Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers are becoming self-aware and questioning their own reality

(Image credit: Nintendo via Reddit u/EpicShadow228)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons villagers appear to be becoming pretty self-aware of their situation of inhabiting a video game world.

Players have been posting footage of New Horizons residents who have started questioning if the island is actually real on Twitter and Reddit. Reddit u/ EpicShadow228 posted a video showing Erik the reindeer talking about a rumour that "the island is just a game. And everything we say or do? It's just to amuse someone else." How meta. 

Is this really just the Matrix? Is nothing about this island really real? Erik continues questioning their own reality by pointing out that the way the trees grow and provide resources is just plain strange.

"And… I dunno. I kinda maybe believe it?" Erik says. "SO many things would make more sense, ya know. Have ya ever thought fruit grows way too fast? And ain't it weird that trees have three kinds of wood?" Erik even goes on to question overlord and business mogul Tom Nook: "And does Tom Nook make ANY kind of sense to you!?" Woah, Erik. Woah. If this is a Truman Show type deal, you better be careful. 

Hey, Erik? Are you okay? from r/AnimalCrossing

Beau on Twitter, who's also in the deer family of villagers, also starts to question their own reality. "There's a weird rumour goin' around… Some folks? They're saying none of this is real. None of it." 

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Just who started spreading these rumours? And how come only the deers appear to be on to it? So many questions and no answers. Beau asks the same questions about Tom Nook, saying, "Yeah, I'll buy your seashells so you can give me back my own money to pay off a house I'm selling to you." I mean… WHAT?" Oof, going after Nook's business practises surely won't go down well. Better keep these rumours on the down-low around the island, Beau. 

"It's all so obvious! Our lives are fake! We all shoulda saw it a loooong time ago!" Beau cries. Well, talk about an existential crisis. Who knows what will happen now that the villagers are starting to clock on to the all too peaceful island set up. Will the villagers escape the Matrix? Or will they choose to ignore the truth? Well, Beau goes on to say that it's all a joke… but is it, really? Or did they just realise Nook's in earshot? It's a hilarious piece of dialogue and I have to appreciate just how meta it all is. 

Jumping into Animal Crossing yourself? Here are all of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons tips you need to get started. 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.