I’m not playing Animal Crossing like most people and that’s ok

These are undoubtedly very troubling and worrying times, so thank the stars for Animal Crossing New Horizons.

This fun, infectious, calming, and entertaining game really came at the right time, bringing its unique brand of humour while exercising that vintage Nintendo charm. It’s little wonder it’s all the nation is talking about.

I mean, Nintendo have even got Brie Larson and Chrissy Teigen talking about it!

But while many are out fishing, digging for fossils and meticulously designing their little virtual homes, I’ve been using Animal Crossing to visit my friend’s islands, sit on their benches or plush cushions and just chat.

One night, I was sat talking to a friend for two hours, asking how they’re coping, finding out the ways in which they’re spending their time, trading in-game strategies and just finding ways to catch up. It was lovely.

Sure, it’s a bit painful typing out messages on the in-game keyboard – it’s arduously slow – but there was something nice about just being sat on a pleasant looking virtual island, trading jokes and fruits that just soothed me in a way nothing else has since this all kicked off.

I think that goes some way to proving that there is no right or wrong way to play Animal Crossing. You have goals and targets, sure, but the experience is what you make it. I know I’m way behind some of my friends who have multi-room houses with two floors. Some have their gym or arcades.

It doesn’t bother me because I’m playing at my pace. I don’t feel like I’m in competition with anyone ekse and I don’t feel like I’m missing out even when I see these things on other islands. If anything, it excites me about what I have to look forward to.

Right now, I’m happy just to chat, do some in-game things to contribute to my own paradise, take my time and relax. This isn’t Civilisation, you know.

And it’s perhaps a little strange because I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself an outgoing person, but I have family members who could be adversely affected, and friends who’ve lost their jobs. I know the toll this virus is taking.

So thank you, Animal Crossing. You’ve let me build a home away from the home I’m trying to avoid. You’ve given me a way to communicate with some of my friends and forget some of my immediate troubles.

Thank you for giving us all a reason to smile. You’ve made this a little bit easier for me and many others.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some turnips to sell.

How are you spending your time in New Horizons? Tell us some of your stories and share your Friend Code if you feel inclined!

Animal Crossing New Horizons is out now exclusively on Nintendo Switch 

Code provided by Nintendo

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