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Gaming to Go: Animal Crossing: Wild World

'Tis a great week for gaming, isn't it? And, for the Animal Crossing addicts among us, it should be pretty freaking awesome. For the sad, strange readers who haven't been chain themselves to a monitor for the last few days, listen up: E3 recently brought word of the next installment in the series, albeit one primed and ready for Nintendo's white waggle box. But don't drop Animal Crossing: Wild World just yet -- there's still plenty of life in the game, even if you've paid off your house three times over and now get your jollies from planting pitfall seeds in front of your neighbors' doors.

That's a perfectly admirable pastime, sure, but Wild World offers plenty of snappy activities for a gamer on the go. In honor of this super special week and the new game on the way, Gaming to Go is adopting a slightly different format for your reading pleasure. You guys like lists, right? Well, buckle your seat belts, ladies and gents, and get ready for 5 Things You Can Do With Five Minutes in AC:WW!

1) Get dirty!

Look, we all know what happens when you leave the village alone for too long. Weeds move in, your closest friends move out, and the first dog you run into on your return simply must tell you about the ab work he did while you were away. He'll then drop a saucy wink and tell you about the massive carpet burn on his bum he's been nursing ever since he started exercising, and suddenly you'll wonder why you came back at all.

Awkward conversation aside, coming back to your village even after a short vacation requires taking a green thumb to the environs, as you'll find plenty of weeds to murder and plenty of fruits to pick just outside your shack. What better way to spend five minutes? Sure, it isn't all that exciting, but it's for the good of the village, man. Don't complain!

2) Get a makeover!

I'll be honest: you probably need one. The lovely Able sisters exist for this sole purpose, should you decide to look long and hard at your virtual self in the mirror. For a mere 350 bells -- chump change by Tom Nook standards -- you can design a personal pattern to adorn yourself with, opening up the peculiar world of fashion with just a few strokes of the stylus. Want to be a diva the likes of which your village has never seen? Want to blind those poor animals with your bold and beautiful style? Spend a few minutes with the pattern maker and you'll be the hippest human in town. Who needs color theory when you have passion?

3) Redecorate your house piece by piece!

Remember that night at Nook's? The gambling, the drinks, and that odd-smelling Samurai Suit you woke up with the next morning? Your next break is as good a time as any to start the redesign you've been dreaming about for years. It helps that moving furniture around is infinitely easier in the digital realm, so why not spend a few minutes rearranging your place? There's that whole Feng-Shui thing to consider, sure, but the real fun can be found in designing a home that would probably have you blacklisted in most social circles. Not that you care, of course, since it's your house, thank you very much, and you can do what you want. And since you're essentially alone in the game, you won't have to worry about some significant other dictating the interior design!

Crippling loneliness has its advantages ... now that I know, of course.

4) Feel the power of the music!

Is the town tune not quite music to your ears? Change it! A few minutes are all you'll need to fine tune your latest composition. It might not be as utterly awesome as this short rendition of Crazy Train, of course, but odds are you'll churn out something quite a bit better than the default selection. If not, well, don't fret it. Nobody will be subject to your avant-garde style save for the villagers, and thankfully their pre-scripted complaints cut only so deep. You might want to consider the people sitting near you on the metro, however. I always bring headphones ... for their sake.

5) Put stylus to paper!

We might be living in the age of technology, but the friendly citizens in Animal Crossing do enjoy good old-fashioned letters, don't they? It isn't the most thrilling way to pass the time, sure, but firing up Wild World to write and send a few letters is an excellent way to keep everything rosy around town. The occasional correspondence might even be all it takes to keep your creepy feline neighbor from moving on to terrorize other towns. Which, uh, is awesome. Yeah.

And depending on how long it's been since you last paid a visit to the village, you might have a mailbox already stuffed to the brim with correspondence. It's okay -- ignore your real friends for a few minutes while you send letters to the virtual ones. It's not strange. I promise.

And that's it! Five pleasant ways to pass the time with Animal Crossing: Wild World while you're waiting for the wagglicious sequel. Any other suggestions? Throw them out here! I'd love to read of a way to get back at Nook for essentially forcing you into slavery the minute you step into town. He's not a very nice raccoon, is he?

Tick tock of the clock ringing in your ears? Tell your timepiece to shove it! We live busy lives, but remember this: there's always time to game. Check back with Gaming to Go every Thursday for the latest and greatest titles you should spend your precious few minutes with.

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