About the Work

Crappy Home Designer examines the popular Animal Crossing game series and the underlying ideologies of its mechanics. The Animal Crossing games place players in command of infinite material and financial resources to manage a small town and its population. These in-game privileges normalize colonialist and capitalist ideologies of debt and control, further emphasized by their limited access through the real-world purchase of expensive proprietary hard- and soft-ware. In Crappy Home Designer, the artist offers a freeware interpretation of the game, whose gameplay is consistent with the lived realities of low-income families. The game encourages customization and consumption, but on the condition that bills and rent must be paid. The control of the world is shifted from the player’s hands into those of an omnipotent narrator-landlord. Crappy Home Designer offers cheery graphics and engaging gameplay, while asking the player to consider who can afford virtual escapism. 

How to Play

This game uses audio to deliver instructions to the player. Click with left mouse button or trackpad to select menu or in-game objects. Use the WASD keys on your keyboard to move in 3D space. Use the keyboard for text input.

About the Artist

Dallas Flett-Wapash is an Ininew/Seaulteax digital artist working with video game design, expanded reality, and other interactive technologies. His practice is an ongoing digital reconstruction of his cultural identity – including cosmology, culture, language, and lifestyle – using video game aesthetics. He has taught digital arts workshops for many arts and educational organizations. Recent exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba.    

System Requirements

This game requires a Windows, macOS or Linux desktop or laptop computer. It is recommended to use Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or a browser that is WebGL 1.0 or 2.0 capable, HTML 5 standards compliant, 64-bit, and WASM capable. This game does not support mobile (iPhone, iPad, or Android) use.