Junior Girl Julianna Morris writes about her gaming experience, gaming in the time of COVID, and her new favorite game, Animal Crossing.
Julianna Morris’ avatar in Animal Crossing.

Sometimes I need a place to get away from all the news—especially right now in the age of COVID-19. It’s easy to feel disconnected from your friends when everyone is stuck at home as we wait out the virus. Playing video games is a way that we can connect with one another virtually. This is especially important at a time when connecting face-to-face is not the safest option. 

One place that I have found solace during this time has been on my own personal island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The game, which came out in April 2020, is built for the Nintendo Switch platform. It transports players to a world where islands are inhabited by cute animal non-player characters (NPCs). In the game, players create their ultimate island paradise while catching fish, crafting items, and decorating their homes.  

One of my favorite parts of the game is to collect fossils, fish, bugs, and work of art to donate to Blathers, the scholarly owl, for the island’s museum. I have enjoyed creating my own designs for clothing, decorating my island home, and interacting with all the cute and lovable animal NPCs.  I love the freedom that the game provides to design my island any way that I want. 

The part about this game that stands out to me is how I have been able to connect to my friends through the multiplayer option available. With a Nintendo Switch Online account, players can connect with their friends. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can visit the islands of friends or send them letters and gifts through the in-game mail system. With this game, I have found a way to be with my friends even as we are apart. 

This game has empowered me to feel like I have some sort of control over something in my life. I often find myself feeling helpless seeing everything on the news surrounding COVID-19. But through this game I have been able to reconnect with friends. 

I have always loved to game because it was a way for me to escape from the stresses of everyday life. Right now, I have found that it has become a bigger part of my life the more that I am at home and away from my friends. Gaming can be a way to practice problem-solving and to be creative. 

Happy Gaming!

-Julianna Morris
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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