PBS’s YouTube Portal, the Ideal Channel, which tries to connect the dots when it comes to pop culture, art, and technology, has just posted another scintillating clip about video games.
Previous installments have pondered the idea that Minecraft is ushering in a post-scarcity economy and that Microsoft is a modern day arts benefactor thanks to the Kinect.
The most recent one is all about one of the hottest games going at the moment: “Animal Crossing: New Leaf.” And the question asked? If it promotes otaku citizenship. Huh? Exactly.
Otaku in this case refers to the weird grey area that exists between unwavering fan devotion and collecting for the sake of collecting (which is not just applicable to those really into anime; you can be a baseball otaku, and might be one already).
And it so happens that being an otaku not only acts as a stand-in for New Leaf’s narrative in a funny way, it’s also the key to being a good mayor. Because it makes your town such an awesome place to be.
Host Mike Rugnetta also wonders if the game might encourage players to become more aware of and involved with their local government. Possibly? Though another good question is what will come first: the real life mayor that was inspired by Animal Crossing or the real life lawyer that was inspired by Phoenix Wright.