The wildly successful social simulation game that’s been teaching us about financial responsibility, debt relief, and how to cheat in creative ways so you can get great prices on stocks

05.03.2023 0 By admin

[Timmy] Tom I’m sorry to disturb you, but we’re in big trouble! [Tom] Mr.

Nook.

[Timmy] What? [Tom] It’s Mr.

Nook to you.

[Tommy] We’re sorry, Mr.

Nook, but if we don’t do something soon, this New Island’s going to make us go broke.

[Tom] Don’t worry your pretty little heads, I got it all figured out.

You just need somebody to come and fix everything for us.

And I got just the man to do it.

[Tommy] That’s a great idea, Mr.

Nook.

But how are you going to convince him to do all that work all by himself? [Tom] It’s simple.

I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.

*Maniacal laugh* Hello Internet! Welcome to Game Theory, the show… [Tom Nook] Hey you there, watching this video.

You better hit that subscribe button, or else.

I’m so glad we understand each other.

Enjoy the video.

Thanks Tom, Isn’t he a hoot? No, no, not you, Blathers.

Get out of here.

Ah, Animal Crossing.

The wildly successful social simulation game that’s been teaching us about financial responsibility, debt relief, and how to cheat in creative ways so you can get great prices on stocks.

I mean, turnips.

And all of it is thanks to one very business savvy tanooki, the one and only, Tom Nook.

Who hands you a two story house with basement in a crime free idyllic utopia all with no background checks or needing to prove your income.

It is probably the single most unrealistic thing to ever happen in a video game.

Sounds too good to be true, especially once you start looking at real world housing prices.

But people that have actually played the game know that things aren’t quite that simple.

While Tom might be offering you this wonderful house on a beautiful island in the middle of nowhere.

It’s not going to come cheap.

In fact, when you first get there, he doesn’t give you the house, but a tent.

And even then he tries to charge you nearly 50,000 bells for the thing.

And the House, with its expansions, only get more expensive with time.

By the end of New Horizons, you’ll have paid 5.

696 million bells 8.

966 million if you count all the storage expansions.

Fortunately, just like in the real world, there is a way to not be homeless while also having very little money to your name.

You can get yourself a loan.

Not from an official bank though, but from, you know, the guy who’s selling the house in the first place.

Yeah, that is… that is not sketchy at all, sure.

And this isn’t new behavior either.

Every single Animal Crossing game starts this exact same way: Tom gives you a home and then immediately starts charging you massive amounts of bells for the home that he’s basically forcing you to live in.

It feels so sketchy that the Internet, even brands Nook a crook, a grifter, even a mob boss taking advantage of our innocent little selves.

But there are those who defend Tom Nook in his practices, namely the producer of Animal Crossing Hisashi Nogami.

Quote from him: “I think he’s a really, really good guy… You do owe him money, but it’s not like he comes over and then asks you to pay him back.

And he doesn’t add interest in any of the loans you may have.

I think he really does stick around and wait for you and then lets you take the lead for paying him back.

” So which is it then? Is he just as much of a con artist as Redd? Or have we’ve been mischaracterizing our little raccoon friend all along? I wanted to dig deeper than just the surface level weeds of his character.

Instead, I wanted to take a look at the thing that really matters.

His pocket book.

Is Tom Nook actually ripping us off, or is he just a simple businessman that’s been misunderstood for decades? So grab yourself a bug net loyal theorists, it’s time we catch ourselves the truth.

Let’s just start off with the obvious question: How much is this house that Tom Nook is so generously offering us really worth? Well, Houses in Animal Crossing work on a grid system which allows for easy placement of items.

The main room of your house, when fully upgraded, is an 8X8 grid, with the three side rooms being 6X6, and then the basement and second floor are both 10X6.

Do not ask me how a house that’s only five by four from the outside gets a total of 292 grid squares inside of it.

I don’t know.

Maybe Tom Nook is secretly a time lord using TARDIS technology.

But the crucial part of this is figuring out the size of one grid square.

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A lot of people online, including an actual mortgage comparison site from the UK, made the assumption that each grid square is one meter by one meter or 3.

3 feet by 3.

3 feet.

This would mean that our ground floor alone is 64 square meters, which is pretty darn impressive.

That said, it would also mean that all the doorways in our house, which are the width of two grid squares, are two meters or 6.

6 feet wide.

Given the fact that average doors in the U.

S.

are only three feet wide or just under one meter, either of the characters in this game are dummy thicc or the math might be a little off.

So I started to look around for items that might help me get a sense of scale.

And fortunately, there are a couple of items that literally have the measurements in their names.

There are two 50 inch TVs available for purchase.

Now a 50 inch TV is not actually 50 inches wide.

The 50 inches actually refers to its diagonal length, so they actually wind up being 44 inches wide or 111 centimeters.

