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Dear Animal Crossing villagers: Get out of my house

I’m an introvert!!! Let me live!!!!!

An Animal Crossing player being visited in their home by Paolo Image: Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

Since Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ behemoth update, I’ve been playing up a storm — busy rearranging my island to display new items, cooking dozens of meals, and visiting lots of Kapp’n islands. I’ve been enjoying those swanky new features, which brought me back to the game after about a year of giving up. And I was especially excited for the new feature that allows villagers to visit my house, much like I’ve always visited theirs.

As it turns out, my excitement was greatly misplaced. I have some minor grievances, which I’d like to air out here.

Let’s set the scene. You’re quickly sprinting into your home to drop off that surplus hardwood, or a few items you just purchased from Nook’s Cranny — doing a quick inventory pitstop before going to a Kapp’n Island or to the Happy Home Paradise DLC for a day of home design work. Maybe you’re just trying to grab a resource for a DIY to gift a villager in a campsite, or looking to unwind after a long day of racking up those sweet Nook Miles.

You open the door to your home, and boom — immediately, a villager walks in. They’re adorably inspecting the place, checking out your posters (of them, probably), sitting on your pet bed, shitting in your toilets. It’s all fun and games until you realize: Suddenly, you can’t access your home inventory, because redecorating is “impolite” when guests are around. There goes that quick item drop-off or pick-up.

I thought I’d like it when my villagers visited. It turns out I actually passionately hate having uninvited visitors (except for Marshal), which shouldn’t be a surprise, given the way I’d hate it in real life. I play New Horizons like a crotchety hermit, ready to tell the kids to get off my virtual lawn. I don’t have an actual lawn, because I live in an apartment. That said, I could probably stand to go outside and touch grass.

Through my unsociable habits, I have learned that if you hide in another room when a villager visits, they simply ask where you are — and if you don’t answer for long enough, they go away. You can also turn off your Switch upon their visitation, wait an hour, and then log back on, at which point the villager will say they’ve been there “long enough.” Yes. Yes, you have. (Unless you’re Marshal, in which case you can stay.)

To be clear: I am aware of the incredible hypocrisy of this, after a full year of randomly invading my villagers’ homes at whatever odd hours I fancy. I have no defense for this, and I will not be learning my lesson. I want to barge in whenever I want to barge in.

Plus, I know I’m not alone in my feelings.

Well, I barge into their homes so... from AnimalCrossing

And guess what! My real friends wouldn’t care if I redesigned my home while they were there. They’d probably find it extremely cool if an entire sectional exploded out of my pocket in front of their eyes. They would probably ask me to help them move. Never mind, this was a bad example. (Marshal, please visit me.)

Why did I sign up for this game, which is themed around interacting with adorable villagers? If we’re getting earnest here — it’s to get a little peace and quiet from ordinary life, which requires working for a living, and tending to human needs like feeding myself, finding acceptable adornments for my skin suit, and the occasional bathing. Does New Horizons have a similar, sometimes burdensome, architecture of basic tasks that you have to do at the behest of a capitalist racoon-man? Technically yes, but I get paid in miles for every single thing I do, including collecting shells. Big serotonin. You do the math.

Anyway, this one’s for you fellow introverts, hermits, collectors, and to-doers. If there were a LEAVE ME ALONE Island Ordinance, I would absolutely pay that 20,000 Bell fee. Isabelle, take my money. In the meantime, villagers, get out of my fucking house. (Except for you, Marshal. Why haven’t you visited me yet?)

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