Quick Guide for AC habitués:

_ AC-uP's dream address (code onirique): DA-1897-1446-0350
_ {[ _it is night time, there's snow, there's shooting stars ... It's a southern hemisphere island; one could see the southern light_! ]}
_ Watch the series of short machinimated sound/text pieces on YouTube
_ Visitor's Installation + Music & AI Coffee Break Guide for the ACAI Workshop, July 23rd, 2020
_ Contact me (emailhars7 [at] mac [.] com , social media...) if you're interested in particpating in an upcoming ANHC unPublic audio and/or video recording session !

Added March 2022Tracy Taylor filmed a dream tour of the "unPublic" AC-island, and published it on her YouTube channel 'Game Time Tours'. You can watch it there, or scroll down to the end of this longread ...

30 min read 🤓

AC__« unPublic »

september 14, 2020

"pick up the pieces, make an island!"   [ * ]

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capitalism | art | ACAI | unPublic | coffee breaks | unCoupled Oscillators

If you were a programmer asked to code an unending world, what would you do? ... Make it Nietschzean, of course... Yes, yes, yes! Recurrence, perpetual recurrence! It is the cornerstone of Animal Crossing: New Horizons [ACNH, ** ].

fossil cut-up
fossil cut-up
fossil cut-up

Perpetual recurrence invites you to explore sheer endless repetition and variation. It will make you re-arrange the same elements, order them in a different manner, over and over and over and over again...

One among a long list of possible examples: it is the reason that on each and every next in the chain of days on your island you may exhume at random spots 4 or 5 fossils that are randomly drawn by the program from a set of 73. (ACNH focuses on life forms ('animals') in the broad sense: also palaeontology is among its themes). And as times passes and you diligently continue to dig up this continuing stream fossils, you will necessarily find yourself with the same dinosaur's parts over and over again.

Let Oehoe (Blathers) assess them, and he'll describe you the formerly living beast in a few lines, like: "Archeopteryx's feathers led many people to believe it was the progenitor of the birds, eh wot... Sadly, further evidence indicates it's likely not a direct ancestor—more an evolutionary 'uncle' if you will. Every time a specimen is found, new theories pop up. And new relatives come to roost in the family tree!" aa Haha, I can very well imagine that if I were a youngster now, playing ACNH, I would come to know all of Blathers' wisdom by heart, like the chemical structure formulas for amino acids that I memorised at some point in the late 1960s and longtime remained able to recite... 🤓 ... You can sell your spare fossils at Nook's Cranny. Personally, I prefer to keep quite a few of them for myself, and use them to erect dinosaur cut-ups around the island. Haha, yes, yes! I like their strangeness, they're pretty pretty...

fossil cut-up
fossil cut-up
fossil cut-up

L1fe [ *** ] on an ACNH island evolves in real time. Its temporal and atmospheric scenery mirrors the seconds, minutes, hours, the days, nights, seasons, even (or so it seems) what the weather is currently like at your (indicated) location, i.e. it is a reflection of what your world's stage is like & feels outside (according to the Switch that you are using, of course, and according to the information(s) that it's been fed). That virtual l1fe is—give or take the handful of scripted 'rituals' that every now and then are being staged—fully open ended. It's a sandbox game. Whether any and which actions are undertaken is totally up to the player('s avatar). If you [ *** ] wish to do so, you may just lie down on a beach chair, or stand on the rocks to overlook the ocean for hours and hours, or maybe sit in your garden's rocking chair for all of the night.

Or you do as me, stare at the moon...

