right like there's no like maybe you got real good at catching the wasps, right but there's no there's a ceiling to that that's pretty quick and but there's also a lot to do kind of like in Breath of the Wild and an animal crossing there are like there's way more moons in a level than what you actually need. And there's collectibles and you can you can change your outfit There's there's a lot to do there secret worlds. A lot of stuff to do. So good.
Lauren Keller 44:06
Yeah, I mean hopping off of Nintendo games for a second. Another good one I would recommend would be Astro near, which is on Steam have I think PlayStation Xbox, I'm not positive about that, but definitely steam. And that's another game where you're just you're on a planet and you you walk around and you can collect resources and build a little space station and it's very much the same thing of being self directed and exploratory and nice, soothing music and cool colors. It's, it's a good one.
Josué Cardona 44:47
I remember talking to Kelly Dunlap about games like this where those sandboxes are like so stressful because they don't, there's just it's just too much of an opening. And it's just too open. And I don't know what I want to do in that space.
Lara Taylor 45:04
I get that way. Yeah,
Josué Cardona 45:06
yeah. And so like, for some people, that's great. Like I love No Man's Sky for that reason, like, No Man's Sky is probably the epitome of that. Right? Yeah, it's like a truly a planet. You never stop exploring. And you never live long enough to explore everything that that came can come can completionist
Lara Taylor 45:25
nightmare. Impossible. Yeah,
Lauren Keller 45:28
yeah, I can't. I mean, definitely for some people like the, you know, some people prefer to have more structured goals. Even if there's still openness to choosing what goals having the goals themselves be more structured. It depends on what kind of play style you like, but I can definitely see, you know, if you're feeling really holed up inside your house, and you just want to like unwind those feelings of just wandering and exploration and not really knowing what's around the corner, but intrigued to find out definitely No Man's Sky Astro near those are those are good games for having those kinds of feelings. Yeah,
Josué Cardona 46:09
Minecraft is like that in a way but then it also has that creative aspect to it. So if you don't like what you see you can create something new. I mean No Man's Sky has that now No one's got like they added live ships like a ship that you can hatch and there's a lot of they just keep adding support so good. But like for me the most like when I need to forget about the world and I want to feel that just disconnected but feel good. I like to play shoot 'em ups or shmups because that's the type of game like bullet hell shooters right where it's like, there's just a ridiculous amount of waves of enemies and you once you do get into that flow like literally like don't disappears for me. I am transported I am not moving. Like I am complete like my soul is transported my consciousness is moved to another plane. I am, it is is the best and like in those games a lot of the games start off with like one ship and like one like bullet like every half a second. And by the end you've got like just all this stuff like that you're shooting out and all these additional attachments and just like dozens and hundreds of things coming at you and like you're just learning I like that's definitely the most intentional use of video games for me. Is that because is that type of game where I can I completely get lost in these, like 234 minute rounds, where there's just, there's just so much happening and so fast, and the mastery that you feel as you progress through those games is just so good. Like some of them, like, like, like sonic, sonic the hedgehog when you play those games, they feel real good when you're going fast. And then when you hit a wall, you're like, Ah, you lose it. And in, in games, like in most shoot 'em ups, there's like, the level is moving, you know? So it's like it's a constant flow of things. So if you're moving if you're still alive, I mean, you're still going and that just feels incredible. I love it so much.
Lara Taylor 48:28
If we're quote, unquote, prescribing games, yeah, I want to bring up jackbox games, and something you can play with your friends, online. Lauren's played with us at our house for extra life through through virtual means. And I think it's a great way to kind of forget the world and joke or if you are talking about the world, you're joking and laughing about the mess we're in. Yeah. And it's a good way to just forget things and just be with you. Friends and have fun I don't think I've ever played a jackbox game where there wasn't a good belly laugh that I needed to like wipe away some some good tears from I think drossel is free
Josué Cardona 49:13
right now on everything it
Lara Taylor 49:14
is on switch it's nine cents.
Josué Cardona 49:17
Yeah, cuz they can't technically make it free. Yeah,
Lara Taylor 49:19
yeah. Yeah, but I I bought it again I have it on the ps4 but I bought it because I was like it's nine cents and I can take it to work with me. And if you're worried about kids and playing with kids, there are family friendly. You can put settings on most of the games, if not all of the games to make it family friendly. Just as an FYI. Yeah.
Josué Cardona 49:43
So like what, what? What is your most prescribed game that you prescribe to people?
Lara Taylor 49:49
Animal Crossing? Now? No, that's all my clients wanted to talk about. Like 50% 50% of my clients play Animal Crossing. Fantastic. I love it. So And we just like if we get too much into the talking about the world and what's going on, we just shift over to like, what's the fruit on your island? And like what are your what are the people that moved on your island? Who you're who your friends and like, oh, did you know about money trees? And did you know about this thing? It is so great. I even I love the place I'm working right now because three therapists including myself when we had a staff training this week on self care for us as therapists and things we can pass on to our clients to help our clients when at the end of the webinar, we were asked to give suggestions like three of us brought up Animal Crossing. Yeah, and and everybody was like, Yeah, yeah, this that's, that's cool. And like, our medical director was like, online game nights. That sounds fun. Like this is great stuff, guys. And I was just like, Yes, I am in the right place. These are my people, at least some of the people I work with are people that I know are my people. So that's, but that's the first place. I've worked where that's been encouraged, you know? Yeah. So it's good to see therapists, thinking about video games and games as their own self care. Yeah. Yeah. And yeah, can geek out with their clients about it?
Josué Cardona 51:26
Buddy Lauren, is there a game that you that you've recommended more than any other?
Lauren Keller 51:33
Um, I mean, I guess technically it would be. What remains of Edith Finch. True, but I don't know if that's the right tone for right now.
