Kaleigh Klosowski says the project was a way for her to experience the city during the pandemic.
For many, the Nintendo Switch video game "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" came at just the right time. The game was released just days after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. on March 20, 2020.
When you start the game, you arrive on a deserted island and are tasked with making the town there more hospitable to a whole host of animal villagers.
The games offers players tons of customization options to decorate their island.
Lansing resident Kaleigh Klosowski has put more than 1,000 hours into the game but recently decided to build her island as a tribute to the town she lives in.
Over the past year and half, she has connected with other players across the globe through an Instagram account she runs.
"I'm always talking about Michigan on my page, and I'm, like, well, seems like the best thing to do to have people come visit me is to make my city. So, I figured I would make Lansing basically, so people could come tour it."
Klosowski has spent a lot of time taking iconic Lansing landmarks like the Frandor Shopping Center and the state Capitol building and using creative ways to put them in the game.
"I customized the outside of my house so that it was white. And then to make it look, I guess, tiered and look a little bit more like three-dimensional, I have the backside of some wedding pipe organs that are kind of stacked a little bit this way," she said.
"And then on top, I have like a wedding [or] like nuptial bell-type thing that sits on top, so it's like the dome of the Capitol Building."
She said the pandemic has been a big reason for this project, especially since she wasn't enjoying things last year she typically would in the city like Lugnuts games at Jackson Field.
"As soon as we couldn't go, I'm like, 'How am I going to not go and get my Oreo churro and hang out and watch the game?' Like, I need something to scratch that itch a little bit. So, that's why I'm like, I need to start making some of these things, [and] I need to be able to experience them again.
She still has work to do to finish her vision for the island including building Michigan State University's campus and making the inside of Horrocks Farm Market look just like its real-life counterpart.
Animal Crossing players can use her dream code, DA-1447-7412-6244 to visit.
And for those who don't have the game, WKAR's Sophia Saliby took a tour of Klosowski's island to see all the sights.
The State Capitol Building
1 of 4 — State Capitol
This room is meant to represent the rotunda of the State Capitol building.
2 of 4 — State Capitol
Klosowski used turned around wedding organs and forced perspective to turn her house in the game into the State Capitol building.
3 of 4 — State Capitol
Klosowski also recreated the House of Representatives Chamber within her house.
4 of 4 — State Capitol
Klowoski has customized many little details on her island including this Quality Dairy mug.
1 of 3 — REO Town
Klosowski used dog houses and Leaning Towers of Pisa found in the game to make the Lansing Board of Water and Light's stacks at its Eckert Power Plant.
2 of 3 — REO Town
REO Town is one of the neighborhoods of Lansing Klosowski decided to recreate.
3 of 3 — REO Town
Good Truckin' Diner is one of the first places you can visit when you arrive on Klosowski's island.
1 of 5 — Old Town
Klosowski's recreation of Old Town features several stores in the Lansing neighborhood.
2 of 5 — Old Town
Klosowski's recreation of Preuss Pets features a hamster, snapping turtle, a lion fish and some coral.
3 of 5 — Old Town
There are several pinball machine types in the game that have been placed in the The Grid Arcade & Bar.
4 of 5 — Old Town
The Old Town General Store has also been recreated on the island.
5 of 5 — Old Town
Cravings Gourmet Popcorn is one of four stores in the Old Town section of Klosowski's island.
1 of 3 — Jackson Field
The first place from Lansing Klosowski recreated was Jackson Field because of her love of Lugnuts games.
2 of 3 — Jackson Field
The island is populated with animal villagers from an octopus to a wolf.
3 of 3 — Jackson Field
Klosowski takes time pixel by pixel to design some of the signs in the game.
Potter Park Zoo
1 of 3 — Potter Park Zoo
Klosowski made sure to include two rhinos in the zoo to represent Doppsee and her son, Jaali.
2 of 3 — Potter Park Zoo
Klosowski said it was important to include the zoo's red pandas in her recreation because of the new cubs at the zoo.
3 of 3 — Potter Park Zoo
Other Popular Spots
1 of 6 — Other Popular Spots
Klosowski posted a series of photos on Twitter of her recreation of Quality Dairy that got a lot of buzz.
2 of 6 — Other Popular Spots
Klosowski plans to use her second house on the island to make the inside of Horrocks Farm Market.
3 of 6 — Other Popular Spots
Klosowski even created the garden section of Horrocks Farm Market.
4 of 6 — Other Popular Spots
Animal Crossing players can use terraforming tools to build rivers and cliffs on their island.
5 of 6 — Other Popular Spots
Many Animal Crossing players collaborate to commission and share custom designs.
6 of 6 — Other Popular Spots
It wouldn't be Lansing without road work impacting traffic.
"Ron Burgandy" first announced his campaign to "Make Lansing Classy Again" in March of 2021.
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