The last days of Animal Crossing

Reflecting on Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Lockdown

A few weeks back, I came across news about the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield documenting the impact of Animal Crossing: New Horizons during the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown. It’s hard not to reminisce about those strange and unsettling times – the frantic search for toilet paper, the challenges of managing homeschooling via Skype, the concerns for loved ones, and the eerie silence of the deserted streets with nature reclaiming its space. Amidst all this chaos, there was the comforting routine of visiting Nook’s shop in the game to browse for furnishings.

For many, Animal Crossing served as a refuge during the lockdown – a virtual haven when physical interactions were limited to essential activities. People poured their hearts out to the polygonal villagers through letters, seeking solace and connection in a time of uncertainty. It’s remarkable how Nintendo’s game provided a sense of community and normalcy when the world seemed to be falling apart.

While the game held significant meaning for many during those challenging times, for long-time fans of Animal Crossing, it was simply a continuation of their love for the series. Even as life slowly returns to normalcy, the game remains a constant presence in their lives, offering a sense of stability and familiarity.

Wondering about the Future of Animal Crossing

As I reflect on my interactions in the game now, I can’t help but acknowledge that its lifespan is finite. With no future updates planned and a new Switch on the horizon, the current iteration of Animal Crossing will eventually fade into nostalgia. Yet, each visit to my island serves as a reminder of the virtual life I’ve cultivated and the experiences I’ve cherished.

Our video team looks at Animal Crossing.Watch on YouTube

Exploring the island in my final days of the game has a bittersweet quality to it. There’s a sense of impending closure, akin to knowing that every moment could be the last of its kind. Yet, amidst this melancholy, there’s a strange comfort in the routine and familiarity of the virtual world.

Embracing the Quirks of Animal Crossing

One constant in my daily routine in the game is visiting Brewster for a cup of coffee. The coffee shop exudes a sense of warmth and familiarity, reminiscent of the cozy cafes described in literature. While some of Brewster’s offerings may be unconventional, the ritual of enjoying a cup of coffee serves as a symbol of connection and care in the virtual realm.

Here’s the drop on 2.0’s free update from a while back. Watch on YouTube

Despite its whimsical nature, Animal Crossing captures these moments of simple pleasures and gestures that resonate with players. From the meticulous animations to the chance encounters, the game is filled with small but meaningful interactions that make the virtual world feel alive.

Finding Meaning in the Final Days

In my dwindling days on the island, I’ve come to prioritize certain activities over others. There’s a sense of emotional clarity that guides my actions, focusing on what truly matters amidst the fleeting nature of virtual existence. With the awareness of an impending end, I find solace in the intrinsic experiences that define my virtual life.

Rediscovering the Beauty of the Gallery

One aspect of the game that holds my attention is the gallery, an incomplete yet captivating representation of art and culture. Despite its unfinished state, the gallery serves as a symbol of the ongoing journey within the game, sparking a sense of curiosity and wonder with each visit.

Bedtime in Animal Crossing – two players asleep in a four-poster bed. Image credit: Nintendo

As I navigate these final moments in the virtual world, I’m reminded of the power of simplicity and routine in finding joy and meaning, even in the face of an uncertain future. Animal Crossing may be just a game, but its impact on our lives transcends the virtual realm, leaving lasting memories and reflections on the nature of connection and community.