Staring at the Moon

Bounded and unlimited

ACNH models and mimics the capitalist lie. Its mantra is our contemporary societies' illusion & fatal error of believing that infinite ressources are compatible with a finite and strictly bounded world. No matter how much one fishes, no matter how many butterflies we catch, no matter the quantity of flowers one picks, no matter how many trees we cut, no matter how much gold and how many bones you dig up, there'll always be other, there'll always be more. (Maybe that's good enough reason why, despite its extrrrrreme surface friendliness and the near to total absence—nay, impossibility!—of violence and all but the most innocent hints of insult, this nevertheless should be deemed an adult game; must be a pretty efficient bad brainwash for the young and unexperienced, haha—well no, indeed, one should not laugh ... 😪 )

The ACNH-islands' assets invite buying, building, collecting; they breed worlds of buyers, builders, collectors. Your goal and the intended meaning of your virtual life is filling up the museum, getting all the DIY cards, buying all of the art, rounding up all of the insects, pocketing all of the fish ... it's the Gotta catch 'em all! that we also know e.g. from Pokémon 🤓. And in the mid of the golden haze that surrounds it all firmly stands the real estate developer, the world's infinity-god for whom there is no end to the ends to his end...

I may have fooled you, but despite being intrigued and having followed-from-a-distance the spectacular growth over the past decades in content and reach—paralleling technological developments and the advent of digital networks—of (video/computer) games as a new art & entertainment format, my personal experience and knowledge of / view on games and gaming (give or go a few fringe art oeuvres) is pretty limited. It doesn't reach much further than a few 'classic' titles like Space Invaders, Mario, Pokémon, Sims ... (maybe I forget one or two here, but there's really not many much more...). For some reason I never managed to advance in levelled games, or win boss battles (without outside help, haha, I just keep on dying, over and over and over). I still remember vividly how I kept being 'eternally' stuck in some basic level of early CD-rom 'adventure games', or in an initial scene of the first edition of Grand Theft Auto on the PSP. So for all of these, I eventually just stopped trying and stuck to the occasional playing of Tetris, or losing at digital chess 🤠. I did, though, in the very early web days, briefly program games professionally, in early Flash-script that then became Actionscript, or in Javascript, mainly because at the time there were but few yet that did or could do that. It was also when (a little less than twenty years ago) that for a while I teamed up with a young and talented east European (Serbian, I think...) graphic designer on an ambitious, joint, idea for designing and programming a complex adventure game set in an underground metro network similar to that of Paris. A project that proved way beyond our limited means (should have taken it to Ubisoft, we were pretty much neighbours :). Apart from one, maybe two short demo scenes the thing died an untimely death and forever stayed a mirage. Don't know what became of the graphist guy. I can't remember his name (my bad, my shame ...). My real fascination (always from the outside, and in waves) was for games that were not (or not primarily) about fulfilling some quest or other, that were not about getting things, conquering territory or killing monsters, but that basically were just environments allowing you to construct and roam in worlds, to create characters, set networks, relations, spin fictions. That is, games that —and this is more than a mere manner of speak—wame with a definite literary potential, starting with very early and basic text-based MUD's (multi user dungeon's) that I was first introduced to in the very early 1990's by a colleague at the UvA mathematics department. And indeed I remember how fascinated I was by The Sims game, when that first happened, early 2000's. I quite seriously, though be it briefly, considered using The Sims as a means to generate sort of a script / story synopsis for a novel. Maybe in the years after someone did something of the kind (other than Sims machinima, that I do not really know about, but of which I guess there'll be plenty). I still think it's an interesting idea—and it seems sort of obvious that the interest somehow will be proportional to the amounts and kinds of 'artificial intelligence' that are involved in the game's algorithm(s).

Many of the millions of ACNH players use the wide range of means for personalisation and the myriads of assets that are (or rather: with increasing time spent on gaming gradually become) available, to create highly divers and impressive (themed or un-themed) architectures realised by means of often highly ingeniously thought-out and designed structures [ **** ] on the little islands, each of which (in the code) is basically a matrix consisting in 7 (width) x 6 (depth) cells called 'acres', each acre being itself a grid consisting in 16 x 16 cells called 'squares'. All that can be placed in/on the matrix has a 'floor' (surface) dimension measured in such squares. For example, Blather's Museum (on AC-uP you'll find it in the map square with coordinates 2B) takes up a surface of 7 (width) by 4 (depth) squares, and the main island's surface makes for 80 x 64 squares.

