Animal Crossing: The Solution to Quarantine Boredom?


Justin Zhong

“This quarantine has really increased the popularity of ‘Animal Crossing,’ especially through social media, because people have been sharing their experiences on playing the game,” said Justin Zhong ’21.

With the current COVID-19 pandemic, most people across the globe are socially distancing at home. To combat boredom, many have turned to the newly released game in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing franchise, and it is no wonder why they have done so. 

When you first venture into the game as a new player, you are greeted by the infamous talking raccoon, Tom Nook. The raccoon gives you a tent to live in on your new island, and your first goal is to pay him back. As the game progresses, players can upgrade to a house, furnish it with cool accessories from bidets to paintings (based on uploaded pictures), and even design their own outfits. There is an endless array of activities to do on the island, from fishing to building your own garden, having your friends  visit your island or vice versa. Everything is in real-time, so the game gives players a bright and fantastical substitute for real life, which may have many more difficulties for people to face now. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a unique game in that there are no damsels in distress or scary monsters to defeat. Instead, players have their very own island that they can develop in any way that they want and continue developing indefinitely. With no real end to the game, Animal Crossing seems perfect for our current situation, in a time where we do not know how long we will be spending at home. The talking animals, candy-colored animations, and adorable features have people across the globe hooked. Its sales in two days beat the two week sales of some of the most well-known games, including Super Smash Bros.

Here is what Bronx Science students are saying about the game: 

Nintendo games have been a huge part of my childhood,” said Justin Zhong ’21. “The fun of Animal Crossing comes from being able to do what you want to develop your village.” 

William Mesnick ’20 agrees. “I think it really helps create a routine for a lot of people, and they can connect with their friends to visit their islands, which helps since we can’t see each other face to face. It motivates my friends and I to wake up pretty early in the morning to do the chores in the game, and also there are lots of memes on the internet to help its publicity,” Mesnick said. 

However, not everything in the Animal Crossing universe is perfect. Nick Lin ’22 said, “Progress is kind of slow in the beginning,” and, “I literally cannot get any tarantulas to spawn. Please send help as I need to pay off my mortgage.” 

It seems like most Bronx Science students enjoy the game, except for a few features such as the timing of the game or the removal of the café that was in previous versions of the game. They especially have varying opinions about Tom Nook, with some students having positive opinions of him and some, not so much.

For example, Zhong said, “Tom Nook is holding me hostage,” while Mesnick said, “Tom Nook is not as bad as people say. He gives you an interest free loan on your house, and he gives you all the time you that need to pay it off. I’m not being paid to say this.”

With all the hype around the game, it is no wonder why so many people want to play it. Especially given that our students are staying at home during Quarantine, many of them have turned to gaming as a way to pass the time. The positivity and cute animations of Animal Crossing do their best to uplift our spirits with all the hardships going on right now.

Whether it’s through Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Minecraft, Valorant, or something other than gaming, let us all try to stay positive during these difficult and unusual times. 

The positivity and cute animations of Animal Crossing do their best to uplift our spirits with all the hardships going on right now.