March of this year was unrecognizable for a lot of us. And I think I speak for all gamers when I say we were searching desperately for some type of escapism. We were living a real life nightmare trying to adjust to a new lifestyle of quarantine and navigating through tragedy and trauma. Every day was uncharted territory, until March 20 or “Animal Crossing’s” release day.
Do you remember the “Pokemon Go” summer? Where we all forgot about how much we hated each other? Where we spent nights sitting on a random pier in the middle of nowhere on a polluted lake because the best spawns came from the Pokestop there? The release of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” brought us similar nostalgia.
We were exploring and connecting with each other during a time of isolation. People wanted to spend time on each other’s islands. We wanted to send each other letters, go fishing together and ruin each other’s flowers. The best form of escapism came with perfect timing when we needed it most.
The most important part about the release of “Animal Crossing” was that most of us grew up playing the series. From the OG GameCube game in 2001 to “New Leaf” in 2012, the game spread over different generations and we all loved it. We were able to relive a simpler time for us. I can’t thank Nintendo enough for the happiness they have brought us all over the last 19 years.
But then something happened that we also experienced with “Pokemon Go.” The game bored us. We spent too long escaping and catching fish and the same fucking common butterfly. I know I was tired of farming fruit for Tom Nook. We were tired of seeing the same small island and that terrible Easter event. We went from playing 12 hours a day to once or twice a month. Playing became a chore not a form of relief from real life.
Some of the recent updates have brought some tired gamers back. But the high doesn’t last long enough for us anymore. Can “Animal Crossing” win us back or are we going to have to wait for another fresh game? I don’t believe this game can bring back everyone with their updates and won’t see a spike in gameplay until a new game in the series is released.
BANNER: Solomon203//Wikimedia Commons