But regardless, this gives us something definitive in the world that we can use to figure out the size of the rooms.

I was able to determine that this 50 inch TV is actually the same width as the doorway, two grid squares.

So one grid square is therefore 22 inches by 22 inches.

That makes the eight by eight ground floor 30,976 square inches or in much more useful measurement, 215 square feet or 20 square meters.

If you keep going and calculate every room in the house, you’re going to be getting yourself a total size of 981 square feet or 91 square meters.

That is way smaller than all the estimates that I saw circulating online.

But it’s actually still a pretty decently sized property.

As of writing this video, the median price per square foot in the United States is $213.

This then gives our property a value of about $208,953, which may still sound like a lot for your first ever home.

But in reality, it’s kind of a bargain.

In 2020, the average price of a starter home in the U.

S.

was $233,400.

So actually a little bit higher than what we have in Animal Crossing.

But the two are certainly in range of each other.

Then again, these prices aren’t taking into account the actual location of our New Horizons home.

We’re not in a city or a suburb, this is a tropical island.

And that’s going to shoot the price of the property like this sky high.

In the Bahamas the price per square foot is over double that of the average U.

S.

home, $500s per square foot.

Making our luxury beachside island property worth a massive $490,500 Now that is already a hefty chunk of change.

But then here’s Tom Nook selling you this exact same house for 5.

7 million.

5.

7 million! That would be an upcharge of over 1,000%.

That is ridiculous.

He flew us out here to a deserted island and then traps us here with no choice but to pay his insane prices just so we can have a roof over our heads.

Except that’s not the full story.

5.

7 million sounds like a lot of money for sure, especially when the easiest thing you can sell is the local fruit that only goes for 100 each.

But that’s not talking about dollars.

That’s in Tom Nook’s currency of Bells.

5.

7 million U.

S dollars would be a lot of money for us to spend on a house like this.

But if bells are more equal to, say, Indian rupees, suddenly 5.

7 million only costs us around $69,000.

Nice.

Still a decent amount of money, but far less than the original 5.

7 million and a fantastic price to pay for a $500,000 house.

So what then is the real world value of Animal Crossing Bells? The real issue with solving this here is that it’s hard to figure out the real world value of items when they’re generic and unbranded, the values just wind up being all over the place.

There’s an acoustic guitar, for instance, that sells for 3,210 bells, but out in the real world, an acoustic guitar can sell for as little as $30 or as high as $5,000.

The range is just too high to get a definitive answer on.

But just like trying to find an item with measurements, I wasn’t deterred.

I went through every single item to see if any of them were clearly branded with real world brands.

Until I came across one very specific item, the only branded product in the game, all because Nintendo couldn’t resist giving themselves a little bit of self promo.

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In the store I found the Nintendo Switch, an item with a set cost by Nintendo.

In-game it costs 29,980 bells, and I could just immediately compare that to the cost of the Switch upon its release in the US, $300.

I figured it was probably wise to check out what it cost in Japan, provided that that was where this game was made.

And wouldn’t you know it? The original Switch was sold in Japan for exactly ¥29,980, meaning that while bells may not be 1 to 1 with the U.

S.

dollar, they are 1 to 1 with Japanese yen.

I was even able to double check because there’s also a special edition Animal Crossing New Horizons Switch, both in-game and out in the real world.

In-game, it costs 35,960 bells.

And when the same product was released in 2020, alongside New Horizons, it cost the exact same: ¥35,960.

So now we’ve just got to figure out exchange rates.

When the game was released in 2020, one yen was equal to 0.

9 cents, which meant that ¥5.

696 million would have been worth $52,383.

54.

However at the end of 2022, the yen plummeted in value, making that same ¥5.

696 million, now worth just over $42,000 today, roughly 0.

7 cents to the yen.

Which sucks for Tom Nook but is actually great news for us.

We are getting a nearly 1000 square foot beachfront property for one fifth the real world average cost in the U.

S.

and over 11 times cheaper than a property in the Bahamas.

That is an absolute steal, but maybe this is just part of a bigger scam.

New Horizons isn’t the first time that people have questioned Tom Nook’s sales tactics.

Maybe he caught on to public perception and decided to take a loss this time, to let people get off his back.

I see you, Tom Nook.

You’re not going to escape my net of justice.

In the year 2000, the average home in the U.

S.

cost $211,000, and in 2020, their average rose to $383,000.

That is an 82% inflation increase, which is just wild to think about.

In only 20 years, property prices have gone up by an average of $172,000.

No wonder no one can afford to buy houses anymore.

Sad realities aside, this does give us a baseline to work with.

The original Animal Crossing for the Gamecube was released back in 2001, In that original game there were no side rooms, so we only needed to count the first, second and basement floors in the New Horizons house.

