In my autoethnography Digital Artefact ‘Crossing the Communities,’ I am focusing on the way the players of the community use their gaming experience to create content to share of social media platforms and how myself and other individuals interact with the content. The first platform I will be focusing on is Instagram. The Animal Crossing Instagram community display different aspects of the game with pages dedicated to the game’s crafting feature where people display their personal interior aesthetics, exterior designs, as well as the fashion of many people’s custom-made outfits inspired from their imagination or by their favourite designers.
When it comes to the Instagram community of Animal Crossing, there are a few accounts I follow that are mainly based on the features I listed above. As these individuals continue to develop different parts of their island and their homes on the island, they share their progress through their Instagram accounts. These Instagram accounts all demonstrate a theme and aesthetic that is unique to the player. As someone who plays the game and also consumes the contents from these accounts, I reflected on what was it about these accounts that got me to follow them. I came to the realisation that we are all playing the same game, yet our experiences and design of things is all different. A lot of these accounts became ‘Inspiration’ for me as I found the content they had shared very inspiring and these individuals were very pleased with being able to share with the community and sharing how they decorated certain areas of their island.
This is similar in the clothing that players are able to custom design. There are full accounts dedicated to clothing that is inspired and replicated to look exactly like the clothing from Designer fashion brands and label pieces. On an Animal crossing fashion account, the account owner said that putting their outfit together daily is one of the most important parts of the game for them. A friend of mine who is really into creating clothing pieces on their animal crossing game, had explained that the complete character customisation made it really inclusive to individuals, herself included, who were quite neutral with their style and didn’t specifically wear female or male clothing. I brought up Animal Crossing: New Horizon complete character customisation to a few of my other friends in a general conversation with many of them agreeing, saying how it’s great the clothing items and hairstyles aren’t restricted by gender, giving players more options on how to represent themselves in the game. This development in New Horizon’s had provided many individuals within the community a sense of inclusivity of their identities.
Through the Instagram fan accounts, I save the post that I feel really inspired to try and re-create when I play my own game. These post that I’ve saved through Instagram are then sorted into Mood boards that are specific to different aspects and features of the game.