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Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the casual game you need in a pandemic

Animal Crossing is calming because it has no consequences and encourages players to do what they want.
Credit: KGW

It's me, your friendly neighborhood comics nerd, here to tell you that Animal Crossing is a blessing in these pandemic times.


Because it is a calming game with no consequences that encourages its players to play at their own speed. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the latest of the games which can be played on the Nintendo Switch.

New Horizons, like the games before it, operates in real time. Every day when you log on to your island it is the date, time, and season reflected in the real world. The aim of the game? Whatever you want, really.

You want all cute villagers to move to your island? Do it. You want to farm flowers and see if you can get all the flower hybrids? Go for it. You want to fish and catch bugs all day? Live your best life.

It also gives you all the control which is something we're sorely lacking during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to stay home and stay safe during this pandemic in order to flatten the curve of the virus across the United States. 

Playing Animal Crossing is an extremely unselfish way to do fun outside things. Does it beat a walk out in the sunshine with your dog?

Maybe not.

But there's a beautiful museum you can fill with bugs and fish and art (coming in the next update). 

The game comes out with frequent updates. There are new bugs and fish to catch each month to grow your museum and events that are meant to be fun but participated in at your own pace.

And if you're not down for the day-to-day play, you can time travel by changing the settings on your console and just become rich and build your mansion up on a hill to look down on the peons in your village. Whatever you want!

I made a video about all the things I do on my island in a day. You might want to do them, too!

I have a lot of normal anxiety and now the world is sort of upside down and the stories we are seeing out of the pandemic can be sad and heavy. It's nice to just be able to relax with a thing that is judgment-free and fun for your mind.

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Destiny Johnson is a digital journalist at KGW. She hosts a YouTube channel that deals with all manner of Nerd News. Subscribe here. She's also on Twitter @hello_destiny and posting a lot of Animal Crossing content, she would love to play with you.