uP island map

Myself I prefer the small islands in their original empty and bare state. Without streets, without bridges, without monumental staircases and classy inclines, without 'expensive' outdoor furniture, without streetlights and fountains, without cemeteries, without fences around each and every building, not covered by flowers or whatever else that's out there to cover, without... well, indeed, yes: islands without! I like that bareness, which has a simple, unpretentious poetic charme. Especially when taken out of its context and the resulting images are made to sort of 'stand alone'. Which is easy indeed to do, given the game's options for taking and saving in-game pictures and short (30 secs) video-clips.

falling star

Like Resident Services (the Town Hall), Nook's Cranny and the Able Sisters' tailor shop, Blather's Museum is a standard 'module' in the game. It is sort of an ACNH stamp book, where you can keep the different fossils that you dug up, keep the sea-creatures and insects that you catch and exhibit the 'genuine' classic works of art that you may buy from Jolly Red, a shady dealer in art and furniture that every once and a while moors his boat along the north side of the island.

I think it is a shame and lost opportunity that the art references in question are just the stuff that the average tourist goes for: it's Leonardo's, Vermeers, Rembrandts, Van Goghs ... and that nothing more contemporary (and controversial, maybe that's the why not?) is included to be part of Blather's fine art collection...
When, instead of giving it to Blather or selling it at Nook's, you keep the fish that you caught and you place the beasts in- or outside your house, for most of the specimen a tank filled with water comes popping out to keep the fish alive. I briefly thought it might thus be possible to make your in-game copy of Damien Hirst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, the infamous tiger-shark-in-a-tank, just by catching a shark (it would not be a Tiger Shark, but the Great White Shark comes close enough as an image :) and putting it somewhere other than the Museum... But it turned out that unfortunately the game does not put the big, rare catches like a Great White Shark, in a glass tank. Instead you get it swimming in a rubber bassin, sort of like an oversize kid's garden swimming pool ... 😰😂😂 ... Haha, would that be to not infringe on Hirst's copyright? ;-)




So, for me the Museum's Fine Art Department is at its finest at the time of its opening. That is: when it is still empty, devoid of art objects [ ***** ] and filled to the brim, with potential.

Together with the corona lockdown measures that forced temporary closure of pretty much all 'real world' museums and other public cultural institutions at the time of its making, the Museum's ringing emptiness inspired a second in a series of short text/sound video's that I started making using the 30 second clips that one can store on the Switch while playing the game, this one named 215.7997.1:

[ The clip 'fakes' the Museum's emptiness by not showing the one art piece necessary to have Blathers open up his Fine Arts Department, as indicated in footnote 5. On the AC-unPublic island (DA-1897-1446-0350) you can re-enact the clip's stroll through the Museum's all-empty-but-one FAD ]

Artificial Intelligence

WeiWei introduced me to ACNH. That was on the little Switch machine that she bought around the time that in France we became corona confined. There is little doubt that without her I would never have become aware of game's existence, let alone use it; and she's a real expert, haha. She taught me pretty much all about it, and whenever something puzzles me, I will ask her. She'll almost always will have the answer ready, else find in near to no time. Sort of like my AC-oracle 😎.

It was also WeiWei that early on showed me the announcement of an Animal Crossing Artificial Intelligence Workshop, to take place, online—and [in some (limited) sense] partly also within Animal Crossing—on the 23rd of July.


{{ ... flashback to Second Life ... }}
All this of course could not but warp me back to the ookoi's 'adventures' in Second Life, about a decade + three years ago. The important difference is that whereas ACNH basically is a game, there is nothing 'game-ish' about Second Life. SL is virtual environment only, a digital world for your avatar to be; or more correct maybe: for you-as-your-avatar to be. It was a pretty interesting 'tool' with quite a few fascinating then novel digital means for creation. Maybe it still is an interesting place to be, but I stopped following 'Second Life' (and so has FPCM, as far as I know). We left when the buzz died down, I'm afraid. Way back, though, for a while we exploited and used SL quite extensively, in particular in 2007. There is an obvious link there with unPublic, as a series. Also sort of a pointer to the chosen moniker for my AC-island. It was as early as January 14th 2007 that with the ookoi we premiered our virtual music/sound making by performing un-publicly in Second Life, using a couple of working instruments that we found in the May West Golden Era Nightclub on the third floor of the Aman Male Shapes Bodies Store. Whether that club's still there, haha, I have not the slightest...

