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AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Department of English

Department Spotlights

Kaelin Campbell's character within Animal Crossing

It was yet another great breath of fresh air when I finally got to speak with senior English major and Writing minor Kaelin Campbell. We had just completed a grueling fall semester full of Zoom classes, masks, and overall life in quarantine, and the start of the extended winter break was more than welcome for many.

However, Zoom school wasn’t all bad all the time. Students like Kaelin were able to take the new, predominantly virtual world we now lived in just a bit more literally thanks to her British Lit since 1800 class with Dr. Linda Hughes. Dr. Hughes had assigned what was called a Life Story project where students were afforded the opportunity to get a bit more creative. “The project was supposed to be something about our life or something personal that we know about somebody else, so it’s based on a true story,” Campbell said.

As she began to mull over ideas, Kaelin wanted to think a bit bigger and more outside of the box when it came to telling the story of her life. “I tried to write a poem and I was like hmm, I don’t really want to write a poem about my life.” So Kaelin began to explore more of her personal interests and hobbies as she brainstormed for the project. “I love video games so I thought, maybe I can do something with a video game!” It was at this point that Kaelin decided she would do something with quarantine video game phenom, Animal Crossing.

“I decided to do two parts of my life with Animal Crossing. The first one was my conception, and it follows my parents before I was born, and the second part was how I got into TCU,” Campbell said.

She continued to detail the harrowing story of her parents’ journey to having kids “Each doctor told them they would never be able to have children. My mom is a very religious person, so she would pray on it and even bought baby clothes out of faith. A couple of months after my mom went to the last doctor who told her she wasn’t going to have kids, she found out she was having not one kid, but two, me and my twin brother. She always jokes that God gave us double for our trouble,” Campbell recounted.

When it came to telling these stories through the game, Kaelin was able to use many of the game’s features to create the sets in the story herself, video record as she created on the Nintendo Switch console, and then edit everything together. She also described the moment she was accepted into TCU and how it translated to the game. “In the recording I’m running around and screaming” We laughed together at the thought of such a great video game visual.

Finally, I asked Kaelin what she wanted folks to take away from her innovative project. “You can use your hobbies and things that you love to create stuff for school. It can be more than just another school project”

Check out Kaelin’s world in Animal Crossing here!