Animal Crossing CMU Libraries t-shirt

As avid players of the Nintendo video game "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" and two people who deal with metadata on a regular basis, Metadata Specialist Angelina Spotts and Research Data Management Consultant Hannah Gunderman couldn’t help but notice how, when there were on their islands in the game, they were surrounded by so much metadata! The colour of the flowers, the different types of outfits they could buy with “bells” (the "Animal Crossing" currency), the ways they can customize furniture, and in a host of other ways. 

In their latest blog post for Tartan Datascapes, Hannah and Angelina explore some examples of the ways they are surrounded by metadata in "Animal Crossing: New Horizons."

So, what does "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" have to do with metadata? First, let’s talk about metadata:

Metadata is data that provides information about other data. As complicated as that might seem, that is how simple it really is! Metadata summarizes basic information about data, making data easier to find and work with. We are surrounded by metadata in almost everything we do on a daily basis. Our brain processes metadata all day long, whether we realize it or not.

Here’s an example: when you look at a car, imagine that car has sticky notes attached to it stating its size, colour, make, model, etc. Those sticky notes are giving you the metadata about the car, which in this case, is our data source. Metadata is truly everywhere! When you look into a mirror, your brain is processing metadata about your own image, such as your eye colour, hair colour, face shape, etc. Again, whether we realize it or not, we are all familiar with metadata and interacting with it, as it permeates so many areas of our lives.

Read more on Tartan Datascapes.

News category: Data & Publishing