Why I’m Addicted to Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the 3DS is super addicting game and after clocking over 150 hours (I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon by the way) I started to wonder what makes me so hooked on this game. How could a game about essentially just working and paying off debits be so rewarding? I do that in real life and it’s NOT fun.
 Some people like to play Animal Crossing nice and slow at a pace that is obvious the developer wants you to play. Little by little you progress new events trigger and sometimes even holidays and festivals. This keeps you engaged for the long term and ensure you’ll still be playing months from now. And some people like to grind it out and collect all the bells they can and also use time travelling to aid the progression of there game. Myself I like to play right in the middle. Some days I really grind it out collecting all I can, it’s something I usually do if I can’t sleep or am up really late when there is not much happening in the town and no shops are open. (I decided to keep the default town hours) Other times I like to have a chat with the always colorful towns fork, and see if there is anything I can do for them. I also enjoy decorating my home and from time to time a little gardening. (This is starting to read like an internet dating profile)
Anyways after some thought I realized what it is about this game, it’s just so delightful. The whole world and all it inhabitants are charming. And then when I put down the 3DS for a moment I start to wish my life was more like how it is in Animal Crossing.
Some examples include:
In Animal Crossing I go outside and my neighbors give me awesome nick names and tell me how cool I am.
In real life I go outside and my meddling neighbors complain about the height of my hedges.
In Animal Crossing I can expand my house at least every week.
In real life…since I moved in to my home last year, I changed umm… my shower head. That’s a start right?
In Animal Crossing I am the mayor and I work in an office and my co-worker is delightful and wants to help me any chance she gets.
In real life I work in an office, its horrible and soul sucking and my co-workers are all jerks….
You get the idea.
It’s refreshing to see such a polished, detailed game that doesn’t have to be about shooting or killing. Overall the world and the game just makes me feel happy and after all isn’t that what gaming is suppose to do to us.
What are your thoughts on Animal Crossing? What’s you style of play and are you as addicted as I am?