The Game of Quarantine
Why Animal Crossing: New Horizons is helping many get through the Pandemic with a smile.
If you’ve been on Social Media over the past few months (which I shall assume you have) you’ve probably seen countless posts about Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but what is Animal Crossing and why won’t people stop talking about it?
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a life simulation video game by Nintendo. The game places you on a deserted island with nothing but a tent, two other anthropomorphic islanders, a raccoon landlord named Tom Nook and his two shopkeeper sons, Timmy and Tommy.
It may not sound too exciting to some, but try telling that to the 25,000+people who signed the fan-created petition to release the game early.
The first few goals of the game are simple - upgrade your house, build up your island by planting flowers and have another eight islanders move into their own island homes. The final goal for the early part of the game is to get the extremely cool and ever popular musician K.K. Slider to deem your island worthy of travelling to fora concert. Reaching this milestone made for a perfect Saturday night – Imagine - sitting on the couch, eating pizza and watching him (your new found favourite artist) perform my, and soon to be your, favourite song ‘Bubblegum K.K.’
Why is Animal Crossing: New Horizons the perfect game to play during a pandemic?
It’s incredible for anxiety relief. I’ve found that by switching off and completing mindless tasks such as weeding my island, planting countless flowers and chatting to my fellow islanders has been truly soothing during such an anxious time.
Despite the pandemic and not being able to leave the house, every day on my island feels new and exciting. Whether it be an event such as “Bunny Day” (ACNH version of Easter), a new neighbour moving in or just some funky new clothes in the Able Sisters Tailor Shop, I feel excited to get out of bed and see what’s waiting for me!
You feel like you’re being productive, even if you haven’t changed out of your pyjamas. Tom Nook starts out by giving you tasks like crafting furniture for new islander’s homes, paying off your (incredibly expensive) home loans and building bridges/inclines to make getting around your island easier. There are also lots of special visitors to your island who will provide you with activities such as CJ the live-streaming beaver and fish enthusiast or Gulliver the Sailor Seagull who is terrible at travelling and continuously washes up on your islands shore.
There’s a very fun social aspect to the game.You can visit your friends or have them visit you whilst still adhering to the Social Distancing guidelines. All you need to do is head down to the airport and chat to the ironically in-charge Dodo, who will fly you over to whichever friend’s island you desire. I’ve been spending a lot of time over on my friend Lavender’s Jurassic Park themed island, Isla Sorna. We can give each other gifts, snap some photos and go on a virtual date to the museum all from the safety of our own homes!
It’s adorable. There’s truly no way to explain how cute this game is. Even my 27-year-old, intensely strategic,action-adventure video game loving fiancé bypassed purchasing DOOM Eternal to instead purchase Animal Crossing: New Horizons and has since racked up 120 hours. In fact, everyone on my friends list has played for over 100 hours at least.
In my opinion, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is not only the perfect game to play during a Pandemic but also the best game ever released. I truly hope you all enjoy this game as much as I do, I can’t wait to see what you do with your own islands!