Somewhat similar in spirit to this summer's ACAI-workshop, in 2007 there were the Second Life Dorkbot meetings.

But our final and, arguably, most interesting SL creation has remained unfinished. Partly because at the time we had already moved on to other things, other shores and—sometimes— chores. That was a machinima, filmed and directed by machinima maker Evo Szuyuan, basically a video-clip for ookoi's song WudyWudy, that we however eventually intended to lead up to a near to eternally lasting ocean-sail-away sequence. I have this vague memory still of one day working on the final cut of the thing in Evo's studio in Rotterdam, the final finalisation of which then was postponed to a later date, to a day that never was. We sort of forgot about it, until many years later, when we realised that all the main material and rushes had stayed on Evo's hard drives. I have tried a few times before, and again quite recently, to re-contact Evo, but never got any reply. Maybe there'll be a miracle, but my best guess is that this will remain among the gigabytes of our digital content that got lost forever.

"Can one use it to make music?" (or more generally, to make 'art') I am in the habit of asking, explicitly or implicitly, every time that I encounter something new. A rhetorical question, as, well yes, we know the answer to be a ringing 'yes' for whatever 'it'. Butnot all 'its' of course will have the same potential. Some 'its' will suggest more interesting and/or more fun uses than do other 'its'.

Modulo investing certain amounts of Linden dollars, the local currency, SL-users had, within the given context, pretty much limitless possibilities for creating custom objects, including sound tools. One could think up instruments and sound installations, stream audio from and into the virtual world. There were [ ****** ] exhibitions, sound installations, virtual (in-world) concerts and orchestras, like the AOM, the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse. Real-world composers made pieces for the AOM, among them—if I remember rightly— Pauline Oliveros. And the ookoi did an improvised piece in the series of my Vicky's Mosquitoes with the AOM ([vm13], on March 14th, 2007).

{{ ... unPublic in AC ... }}
ACNH is very different. It is not 'open' to developers the way SL is. But there are a lot of 'ready-mades' to be had and to use. There are thousands of virtual objects in ACNH that you can get to decorate your island with, your house (and yourself), either by buying them at Nook's Cranny (in ACNH the local currency is Bells, but unlike the Linden dollars in SL, on an ACNH island Bells literally grow on trees 😊—Nintendo's business model is about selling you Switches, games and online accounts; not about Bells) or because they come falling from the sky, wash ashore in a bottle, or after you put them together yourself, using the island's primary virtual resources (wood, metal, snowflakes, stones, clay, stardust ...) and following one in a huge set of 'DIY' instructions cards that over time, one after the other, randomly, will come to you.

Some of these objects make sounds. These you can use to build 'sound installations'.

And there are a little over twenty 'playable' musical instruments—so there's your means for AC-music—be it that the playing's output is very primitive and limited. You just hit the thing. And a random [ *.7.* ] (midi-instrument, major scale(?)) note comes sounding out. The only bit of control that you do have on the resulting monophonic sequence of tones, is its tempo and rhythmic outline.

Keeping in mind all these limitations and restrictions, well, here it is, your answer to the question whether and how one can use it to make music ... It became the reason to name my little ACNH island, obviously tongue-in-cheek, unPublic. I imagined how in confinement/lockdown days the island might host animated virtual, unPublic get-togethers very different from the Discord con-fine events that we did in April and May.

It is why my ACNH mansion (it's on the hill on the north-east of the island, the orange spot in square 5B of the map) filled up with musical instruments, that—with WeiWei's help— I managed to rather quickly accumulate.

