How “Animal Crossing” is Helping Me Cope with Social Distancing

Wow, has it really been two months since I last posted? Time is flying way faster than it should.

Anyway, I’m sorry it has been that long, but I promise that is going to change. Quarantine’s getting to me and I’m always restless now.

I want to talk about something a little different today, something that has been helping me get through this pandemic.

I recently bought myself a Nintendo Switch console. I bought the older version with the worse battery by mistake at first, but I found the newer one with the better battery and bought it before anyone else could. I’m going to sell my old one once this stay-at-home order is lifted.


I’ve been spending a lot of time with my Switch. I didn’t realize until I started playing it how much I’ve missed playing on a Nintendo console like the DS or the Gameboy Advance SP.

I grew up with those consoles, and the Switch has reminded me of how much I enjoyed them as a kid. It has helped make being stuck in my house significantly more bearable.

Anyway, there’s one specific game that I’ve put well over a hundred hours into. I think you can guess what it is. Here’s a hint: cute anthropomorphic animal villagers populate a deserted island with you, the only human character.

One of my villagers, Peanut, wearing a hat I gave her.

That’s right. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has become my favorite game on the Switch. I love how wholesome this game is! It’s a life simulator that makes me feel like I’m actually out there in the world doing something that matters.

Now, I’m not saying that it is a replacement for actually doing worthwhile things in real life. It’s just that, when real-life experiences are interrupted (such as now with the virus outbreak), it’s easy to get lost in a world where you are a functioning and important member of society.

A beachfront shop I created on my island

And the game is way cuter than it has any right to be. From the villagers you can have move in, to the adorable avatar the player gets, to the cute items you can craft and use to decorate your island, it’s just so easy to get lost in this world where you can do whatever you want.

My island flag – you can create your own designs in this game, too!

One of my favorite things to do in the game is watch meteor showers. I’m always looking out for Celeste the owl on clear nights, hoping she’ll confirm the presence of a meteor shower. I’ve stayed up way later than I should have just searching the night sky for stars and that perfect screenshot.

I admit, the only thing that I don’t love about the game is how big the task of getting your island to the five star rating feels. It can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming if you don’t take it one small step at a time.

Other than that, I don’t have anything bad to say about the game. I just ordered a Bluebear amiibo card because she’s adorable and I want her on my island! I don’t think I’d get her otherwise, because there are hundreds of villagers and praying for a specific one to come is really just based on chance.

Source: Animal Crossing Wiki

I’m excited to be allowed to get creative and make the island what I want it to be. I’ve been planting a lot of flowers lately and creating shops on the beach. Yesterday I found one of my villagers, Teddy, singing along to a song on a radio I had on display! It was as adorable as it sounds.

I love how it’s easy to get attached to your villagers. Yes, they all have specifically-set personalities and those personalities do repeat, but they’re so adorable and kind that it’s easy to overlook the repetition in the game.

I’m having a ton of fun building my island paradise because of the charming islanders I’ve encountered. They make the game so wholesome and addictive that it’s hard to close a play session without smiling.

I unfortunately had to delete this account when I got the newer Switch, but I still kept the shots from my old island

Animal Crossing is not necessarily a deep, emotional experience for me, but it’s provided some levity in this era of social distancing. It’s allowing me to enjoy little things and just get lost in a world where I can be whoever I want to be.

I think that’s the reason this game has been so popular. It provides a degree of normality that – however artificial it may be – has a genuine innocence and sweetness to it that a lot of people may look for during difficult times like this.

While it’s just a game, it is definitely one that works well in bringing smiles to the players’ faces, and I highly recommend trying this game out if you haven’t already.

By Amber Rizzi

I am a literature geek working toward my Bachelor's in English with a concentration in writing. I love to read, and I'm always itching to write, especially creatively. I started "The Writer's Library" about three years ago, previously working with a Blogger platform before moving over to Wordpress. While I mainly post reviews of books, occasionally I will go ahead and review works in other media forms as well, such as music and certain television shows. No matter what I'm doing on here, I love to share with anyone who is willing to listen, and I'm excited to finally be on Wordpress!