Lockdown prompts a massive rise in the popularity of Animal Crossing
The Nintendo game, Animal Crossing, has been around for an estimated 20 years, but its latest version, New Horizons, has experienced record growth.
The game allows players to set up their own alternate life on an island where they can style their own gardens and homes, adopt various animals and pursue various activities.
According to a review by the Guardian, the game is gentle and made for sharing, and therefore ideal during a pandemic lockdown when the future is looking decidedly uncertain and frightening.
The game is designed to be played in social groups among people of all ages, from parents with their children to groups of friends.
Japanese designer Aya Kyogoku, who has worked on every Animal Crossing game since 2003, is quoted as saying: “I hope that through their life in the game world, people enjoy communicating with each other, whether it’s through playing with other people or talking enthusiastically about the game. What would make me most happy is if people with all kinds of different tastes come together and enjoy the game in their own ways.”
It is no surprise that gaming activity in general has increased during the lockdown but perhaps the huge popularity of this new version of animal crossing is its appeal in bringing people together to share peaceful pursuits.