Dear Punchy: Representing and Feeling Writing in Animal Crossing

Representing and Feeling Writing in Animal Crossing


  • Kyle M Bohunicky University of Florida


Writing; History; Technology; Affect; Media Speleology; Sexuality


This article explores how the Animal Crossing series represents and invites players to practice writing. Starting with affect theory in video games, I consider how writing allows for an “incurving” of player and villager that can result in the deep emotional ties with computer- controlled characters on display in conversations across Animal Crossing fandom. Next, drawing on a media archaeological and speleological approach, I demonstrate that these expressions of affect and desire are supported by a cluster of libidinal surfaces and actions that define Animal Crossing’s writing interfaces. Finally, I conclude by considering how the confluence of affect, sexuality, and gender in the writing tools and surfaces of games like Animal Crossing could potentially grant game studies access another vantage point from which to study the deep emotional bonds the emerge between players and NPCs/digital actors.