In these quaran-times, few games have provided comfort, therapy and relief than Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the latest light-hearted social simulation from Nintendo. As intended, the Animal Crossing series provides an escape from the real world into an idyllic town filled with cute anthropomorphic animals who all know your name.
For several weeks now, people who managed to nab the game before ECQ lockdown – or purchased it as a digital download from the Nintendo eShop – have delighted in the joy of building a community out of a deserted island from the ground up. They’ve been picking fruit, catching bugs, reeling in fish, crafting furniture and finding the fun in making whatever they want from the world around them.
But of course, gamers will be gamers, and that means their ability to make new things and discover new possibilities can never be underestimated. Moreso during these days when everyone is spending a lot of time indoors. Here are eight of the wildest things people are doing or creating in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
A Graduation Ceremony
— Dang (@WhimsyWool) March 28, 2020
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were left uncertain as to whether they would have graduation ceremonies. So some of them decided to hold their own within Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Twitter user @WhimsyWool shared a video of friends in chairs wearing graduation attire while using in-game chat to facilitate the formalities, and using emotes to congratulate one another.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Tour
MontereyAq – Hello, Fellow Squids! | The Monterey Bay Aquarium Tries Gaming – Twitch
With countless places closed for the lockdown, some have turn to live streaming and other Internet services to remain connected with the public. The Monterey Bay Aquarium went extra by giving tours of natural phenomena in Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ museum with various experts weighing in. It’s a legit entertaining stream and does a lot to engage viewers on matters of nature and wildlife.
Amazing Music Covers
Put any creation tool in any game and people are going to go to town with it. In the case of the musical instruments in Animal Crossing, several players are using them to hold parties and sing-alongs. But it’s this Japanese Twitter account that’s gotten really crazy by doing elaborate covers of songs like the Persona 5 theme song “Life Will Change” and “God Knows” from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
Covers like these are incredibly hard work because interacting with any instrument in Animal Crossing produces a random note, which means Kaiton had to record and capture virtually every note they needed to complete the arrangement and stitch it together for the finished song. That’s just bananas.
A faithful recreation of The Office
— BAO (@_baoluu) April 4, 2020
By their own admission, Twitter user @_baoluu was suffering from sleeplessness and an abundance of free time when they decided to re-enact scenes from The Office in Animal Crossing. They grabbed some vending machines, chairs, tables and other furniture to recreate the conference and break room of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton office and staged the “Prison Mike” bit and the infamous CPR scene. It’s amazing.
A full episode of Deal or No Deal
One crazy fellow by the name of Miki Ljuljdurovic or ‘xwater’ on Twitch and YouTube held a version of the high-stakes game show on their island. They recreated the entire stage complete with the Banker’s phone and studio lights and invited visitors to make up the audience and crew. The entire thing felt just like the show itself, full of drama and suspense. This is bonkers and a testament to the crazy canvas that Animal Crossing provides.
In early April, Animal Crossing made headlines after Hong Kong activists took their protests from the streets to Tom Nook’s islands, causing some Chinese authorities to crack down on the game’s sales. Very recently, a group of Filipino gamers (who have decided to remain anonymous) decided to hold their own in-game protest, this time in support of ABS-CBN in the light of its shutdown. They even came wearing ABS-CBN “Laban” t-shirts — gotta love that attention to detail.
An Actual Talk Show
With much of the entertainment industry locked up – putting loads of TV, movies, music and stuff on hold – a screenwriter named Gary Whitta has decided to host a talk show within Animal Crossing. Called Animal Talking, Whitta romises engaging guests, musical performances and stand-up comedy.
His first guest was actress Naomi Kyle. Comedian Mike Drucker, singer Raquel Lily and Twitch streamer Mary Kish have also appeared but more are expected. Kyle, Kish as well as promised future guest comedian Greg Miller are all former games personalities which is expected of Whitta, who used to be EIC at PC Gamer.
Videogame communities are no stranger to virtual weddings. People have gotten married on popular MMOs like World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2 and Final Fantasy XIV. But this virtual wedding is special because it was arranged with the help of friends. Med school graduate Sharmin Asha had to cancel her wedding – a 150 person reception in Brooklyn that was pencilled in for April 12 – due to the pandemic sweeping the globe.
“We were basically 99-percent ready to get married, which unfortunately did not happen,” Asha said. Like many, Asha and her fiance Ahmed took up Animal Crossing while in isolation. It wasn’t long after that Ahmed worked on a surprise. “Nazmul invited me over to collect resources [on his island] since he had been playing longer than me,” Asha said. “As soon as I got there, he was at the airport and there were arrows on the ground. He told me there was some special in-game event, so we followed them.”
Asha followed the arrows and picked up flowers Ahmed had left along the path which led straight to the beach where their friends were waiting with their own Animal Crossing avatars. Ahmed had planned a surprise beach wedding within the game. He got everything ready on the same day and had their friends in a video chat on mute until the big reveal. It was a heart warming event made only possible by the cooperation of friends online.
Now truthfully, the in-game wedding isn’t a substitute for one online and the ceremony carries no legal bearing. But for now, saying “I do” with online witnesses in a time of isolation inside a game they all love is probably the next best thing.
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