This week the National Video Game Museum (NVM) has opened an exciting virtual exhibit showcasing Animal Crossing: New Horizons islands. Many of us took refuge on a deserted island in 2020 ran by a tycoon raccoon. The NVM saw an opportunity late last year. NVM put out a call for submissions from Animal Crossing: New Horizons players in order to preserve this unique moment in history. Players sent in memories, photos, adventures, and videos reflecting how this monstrously-successful game helped through a tough year. Now, their virtual exhibit is live.
While the world was on pause, the island paradises of Animal Crossing: New Horizons thrived, welcoming those in isolation with open arms (and paws). The game became a routine part of everyday life. Cancelled plans were reimagined and reprogrammed to the virtual sandy shores of players’ islands. For many people unable to socialise in real life, the game became a vital creative space for personal connection.NVM Animal Crossing: New Horizons' page
The site is a total rabbit hole of positivity. The submissions are grouped into categories to easily find interesting themes. The amount of content people have contributed is immense. You can spend hours pouring through many ways people used this game to get through the worst parts of 2020.
The entries overflow with positivity and creativity from the player base. I sunk over 500 hours into this game, making my island my own. I know I define part of 2020 with this game. Nintendo sold 26 million copies by November surprising nobody how impactful this game was to so many. Nintendo's delayed March debut of Animal Crossing: New Horizons couldn't have been more perfect. This game is a complete time-suck and perfect when everyone was stuck at home. Personally my island was MY oasis to virtually be with the people I care about. I applaud the NVM's efforts to save it all for us to revisit any time we want.