The pic below shows my classical studio, on the first floor (take the stairs immediately to your left when you enter the house), for an ensemble with a two-fold line-up. It has 2 gongs, 2 grand piano's, 2 harps, 2 violoncellos and two violins. I actually wanted a string quartet with 2 gongs, 2 harps and 2 piano's, but, well, there's no viola and no double bass available in the game 🤔 ...


The big living, straight on when you enter the unPublic mansion, I call the 'Branca room'... It has a drum kit, two electric bass guitars and four electric guitars.


The small left-wing room, at the moment of this writing, comes equipped with two pipe-organs, but I'd like to make that four. All sorts of smaller instruments are spread out in the right-wing room. (It also acts as sort of my 'habitat'. It's where I go to dream...) In the back-room, along with my 'fine'-art collection, a mix of fake and genuine, there are two marimba's and two alto saxophones waiting to sound. Then, last but least, in the basement (take the stairs immediately to your right when you enter the house), you'll come upon _cogs_in_cogs_in_wheels_in_circles_ [], an 'indoor' sound installation'...

Coffee Breaks

I soon enough realised that the ACAI workshop would not be a virtual conference in the style of e.g. the Second Life events described above. That is simply not something ACNH can do for you. It is possible to visit and do stuff on others' islands. (The game would probably not be as succesful without such a social twist.) But capacity is limited, an island can only host up to seven online visitors simultaneously. That's quite allright for unPublic performances, but a bit meagre for a conference or workshop.

It is why the ACAI workshop video-streame presenters and their talks from within AC, but for all of us others attending the workshop, hearing/seeing the talks and participating in the discussions was not 'in-world' but happened via a live video stream on YouTube. [Here's the link to the archived YT-video of the ACAI-workshop.]

A second initial misunderstanding was that I expected the workshop to be about artificial intelligence applied in the Animal Crossing game. There may be some AI lurking in there, but nothing that strikes one as being very profound or powerful. Yet. And no, the workshop was not about that. It was pretty broad, actually, focusing on AI and AI-research / developments in general, and as such thought up, initiated and organised by Joshua Eisenberg, a researcher working on the computational understanding of dialogue. That of course will play a crucially important role in a game-player's interactions with virtual characters. Haha, so there's your 'link', if you wish, with ACNH.

Almost always and for most participants the by far most interesting and useful parts of workshops, conferences and similar 'peer-get-togethers' are ... the coffee-breaks. And the lunches, the dinners, the occasional expeditions into local entertainment and nite life happenings. And conference excursions. For that is when and where fresh collaborations will budd, it's where new friendships come to be and occasions present themselves to hit renowned specialists in the one or the other field with one's own (maybe still wild and half-baked) ideas, just in passing, in an informal way...

Also the ACAI workshop had its breaks planned. Shortly after the call for AI-talks, there was a call for video-art, to be streamed in between blocks of AI-presentations. This being just around the time that in corona confinement I had finished my second of short ACNH clips, it seemed evident to propose to include 215.7997.1, the little over 2,5 minutes walk through the empty ACNH museum. This is how I eventually came to online meet both Joshua and his partner-in-art, Aimee Rubensteen, who curated the ACAI workshop's coffee-break video-art screening, called Game of Life (also the video art program is viewable online on YouTube, in three parts), and my ACNH unPublic got on the list of potential virtual places for attendees of the workshop to hop over to for a coffee break. As the coffee break's 'topic' I proposed music and AI, haha. It's more than a year already that I promise myself to get someone somehow to install and train with me some form of sampleRNN or similar recurrent neural network to generate an AI 'unPublic' album. Thus far with little [= near to nil] success (though there is still a spark of hope that I might get a group of students at a digital engineering schools where I teach to try their hands at this as an end-of-studies project), and I thought that there just might be a chance of someone dropping in on the ACNH island who knows about these things.

Also, I wanted to maybe stumble upon persons willing and able to join me in the unPublic mansion to record the playing of the ACNH instruments, as in a physical unPublic event, recordings that then later I'd edit into one (or more?) unPublic ACNH albums. Which would be (an) interesting follow-up(s) to the four Discord-unPublics [uP#66, uP#67, uP#68, uP#69] that we did during corona lockdown. To participate in playing on the AC-unPublic island one will need to have access to the game, which only runs on Nintendo's Switch, while the possibility of online visiting another than you own island (rather than locally using Bluetooth) is not possible without the payment of a small fee for a Nintendo account. (Which does imply additional adherence to capitalist (and) surveillance practices, indeed...)

