Animal Crossing is saving people from self-isolation boredom and everyone is obsessed
Nintendo / Twitter

The world currently feels a bit like it’s falling apart, doesn’t it? After all, since coronavirus brought everything to a halt, life looks like it’s going to be very different for the next foreseeable future.

Now people are coming to terms with the fact that they’re going to be indoors a lot more than normal. Also, lots of parents are waking up to the prospect that they’ll have children that need entertainment (not to mention education) until summer at least.

It didn’t take long for people to realise that this can be helped the old-fashioned way: by buying stuff.

One thing that people are snapping up is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the new game for Nintendo Switch.

What is Animal Crossing?

Animal Crossing is a series of games that allow players to make their own way in the village world. At the start of the game you get given “an interest free mortgage with a lax payment schedule” to expand your home, once it’s paid off you get another mortgage to expand further. It’s basically the complete opposite to games like Call of Duty. Think: The Sims, but more collecting insects, sitting on the beach and paying off your mortgage. It’s all very wholesome.

Why do people like it?

Animal Crossing trains its users in patience, as shops within the game close at night as they do in real life, and fish and insects sometimes resist capture. Its bright characters and peaceful holiday-like setting help provide a change of scenery, while still being kind of realistic (because you have to take out loans and stuff. Nothing is free, honey!).

On social media people are saying the game is the antithesis of what’s happening in the world at the moment: no panic, stress or worry except you have to make sure you don’t miss out on this season’s bugs and fish to catch. It’s escapism that people really need right now.

As more people begin to play the game, an online feature allows you to visit friends' islands, making it possible for players in real life to connect to each other. This could be a way for people to connect online during social distancing.

How do you get it?

New Horizons is the latest in the Animal Crossing series, which has only ever been available on Nintendo consoles like the Nintendo Switch. It’s an eerily appropriate title, seeing as we’re all entering, well, “new” horizons.

So if you've done the right thing and jumped on the social distancing bandwagon, this seems like another trend to follow if you're anxious about how to pass the time...

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