When it comes to character interaction in games, it’s very regimented. Certain characters have certain things to say to each other, and relationships may grow out of them. However, these friendships and relationships are usually very hetero (unless the characters are written to be gay). Animal Crossing deals with villager relations a little differently. In what seems like an attempt to make the world more innocent, Nintendo eschews gender as a deciding factor in relations in favor of several different factors: the villagers’ species, zodiac signs, and personality types.
These 3 factors interact with each other and help define how certain villagers will interact with each other. Some will get along, while others will not. For example, villagers with a lazy personality get along with Peppy, Snooty, Cranky, and other Lazy villagers. However, they will not tolerate Jock villagers, who make fun of their lazy lifestyle. This only takes into account the personalities of the villagers, allowing for a range of interest and disinterest between them.
The amazing part about Animal Crossing: New Leaf is not just the focus on personality-based relationships, but the open-ended aspect of the game. These characters create connections with each other independent of the player, but it is up to the player to expand on it. Do you want to ship two villagers? Go for it! These characters are blank slates, orientation-wise, letting the player create a town as accepting and unique as they are themselves.
This is such a refreshing change of pace. These characters throw gender out the window in order to find their friends and foes. In my town, Frobert mentions the friendship of Gruff and Stinky, and how he wants something like that.
As an added bonus, I’d like to offer everyone a GayGamer.net shirt for their New Leaf games!