"The point of repetition is there is no point" [ †† ]

To provide some fun and interesting things to see and experience for my future coffee break visitors, other than the mansion-studio's and its _cogs_in_cogs_in_wheels_in_circles_ basement, I imagined a few 'outdoor' AC-sound art installations, that I then spent quite some time putting in place over the first weeks of this year's July.

As with the cogs, also both the 'metro(nome)line' (unCoupled Oscillators) that runs across the island from the east to the west side, and the Temple of GonGs on the plateau right next to the Museum, are based on sheer repetition of a few of the available objects.


The Temple of Gongs consists in 19 gongs that surround a space rock hovering over the island's soil 😊 ... They are waiting to be hit in improvised or composed intervals by a group of players (limited, though; as said, an island can host at most eight simultaneous players, and I do not know whether such a max would imply a noticeable slowing down of the game in reacting to players' actions ... which, of course can be of interest in itself, as is the lag in online audio/video streaming when distant sources try to synchronise).

You may remember the principle of the synchronisation of coupled oscillators from physics. It is often demonstrated by putting two or more mechanical metronomes ticking in the same tempo but out of beat on a slightly movable solid surface (like on a thin board put on sides of two empty coca cans). metronomesOften in surprisingly little time, the metronomes will synchronise and continue their ticking in perfectharmony.
The unCoupled Oscillators installation refers to that phenomenon (with a wink). It is the red line on the island's map and runs from the beach on the south-east side to the mid- beach of unPublic. It uses 94 copies of the ACNH 'metronome object' [ *.10* ], each put on top of another ANCH object, a cardboard box. You can stop a metronome and you can start it. So each copy can have its own 'time'. But as all copies will click in the same tempo, they may also synchronise perfectly. You can see some of the different parts of the metro(nome)line in the fossil cut-up pictures above.

Here is a picture of where the line started, at the time of its initial installation.


Sometimes some subset(s) of the 94 metronomes appear(s) to be synchronised, or some couples appear to be synchronised in anti-phase. But then at another time it is others, sometimes more, sometimes less, and I have yet to discern a logic in the how and why of such partial synchronisations. Not related to some kind of 'material coupling', of course, but more likely due to the differing moments that 'metronome-animation routines' are triggered in the ACNH program.


If you have acces to a Switch running ANCH, and a Nintendo account that allows visiting other islands online, you can 'dream' the unPublic island using dream code DA-1897-1446-0350. Along the metro(nome)line, at regular intervals, I put cushions (a total of 26) where you can sit down in the snow, watch the metronomes and the silhouettes of dinosaur fossil cut-ups in the distance. You may wonder why next to each cushion there's a small transistor radio playing. That is, because a second song-source is the only way to stop the game's (outside) soundtrack, that is continuously playing. A sad circumstance indeed, that the game does not come with a 'stop the music' button, especially of course when what you try, is play with (other) sounds. The 'general soundtrack' only stops when you enter one of the houses, or—outside— when you're near another AC-music player object that is 'on', like a radio, a jukebox, a gramophone. So that's why. Try it!

"ok, but then tell us... what did happen at the ACAI-workshop coffee breaks?!?"
Nothing much really, unfortunately. I got a list of some 20+ email addresses of people that had expressed interest to visit unPublic, but in the end my virtual self spent much of the workshop's evening and night (the event took place during Los Angeles daytime, which is 9 hours earlier than Paris time) sitting alone in the coffee corner he had especialy installed for the occasion, just next to the Dodo Airlines' airport, while I assisted a number of the workshop talks live on YouTube.

