Pokemon Go brought us outside, Animal Crossing will keep us in

Emily Johnston

The release of video games in the current era can have a worldwide impact on human behavior.

On July 6, 2016, Pokemon Go was released, and for the entire summer, youths across the world went outside to catch pokemon.

During the new coronavirus outbreak, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released on March 20th. That game will keep us inside.

Already people are using Animal Crossing as a way to escape reality.

In Japan, New Horizons sold 1.88 million physical copies in its opening, according to a March 26 Verge article. 

Nintendo Switches, the console the game is played on, have been sold out for weeks on Amazon and Best Buy. The only way to get a console is through third-party sellers.

Online there are countless memes, videos and content uploaded about the game


It is good to have an escape, and while not planned, the timing of the release of this game corresponded to several countries shutting down, which only allowed for more playtime.

The concept of Animal Crossing is simple: you are in debt to a capitalist raccoon named Tom Nook and you have to work to make the town or island better.

To make money to pay off the debt or to purchase new projects such as bridges or roads, you collect bugs, sticks, or things of the sort around the island.

While in quarantine, this game mimics life outdoors, which can help nature lovers still feel connected to the environment. Walking around the island, players can be on  a beach or in a wooded area eating peaches. The game also promotes taking things slow, which is a concept many of us are relearning while in quarantine. Collecting sticks or bugs feel like productive tasks, and it can take days to collect enough materials to build a new project.

In a situation where all we have is time to wait until normal life resumes, these small jobs make us feel like what we are doing matters.

Pokemon Go brought everyone out into parks, trails, or just on walks around the town. 

This game is doing the opposite, but it’s what is needed.

This crisis is changing the way the world works, and distractions like New Horizons are necessary to deal with it.

Stay inside. Play Animal Crossing: New Horizons.