Josué Cardona 51:43
Well, I mean, like, I don't mean recommending, I mean, like, think that that idea of a quote unquote, prescription, right, it's like, yeah, you're feeling this way. Use this.
Lauren Keller 51:53
Yeah. So what what we've been talking about the various games that we've talked about, we've touched on the idea of of things just being you know, nice non violent or low violence if you count catching bugs as violence games that let you pick your own goals, games that are about you know, just just sort of joyful playing around in a space and creating things that you're interested in games that completely fill up your your perceptive abilities like, like you were saying, shoot 'em ups games that like you can get completely into flow state you can't focus on anything else, or which you can also get with games that have really cool narratives. But I think probably right now, in the pandemic, definitely games more like Animal Crossing or the Sims or Stardew Valley in games like that, where I guess there's almost an aspect of like normalcy to it, I think is a really nice aspect right now.
Josué Cardona 53:16
Like the like the life simulation component of a human
Lauren Keller 53:19
Yeah, I mean you know, if you're talking specifically about Sims I can get really into like, remaking your normal daily life. But you know something about Animal Crossing it's like you get up in the morning and Isabelle has her announcement and you go to your you know, beginning chores and there's something you know, consistent and and comforting and predictable about that even though you can you know, you can choose not to do any of those things and go do other stuff. I think Animal Crossing definitely has some some sort of comforting repetition activities. And that's a adds a layer of of normalcy that I'm sure some people are missing right now.
Josué Cardona 54:09
I feel like you vote copped out because Animal Crossing has only been out for two weeks. And so you haven't recommended it for years or anything like that, but I'll take it I'll take
Lauren Keller 54:19
it like I said, you know, Breath of the Wild is a good one there's I mean lots of Nintendo games really fit this for me I played through technically before the quarantine started but I played through Borderlands three with my friend and I played with the stream team very briefly. But that would be a game that would definitely fit in with what we're talking about. There's the social aspect if you're playing with other people, but there's also you know, lots of bright colors and there's always things to do and there's always stuff you know, showing up and bright lights and fun sounds.
Josué Cardona 54:57
Lauren Keller 54:58
exploding. Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes the jokes are good and it will make you laugh.
Not all of them but some of them.
But yeah, that I mean, if I hadn't already, you know, played through that that would be that would be another good one to be like hey, we're just gonna get like real into Borderlands for the next like three weeks while we're in quarantine. Yeah, I would definitely say games that have social elements would be at you know the best just like if you're into wow you know play Wow, that's that's not my bag. But if you have games where you have there's a social element to them and you have social connections with people through them like now is the time to to water those social connections and nourish yourself.
Josué Cardona 55:48
Maybe Maybe I've
Oh god I'm so tired. Sorry. I got goo brain bad. I've tried to be positive you're trying.
Maybe Maybe I've been prescribing Like for 10 years now, video games, this idea of actually prescribing them. Don't don't get at me with the code of ethics or anything like that. I'm using the term very loosely,
Lauren Keller 56:11
but they're heavy quotation. Yeah, it's hard. It's hard to hear them, but they are there. I assure you.
Josué Cardona 56:16
It's a larger font than the actual word. Bold, and italics. But definitely, I think Tetris is one that I've is probably one of the ones that I've prescribed the most. And I still recommend highly recommend it. Any version of it actually touches effect, if you can do it in VR. So good, even better. I got Tetris effect in I still haven't played it in VR. There's like there's levels where you like in space, there's one where you're playing Tetris over the water, and if you look off to the sides, you're swimming with dolphins. They're like jumping out of the water. It is that is that That is so good Tetris but even Tetris 99 on Twitch is fantastic. If you just got pull up attaches to, that's good too. That's good too. Um, PvP is like, it's a different kind of puzzler, but it's a fun game.
Lara Taylor 57:14
Oh, yeah. And the fusion is really in between the both games are really weird. It's Yeah,
Josué Cardona 57:18
yeah. So Tetris. I mean, for a number of different reasons. And there's even I know of at least one study that actually, like, looked at it as like, first aid, like,
Lauren Keller 57:29
like, yeah, it was for trauma or trauma reduction.
Josué Cardona 57:32
Yep. Yep. Because of, you know, using both sides of your brains and things like that, so that's pretty cool. And then, definitely since it came out a few years ago, Mario Odyssey has been like my joy prescription. I mentioned that before, but like, I'm constantly telling people like, I just thought that's, that's it. That's the one. That's the game. between those two I think I could have covered I could like generally cover most people like if someone came in Cuz like, I don't like Tetris I like I don't like I don't have a switch maybe you know, like then i would i would move to something else but those I really like but I agree like right now there's a reason that there's a reason why Animal Crossing is resonating with so many people it just came at the perfect time it is ridiculous it is just like it is it is. So, so thank you. Thank you so much for listening to us gush about animal crossing. If you haven't checked it out. hope we've convinced you to, to join. Definitely check out on our Discord. You can find that geek therapy comm slash Discord. Join the discord. We have an animal crossing channel, which is where we've been posting a lot of stuff pictures and then most importantly our friend codes on switch so you can become friends on switch visit each other's islands. Please send peaches and bamboo. If you have any don't have that yet if you want, if you need anything, trade anything, and more importantly help me set up the studio. I would really appreciate it. I have bells will pay. And yeah, so definitely check out the discord, and links to all of our other social network and communities are in the show notes. This was this was a real fun episode. Again, thank you for listening. Remember to geek out and do good, and we'll be back next week. This episode is brought to you in part by our Patreon supporters. We'd like to say a very special thank you to our supporters at the evangelists level and above, including Mark boonie, Lydia Jamila, Adam Doe, gay, Pat and jolin. To learn more about how to support geek therapy and gain access to exclusive content, visit patreon.com slash geek therapy