Memory Museum: Animal Crossing Wild World

A featured series on Memory Museum. Our earliest gaming memories to the backdrop of what was happening in our personal life. Plus, what was happening in the gaming world back then! 

This time, not exactly the earliest memories, but a game ChamZen played at a defining moment in her life.
It’s the year 2006. Nintendo announced the newly styled DS Lite, giving the DS Phat (as it’s lovingly called) an early retirement. Sony releases the PS3 and late that year, the Wii comes to gaming audiences. Animal Crossing Wild World releases in Europe. Brain Age releases too, capitalizing on the success puzzle games experienced  on the DS with Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training.

Over in Northern Ireland, ChamZen finds her world is turned upside down and found solace in playing Animal Crossing Wild World.  

A special game to help you cope

My game for memory museum is not my first gaming memory as I have been gaming for so long ( 35+ years) that I can’t remember my very first game, who could? 😉

I chose Animal Crossing Wild World as that was the game I was playing at a time in my life when I went though some serious health issues. ACWW was a big part in helping me cope with the change in my health.

I’ve Asthma and the year is 2006, I’d been off work all year with lung problems and ACWW was released in March of the same year. It was a first day purchase for me and I couldn’t wait to play it on my DS. I loved everything about the game, from the Animals who where my fellow townies, to the activities of fishing, bug hunting and digging up fossil to fill up the museum to make Blathers happy.

The best part of Animal Crossing Wild World was being able to have your gaming friends come and visit your town through WiFi. I, like many others, joined a forum for ACWW players where we could post about when to arrange a game for friends to visit your ACWW town or talk about anything about the game.

Through the forum I joined a group for women gamers over the age of 40.

My mini-me did all the things I couldn’t

Nearing the end of 2006 my health took a turn for the worse and I ended up in Intensive Care for nearly two weeks on a ventilator after an asthma attack. After I was taken of the ventilator and eventually released from hospital to home, I found out very quickly that I could not do much at all. Talking, walking, moving, everything took air I didn’t have.

There was one place where I could do all of those things and more, that place was Animal Crossing Wild World. In my town or my friends’ towns I could move, walk and even run. Yes, I know it was a game character I was controlling but since I couldn’t do any of those things that character really became me. For months I ran though my town, planted flowers, looked after the animal townies requests, walked, fished and lived.

Visiting Friends towns was brilliant again I was free to talk, all be it via a very small key board and limited on words but it didn’t take air…..and typing I could do. Being able to fish with my friends and catch sharks at night in the sea. Or having net fights, bashing one another over the head with our bug hunting nets was great fun and a very memorable time.

Finding friends in real life through the game

Apart from all that and my health problem the most fantastic thing about ACWW where the friends I made while playing the game. Friends from countries far away and friends in countries a bit closer to home.  People that I would definitely not have known due to the distance of thousands of miles between us, had it not been for this game. Friends who had a shared interest in games, and were older women like me.

I’m still in touch with most of those friends. Birthday wishes, Christmas greetings and such are sent often.

One particular friend from all those years ago I’m still in touch with daily. ( you know who you are 💕). 😁

ACWW brought people together with its ability to visit each other towns through WiFi, and it gave me freedom to walk, run and talk which is why it’s my Memory Museum game. 🎈


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! Games, and Animal Crossing in particular, have been a way to cope physically and mentally for me too and it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I was also an active member of Animal Crossing Community once upon a time and it was the BEST community out there

    1. Hi Alicia, nice to see you again here!
      Yes, AnimalCrossingCommunity was the best. For me, it was the first ever gaming forum I visited, being new to gaming and AC when I was 42! They always made me feel right at home there.

  2. Aww, what a sweet article! I really enjoyed reading it. Sorry to hear you had so much trouble with asthma. I had asthma as a teenager and it was very bothersome at times, but never to that extent. I’m glad you had Wild World to cheer you up and get you through those tough times! 🙂

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