Animal Crossing Let’s us Live Out Our Post-Quarantine Dreams Today
We live in uncertain times. In the United States, unemployment is at an unprecedented high; public areas are closed until further notice, and people are quarantined in their homes to avoid the incredibly infectious pandemic we all face. Within the New Normal, however, a shining star has risen above the rest to provide peace and comfort: Animal Crossing.
Yes, that’s right. I’m talking about Nintendo’s latest smash hit video game. You know, the one where you pay off debts, clean up weeds, and install fencing around gardens while hoping you remember your neighbor’s birthday. For some, Animal Crossing might not sound very enjoyable, and plenty of people find it monotonous or uninteresting. What I’m offering, though, is a new way to look at the experience.
Animal Crossing’s gameplay initially sounds like you’re doing everything you might do in normal life. You have to go out and water your flowers, install that fence you’ve been meaning to put in, and maybe try to convince your least favorite neighbor to move out. On any normal day, someone might find that uninteresting or unappealing. You might say: ‘Why bother doing any of that in a video game when I can do it in real life?’ And, any other time of day or period in modern history, I’d say you’re right.
But right now we’re experiencing something on a totally different level. During these Pandemic Days, you can’t just walk out of your house to yell obscenities at your neighbor until they pack up and leave; you can’t take a stroll down to the local Target or Walmart to pick up your groceries, and you certainly can’t have anyone over for a lovely birthday party. Or can you?
With Animal Crossing, everything you’ve been dreaming of doing in the real world can be done virtually, and without almost any of the consequences of real life! You can stand outside your neighbor’s house and yell as much as you want; you can walk down to Nook’s Cranny to buy and sell to your heart’s content; you can even get a surprise birthday party in your friend’s homes, complete with gifts, and food, and all the fun you miss from a real party.
It might not be everything you want, but much like in the real world, you don’t have to deal with it all the time. You can always go home, sit down in front of your TV or at your computer, and play another game instead. Animal Crossing is the outlet to reality that some people desperately need right now. For some people, it has been their chance to act out wedding ceremonies that were cancelled or, in the case of football team Detroit Lions, reveal your 2020 schedule to the world through a fun little video:
Overall, Animal Crossing: New Horizons might not be the game that everyone wants right now. It might not even be the game everyone needs right now. Despite that, it’s what we have to work with, and I say people are doing a pretty good job.