ACAI workshop coffee break pic

At the beginning the event was plagued by technical difficulties that forced the workshop to only really start 1.5 hours later than originally planned. Also the video art screening between blocks of talks did not function quite the way as it had originally been intended. That of course is nothing very unusual, when trying out such things for a first time, in an experimental—DIY, really— way, combined with its online setting.

But I doubt that was the reason for almost nobody showing up. Ah, but at least it had unPublic remaining true to its name and vocation during that workshop day... I think it must have been due to the outsider me. Nevertheless, one guest did come flying over to uP that evening. She was named 'v', like in Victoria, and made a lightning tour of the premises, apparently having hopped over merely for my drumkit.

ACAI coffee break visit

Still, many thanks and thumbs up to Joshua and Aimee, for all the efforts and hard work they put into organising something so interestingly new and original.

At the very least it gave me the chance to greet Nicole Kouts, with whom I exchanged island-installation visits a couple of days after the workshop, a media artist from Brazil, who moreover plays the accordion and the piano. Nicole said she might join in a AC-uP session. Would be cool. Now for the rest of you ...

Tracy Taylor's unPublic island tour

[added 3 March 2022] Many thanks to Tracy Taylor for adding this video tour of the unPublic island to her 'Game Time Tours' uTube channel.

Game Time Tour

notes __ ::
(*) Small variation on a text line in Jimmy Hendrix' Voodoo Chile.[ ^ ]
(**) Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a 'life simulation video game' (game as in: activity that one engages in for amusement or distraction) running on Nintendo's Switch game console. New Horizons is the fifth main title in the Animal Crossing series, first introduced in 2001. The ACNH release in March 2020 coincided with the global corona pandemic lockdown measures, which very likely has contributed significantly to the title's commercial success. [ ^ ]
(***) The '1' in l1fe is an intentional substitution for the 'i' in life, meant to clearly distinguish your avatar's doings within the game from yours on its outside. Your life, however, obviously includes directing your avatar's l1fe. This directing is a proper part of your life, contrary to the avatar's l1fe itself (per se): we do stipulate that l1felife = ∅. But to avoid textual overload, we will use pronouns like 'I', 'you', 'we' for avatars as well as for the persons directing the avatar. I think that it will always be clear from a sentence's context who exactly the pronoun refers to. And if it does not ... well, maybe better still, as it will be very interesting then to think about what that means. [ ^ ]
(****) The decoration and how you 'lay out' your island is rated by the game's algorithm, and quite a number of ACNH players indeed are working towards a goal, sort of a holy grail: obtaining a five star rating for one's island. The algorithm of course will reward capitalist-style real estate development, though admittedly also e.g. planting trees (up to a max of 190, it seems) will earn you points towards your stars. [ ^ ]
(*****) To be honest, the Museum's art department that you may visit never is completely empty (again I'd say: unfortunately :), because Blather's only opens it up to you after you have donated at least one painting or statue bought at Jolly Redd's Treasure Trawler. [ ^ ]
(******) I use the past tense here, but that is merely with respect to my personal involvement in Second Life. It is well possible that present tense, 'are', should be used, it is just that I do not know. [ ^ ]
(*.7.*) Random notes, for all practical purposes, i'd say. How 'random' the notes are, i.e. according to what rule(s) the game picks the notes that come out, what their precise range is, et cetera, is not clear, at least it is not to me. I do not know whether that 'technical' information would or will be available somewhere. As soon as I do find out, I'll add the info here. (In case you hit the instrument while a song—exclusively from the catalogue of songs and pieces by the local AC song crafter, called K.K.—is playing on one of the in-game music players, the instrument will give the notes of that song. So the observation of—pseudo-—randomness only holds in case no on-game music is heard.) [ ^ ]
(†) From the lyrics of 'Cogs in Cogs', track on the Gentle Giant album The Power and The Glory. [ ^ ]
(††) I read this somewhere in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, and remembered [ ^ ]
(*.10.*) 94 copies, that I managed to bring together in relatively little time, thanks to the help of WeiWei and her two sisters 😎 [ ^ ]

tags: unPublic, Animal Crossing, artificial intelligence, ai

# .498.

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