Animal Crossing Is Tragic
|Animal Crossing Is Tragic|
|November 18, 2007|
The original site, posted by RySenkari, is based on the Gamecube game Animal Crossing—a “life simulator” where the player becomes a resident of a virtual community. The YTMND, set to FFX's "To Zanarkand," details the story of a boy whose mother played Animal Crossing obsessively. Confined to a wheelchair due to multiple sclerosis, she finds escape in the game, playing until her eventual death. Later returning to the game, the boy finds that his mother has spent a large portion of her gaming time leaving her son virtual presents from her character. The site ends with a message telling viewers to spend more time with their parents while they have the opportunity.
Notably, Animal Crossing features an in-game "mother" for the player character who occasionally sends letters and presents; as a result, many have speculated that it was the in-game mother, not the real mother, who had sent the gifts to her son. The son had mistaken this feature for his mother's devotion when she had in fact selfishly played for the rest of her life, creating a cruel if humorous irony that many, including the site's author, did not perceive.
The reaction to the site by the YTMND community was largely polarized. Many viewers found the site touching and praised RySenkari for posting it. However, many did not appreciate the sad tone of the piece, stating that they came to YTMND to be entertained, and a number of mocking spin-offs resulted. These sites came either in the form of “_____ Is Tragic” or “Animal Crossing is _____." Another source of disapproval came from the fact that it was not original content, as RySenkari had directly lifted the image from another site. Despite the debate over the site, its ratings remain very high, and some have even declared it worthy of the Hall of Fame.
The number of views of the original site was massive, accumulating over 100,000 views in less than two days. The high traffic was due largely to users posting the site on Digg.com. Because of the cost to the server, Max threatened to delete the site if it continued to agglomerate such widespread popularity. He also temporarily changed the site to gay porn, but later changed it back. In response, RySenkari asked users to no longer Digg the site. So far, the site has not been removed.