Anxiety can come in different forms; it can be difficult to understand what is going on in your own mind. Unfortunately, it is not something that can just go away like a 24hour bug or a cold, it is something that you must learn to deal with and can affect people’s everyday life. People have different coping mechanisms, it can be taking up a new hobby, writing it all down or even an enjoyable light activity such as gaming. This is where my love for Animal Crossing New Horrisons comes in. This game has made a positive impact in my life, I have become more relaxed especially in situations when I feel like the world is spiraling and I need a distraction to take my mind off the challenges in life.

The game is versatile and great for anyone to play, there is so much you can do in the world of ACNH, one of my favorite aspects is how personalised you can make the island. From naming it to creating a village, to designing your own house. This is important as a lot of games with quests or missions can be fun but also stressful and frustrating if you keep failing, whereas with ACNH you can play the game how you want to and there is no rush or time limit. The world is literally your scallop! Well island…

As an Animal Crossing player since I was ten years old, playing Wild World, I remember playing it every day without fail and how much joy it would bring me each time I logged in and would talk to my villagers. I was one of those kids who would hide their DS under the cover at night if my mum came into check if I was asleep or not!

I am sure that I am not the only one who misses Brewster’s coffee shop and Celestes lab to create constellation and gaze at the beautiful stars. Although as much as I hope that ACNH will bring these features back, the development since Wild World is unbelievable. Technology and the games graphics have come so far, which means that there are endless possibilities and free updates in the games to keep us gamers entertained and interested. I am incredibly grateful for this as it brings a new sense of creativity and opportunities and to always have a stress-free side project to work alongside university assignments and deadlines which can be intense.                                                                             

Considering I am getting older, it warms my heart that I can still enjoy playing Animal Crossing without getting bored of it or find it childish, it just brings back so many wholesome memories. My favorite thing about the game is how you can decorate your house and island. From interior design to landscaping and terraforming! The loving and caring community also makes the whole experience welcoming and comforting which helps to put my anxious, frazzled mind at piece. 

My favorite thing about the community is the talent and creativity. I am inspired everyday by the different themes of islands that the ACNH community has created such as kid core, fairy core and my personal favorite which is cottage core! Cottage core is a mixture of woodlands, villages and beautiful scenery. 

I have made several Nintendo Switch friends from talking on groups or messages on Facebook to visiting their islands. I often find myself watching youtubers speed builds or just villager hunting whilst I play as it feels like I am with them, I am also genuinely interested in their creative process as everyone plays the game differently.

This game has made me feel more confident in connecting with people, especially with the coronavirus pandemic as it has had a huge influence on the real world as well as the gaming world! I am so thankful and blessed to be able to indulge in this game and have a sense of freedom as it is so easy to feel trapped in the world we live in today. 

Written by Kat Kirwin