Animal Crossing is a fan favourite game series which many of us have come to know and love over the years. The timing of the release of the most recent installment, New Horizons, was almost scarily perfect…in the middle of a global pandemic.
If you’re lucky enough to own a Nintendo Switch, or have the funds to purchase one, now is the time to dive headfirst into a new game! I mean what better way is there to spend endless hours stuck at home than playing video games? (That was a hypothetical question so please don’t actually answer that.)
But for real, there are tons of reasons why Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect way to spend your newfound spare time during social distancing!
1. Life simulator video games have been shown to help reduce stress
Life simulation games like Animal Crossing offer a safe space to escape their anxieties about the state of the world and simply relax. The game isn’t intense and you can move at your own pace, whether that means playing an hour here and there or spending full days developing your island like I did.
2. You can indulge in all your favourite outdoor activities from the comfort of your home
Why go outside and risk exposing yourself to COVID-19 when you can participate in all your favorite outdoor activities from the comfort and safety of your own home? Spend time gardening and growing new flowers, fishing in rivers and oceans, visiting new islands or hurting tarantulas (okay maybe you wouldn’t do this in real life but that just makes it more fun).
3. Feed your urge for social interaction through in-game friendships
For all the extroverts out there, social distancing is especially hard. Not being able to spend time with your friends and socialize is undeniably hard, but there are some things you can do to make things a little easier.
While you may not be able to see your friends face-to-face, you can visit each other’s islands and hangout virtually using Nintendo Online. You can have multiple friends on your island at once, and if you want to make the experience a little more personal hop on facetime while you play! Even if your friends don’t have Animal Crossing, there are plenty of wholesome and adorable villagers to socialize with (though some may be cuter than others...).
4. You can gratify your shopping needs
The pandemic has left many people without work and the majority of retail stores closed, which means retail therapy is mostly out of the question. Thankfully for Animal Crossing players, there is no shortage of bells to be made on your island and the Nook family is happy to profit off of your shopping addiction. You can shop to your hearts content, whether that’s loading up on home décor for your ever-expanding house or buying and designing new clothing so your character can look more fashionable than you during quarantine.
5. It gives you a break from all the scary news
Waking up and turning on the news each morning can be a depressing way to start your day when it seems like all there is to hear is bad news. In Animal Crossing, you start each new day with morning announcements from everyone’s favourite villager, Isabelle. Isabelle never fails to bring you some happy news each morning, whether it’s about a celebration taking place on your island or a cute little fact about herself.
At the moment, most of us don’t have a lot of control over how our lives are going which can be a scary and overwhelming feeling; Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect way to ease your anxieties and take some of that control back … even if you’re still second in command to Tom Nook.