Finding Mindfulness in ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’

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These are no doubt strange times. With panic and anxiety dominating in the current situation, we must find something that helps us achieve a mindful state. For anyone struggling, the new Nintendo title, ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’, may be just what you need to help you find a mindful
headspace during this pandemic.

Notably, ‘Animal Crossing’ is a bizarre video game series! With the simple goals of developing your village, paying off your mortgage and making friends with your fellow villagers, this game may not sound exciting. However, it still manages to drain hours of your life in what feels like minutes. These simple goals are what makes the game a perfect way to pass the time during social distancing. With no major world-saving missions or a challenging storyline, ‘New Horizons’ will help you quieten your
mind.

Image courtesy of ‘joatseu’ via Pixabay

For those struggling with social distancing, this game has got you covered. Upon starting the game, you are placed on an uninhabited island with a few villagers to keep you company. Although only pixels, these villagers radiate positivity and will add some cute character to your island. Even better,
if you aren’t a fan of one of your villagers, you have the power to make them leave! Unlike many other areas of life at the moment, as the player, you remain in control.

Obviously, interaction with a group of pixels isn’t enough to fully satisfy your social needs. Thankfully, ‘New Horizons’ has a local and online multiplayer feature, allowing you to virtually connect with the friends you have been missing. Through trading your village fruits, a strong fruit
trade network can be built. Equally, sharing your excess resources with friends is a great way to keep in touch during these turbulent times. ‘New Horizons’ encourages you to find joy in these mundane tasks; although to many this may sound boring, for others it is a solid way to keep some normality to the daily routine of life.

Image courtesy of ‘BagoGames’ via Flickr

If online gameplay isn’t something that interests you, there are plenty of other activities to keep you mindful. ‘New Horizons’ provides you with an expansive set of tools to create a beautiful island that is personal to you. With the ability to craft season-themed decorations, furniture for your house and outdoor spaces for your villagers to enjoy, this feature is sure to keep you inspired. In being able to landscape like never before in an ‘Animal Crossing’ game, there is plenty of fun to be had completely
reimagining your island. In focussing on your creative side, you are sure to feel more uplifted.

One of the most mindful elements of ‘New Horizons’ is the gradual pacing of the game. With each day in the game following the time scale of an actual day, it prevents you from rushing. This way, with each new day and each new opportunity, you can come to be more appreciative of your daily
activities. Who knew collecting fish, bugs and fossils to donate to your island museum could be so peaceful? With new things to do every day, you can experience the game with a fresh mindset every time you play.
Overall, if you are needing some help to find a moment of peace in all this anxiety, ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ is the game for you. During these testing times, it is important to continue to find happiness and if that means spending upwards of four hours a day collecting fruit, bugs, fish and
fossils, so be it!

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