Resetting 160+ Hours of 'Animal Crossing' Gameplay

Earlier this summer, I sold my Nintendo Switch Lite that contained 160+ hours of "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" shenanigans, without the realization that my island didn’t save.

At first, all I felt was sadness over the loss of the island of Minoah. That slowly eased into the dread of having to try and recreate the same island all over again. I loved my villagers and I wanted them back, but that seemed like an impossible and expensive task. When I got my new Switch, I didn’t touch "Animal Crossing" after finding out about the lost saved data. I wouldn’t have my island and I wouldn’t have my villagers. I wouldn’t even have Blathers in all his bug-fearing glory until a few more days into the game.

When I finally opened the game and began to play, I came to the point when I needed to name it again. I knew I didn’t want to use the same name as my original island — it just wasn’t going to be the same no matter what I did. A quick Google search lent me a few ideas: Rosebay, Teacreek or Raspberry. I thought all of these names were cute and could form a natural island aesthetic. Yet, none of them felt right.

When I started my island the very first time, I had almost named it Jiggy. And the idea of “luxurious Jiggy living” started to grow on me. Why focus on what it was when I could focus on what it could’ve been?

So, I gave Timmy and Tommy my information and took a Dodo Airlines flight to an uninhabited island. Upon seeing that my first villagers were Katt and Bill, I made a goal for the new island of Jiggy to evolve and become a bird-only island. This would include chicken, duck and miscellaneous bird villagers.

The process of making my island fully feathered started off extremely well. The game generated Boomer, a penguin villager, and Plucky, a chicken villager. It was sheer luck to be given two birds out of the dozens of villagers available. It was luck when luck didn’t seem to be on my side for this game.

It might seem like a silly little thing. I mean, it is just a video game. But, it’s the same video game that I invested over 160 hours into. It’s the same video game that helped calm me down and put me at ease all throughout quarantine. It was more than just an island in a game to me – it was my second home. My several consecutive days worth of "Animal Crossing" gameplay was lost and can never be recovered. But, by losing it, I also gained a chance to start over and fall in love with something completely new.