The Grapevine

The Reason Why 'Animal Crossing' Is The Perfect Pandemic Pastime

As the world continues to be held tight in the grip of a virus pandemic that seemingly came out of nowhere, an increasing number of people are taking to a video game to find some sense of semblance and peace, and that’s exactly what the hit game “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” offers.

The Perfect Pandemic Game

Stop for a moment and think of a vacation island where money literally falls out of trees and is given to you by a talking entrepreneur raccoon who gives you the chance to customize that island to your liking, making countless friends along the way and spending your days fishing, exploring or even catching butterflies.

That’s exactly the kind of relaxing collect-a-thon and life simulator that Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” offers. As it turns out, it’s also the kind of escape that a majority of us needs while we’re stuck inside our houses and looking for a way to escape our worries and anxieties.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, people are encouraged to stay inside their houses and only go when it’s essential, such as a grocery run. Because of this, gaming is at an all-time high, with people opting to spend their days socializing and de-stressing in video games. But not everyone wants a challenging open-world RPG or a fast-paced shooter. Some like a more relaxed gaming experience and this is probably the biggest charm of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”

In the game, there are no enemies to kill, no weapons to upgrade and not even a story to follow. You are simply the lone human in an island filled with anthropomorphic animals, and you can enjoy it the same way you do at life when you want to slow down. You simply open the game, make friends, build your house and take the steps needed to create a thriving society, visit other friends’ islands and go through day-to-day things without real world consequences (read: in-game debt is easily paid, among others), all at your own time.

Amid the worrying coronavirus pandemic, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” offers a never-ending escape meant to calm your mind.

Video game controller Playing video games can shape the brain and your behavior — for better or for worse. Photo courtesy of Pexels, Public Domain

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