Sunday, July 14, 2024

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Kindness is Essential

Animal Crossing: New Horizons came at the right time. It’s something that’s been said a million times before I’m sure, but I truly believe that now, more than ever, a game where we can connect through small, but important acts is what we need.

With the COVID-19 virus spreading throughout the world, it’d be ignorant to try and act as though nothing is happening. So we won’t do that, but we will tell you something else: kindness is essential during these troubling times and it’s why Animal Crossing: New Horizons is doing so well right now.

The basic premise of Animal Crossing is to help build a community. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons you go one step further, starting off with not even a house but a small tent. It’s entirely up to you, but if you go speak to your fellow campers, they’ll ask if you’d be willing to help them out and pick a spot for them. It’s a small act, and on one hand, it can seem as though they are doing it to get out of the situation, but to me it felt as though they really just wanted my help and I was more than happy to oblige. For me I had a pink deer called Fuschisia, and a gym-rat-who-isn’t-a-rat-but-a-bird called Jay. Both were pretty overjoyed when they found out that I’d helped them.

Animal Crossing: new horizons

It doesn’t just stop there either. While I’m certainly not self-distancing in Animal Crossing, I often found myself avoiding my fellow islanders, instead rushing off to the airport and buying letters to send them gifts. I have yet to receive a message back, but that’s not the point of why I sent them in the first place. Heading on into Jay’s house to see that he used the chair I sent him? I near shed a tear, I kid you not.

Even when I’m not trying to make my islanders happy, I’m just content to watch them get on with their lives. Sometimes Jay and Fuschia will hang out together at the tables I set up, and talking to them both to find out more about their day can be the salve that I need. If I’m having a terrible day, which is often due to this pandemic going on, I at least have these two characters who I can focus my time on by helping them and chatting with them as much as possible.

I think that’s what I and everyone else needs right now — to feel necessary and vital in a world that’s chaotic and full of news that doesn’t do anything but make you feel worse about the situation. In Animal Crossings: New Horizon, you’re always needed by the residents there. And the only real reward you get is kindness. To me, that makes getting stung by wasps and fainting at tarantulas 100% worth it.

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