Therefore costing us 4,042,000 bells.

So if you work backwards using the real world inflation rate of 82%, the original house should cost you around 2,221,000 bells.

And if it’s any more than that, well, then Tom Nook is definitely taking us for a ride.

But then I looked at the price and I was shocked.

The final house in the original animal crossing only costs you 1,413,600 bells.

That is 800,000 bells less than Tom Nook should have been charging.

He was giving us awesome deals back then too in the original game.

Tom Nook is either an idiot or he’s not really a crook after all.

A house of this size in the U.

S.

costs around $200,000 to build.

That’s not including import costs of materials due to it being on an island.

That’s one of the reasons why Hawaii has the highest cost of living of all the 50 states.

And to top it off, if you speak to him in 2015, Happy Home Designer.

You’ll find some dialog where he tells you this.

What little properties he’s making off of you, he’s then donating most of that too.

He’s barely making pennies off of us.

He’s not a crook.

He’s a saint.

Maybe this is a lesson for all of us to stop overthinking.

Just because something seems too good to be true doesn’t mean the other shoe is going to drop.

Rather than spending all of our time worrying about Tom Nook’s sceam, maybe we just sit back, enjoy our new island home with no real responsibilities other than paying back a very cheap interest free loan.

But even though I would happily sit by a beach enjoying a cocktail every day for the rest of my life, I couldn’t help but wonder why he was being so generous.

And then it hit me like a present falling out of the sky.

What happens when we get on to the island? We’re also given sole responsibility for raising our island’s ranking, encouraging new villagers to come and live there, building in town infrastructure like museums, shops, bridges.

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This is why Tom Nook needs us here.

He makes us an offer we can’t refuse, giving us a home so cheap he basically makes no profit.

But it’s worth it because of the value that we put into the island.

We’re what’s known as a loss leader.

We’re the first person to come to the island.

Tom sells us a super cheap property.

We make it all nice, and then he gets other people interested.

Which is when Tom can make all his money back by jacking up the prices for everyone else.

All because we got a cheap home for ourselves and then did a bunch of manual labor.

And the truth is, Tom needed us as a loss leader because otherwise no one in their right mind would want to own the property on an island like this.

Because, let’s be honest, who else is going to move to a deserted island out in the middle of nowhere? Okay, well, a lot of us anti-social introverts, sure, but like, there’s not a Target there anywhere.

And I don’t think Hellofresh is going to be delivering groceries out to the middle of the ocean any time soon.

And all of this is without mentioning the dangers of building a property on such a small island.

The island is only 42 acres total, which means that you’re never really more than 200 meters or a quarter of a mile away from any coastline.

This seems like it should be ideal.

Who doesn’t want to live a stone’s throw away from a beach? But actually it carries a huge amount of risk.

There’s a very real threat of sea levels rising, something which is affecting coastal cities like Miami, which is actually the most at risk city right now if climate change continues going the way it is.

Rising sea levels means that even if our home is in the dead center of our little island, might not be long before the coastline is at our doorstep.

The rising sea levels cause coastlines to erode.

What was stable ground now isn’t so stable and could eventually get washed into the ocean entirely.

For an example, look no further than Dubai.

17 years ago, they started an incredibly ambitious project; building a bunch of man made islands in the shape of the world map.

The project was called, fittingly enough, The World.

But one major problem is that now the islands are sinking back into the sea as the waters of the Persian Gulf rise.

And even if the shores of your little slice of paradise don’t erode away, the rising sea levels will likely lead to coastal flooding instead.

Suddenly this great deal is not so great after all.

Tom Nook probably got the land cheap because no one sensible would want to build property on such a risky small patch of sand.

But he had himself a plan, get one sucker who is desperate for their first home, one who didn’t know about the risks, one who would be so blown away by the size and location of the potential property and the cost of it all.

They would come all the way out there without even batting an eyelid.

And we fell for it hook, line and sinker.

I guess we can always try to make it all up on the resale? But if, or when, the worst does eventually happen, there’ll be good old Tom sitting pretty atop his pile of bells, probably able to claim on some insurance, receive financial aid from the government, or at the very least pull an Elon Musk and make the purchasing of all that land a tax write off.

I guess he truly was an evil mastermind all along.

He was just playing a much longer game than any of us realized.

But hey, that’s just a theory.

A GAME THEORY! Thanks for watching.

But the Animal Crossing conspiracies don’t have to stop there, my friends.

We also did a video where we learn the truth about another famous character, Zipper T.

Bunny.

Which you’ll find on the left side of the screen.

Or if you like figuring out the value of fictional currency.

You can always watch our video on how rich a Pokemon master truly is, that one is over on the right.

As always, my friends, don’t forget to subscribe and I’ll see you all next week.