If everyone could do me a favour, and pretend I posted this on time (the actual anniversary, March 20) that would be rad, thank you.
So last year, around March 20, I had just found out I would be working from home for an indeterminate amount of time – COVID-19 had recently been announced a global pandemic, and people were officially uneasy: fear and uncertainty about what the future would hold was just starting. But of course, I had more pressing concerns – namely, that I would be able to pick up my copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons before everything shut down. Obviously I had no idea what devastation the virus would cause, but at that point, I don’t think anyone understood how severe – or how widespread – this virus would turn out to be.
Anyway, after a bit of hassle involving EB Games being utterly shite (as per), I had my copy of New Horizons, and excitement abound, started up the game for the first time ever. Now, exactly one year later (EXACTLY one year, it’s the 20th, remember?) New Horizons is still a part of my daily routine. I know a lot of people gave up on the game – either out of boredom, or loss of interest. Some walk away from the game and only come back for holidays or special events. But for me personally, this game has been a constant companion, a regular part of my new quarantine routine. Even if I only spend 15 minutes in-game, collecting my fossils and saying a quick hello to all my villagers, I’ve logged in nearly every single day since the game came out a year ago.
In some ways, my island has changed a lot since last year (I mean, I’ve upgraded all of the stores, and completely changed the layout) but in some ways, it hasn’t changed at all. I tend to grow incredibly attached to my villagers, and some I’ve had since nearly day one. Dom, who was my starter villager, is still on Windfall. So are Freckles and Marshal, who have also been here since March. I’ve finally found my old friends from New Leaf, Rod and Eunice. The game has received a handful of updates, and we’ve gone through a years worth of events – Halloween, Christmas, and Festivale, to name a few. We’ve come full circle, and we’re nearly back to Bunny Day (joy…) and I still can’t quite believe it’s been so long.
So what’s the point of all this? In the sense of this post, I mean, not in the grand existential sense – and I’m not quite sure (about either). I wanted to acknowledge the anniversary of the game that has been most important to me during this insane year; I also just wanted this to be my weird, personal thank-you to the game for keeping me grounded and sane during the pandemic. It was something to look forward to each day, something constant and reliable. Though I may not be logging another 365 days of play to the next anniversary, I will always be grateful to this game for getting me through 2020. It seems a bit silly, I suppose, but I can’t imagine my life during this pandemic without it. So here’s to villagers, old and new, another (hopefully better) new year, new updates, and more generally, to new horizons (roll credits).