Pandemic Profs: Staying Entertained at Home with Animal Crossing

Screenshot of Animal Crossing

Welcome to our series to give you a glimpse into Rowan University, our campus culture, and the lives of our students, while we’re practicing social distancing to protect society from the spread of COVID-19. Today’s story is from Tom Copsetta, a senior isolating from his house in Gloucester County, NJ. Tom is a Radio/TV/Film major. 

With coronavirus taking the world by storm, especially the state of New Jersey, we’ve all been stuck inside for almost a month now and will continue to be until further notice. With the case numbers rapidly growing at an exponential rate, no one knows for sure when we will be able to safely return back to our normal schedules.

For many students, their normal hobbies and day to day activities are no longer an option during the lockdown. So, without being able to work or partake in those hobbies, many of us are bored. Very bored. However, with the convenient release of Nintendo’s newest installment in the Animal Crossing series, “Animal Crossing – New Horizons,” millions of players across the globe are staying entertained and keeping their minds busy while at home.

New Horizons, only available on the Nintendo Switch, has been the saving grace for many of us (including myself), as the game takes you out of our world and places you in your very own, where you team up with the infamous Tom Nook to turn a deserted island into a resident’s paradise. Up to 10 computer residents get to embark on the journey with you to create the perfect island with your own creative taste.

Screenshot of Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing is the type of game you can get lost in all day long. As soon as you start, you are presented with just a few of the many past times the game has to offer: fishing, bug-catching and crafting. This is only scratching the surface of what you can spend hours upon hours enjoying in Animal Crossing. It’s almost like a second life, where everyone has hobbies. You can create custom designs and share them with the world, design your island any way you like, create the perfect interior to your home, or even my personal favorite, breeding flowers. There are so many ways to get lost while playing and have a great time.

This is the first release of an Animal Crossing game since New Leaf back in 2012, which lead to many fans becoming beyond eager to play this new release. With Coronavirus taking over, what better time is there than now to kick back and develop your island.

Screenshot of Animal Crossing

A great feature Animal Crossing has to offer is the 8-person online multiplayer functionality. You can have up to 7 other friends join your island to show them around, play games, trade items and much more. Because of this, thousands of players have set up huge trading forums online and have established what we call the “Animal Crossing Black Market,” which has been around since multiplayer began in Animal Crossing Wild World for the original Nintendo DS. More alive than ever, this fanbase-established market has been the source of many players creating beautiful islands very quickly. 

Screenshot of Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing is a game meant to provide players with an outlet, a tool for relaxation/stress-relief, and especially meant to be played at your own pace. Now we are already a month into the release, and it’s already given players a lot more than just a fun game to play. Animal Crossing is a way to stay connected with your friends, hang out with them, or even make new friends during this rough time we are all going through. I have personally been working on video guides and posting them to YouTube to try and help the community, and have already made countless friends doing so. It’s also given me plenty of things to do to keep myself busy, such as creating my own animated intro for the guide videos with a special Animal Crossing theme to it. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend investing in this game to supply yourself with endless hours of fun during this long period of time we’re all stuck inside. 

Screenshot of Animal Crossing

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Story and images by:
Tom Copsetta, senior radio/TV/film major