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How do people around the world use digital game to relax during the COVID-19.

A game called Animal Crossing has been becoming popular these days, “Switch” where can approach it even sold out because of it. Why is the game so welcomed?

Animal Crossing is developed and released by Nintendo, it has been existed for almost 20 years, while it became available on switch in 2019. It features players living in the village inhabited by humanoid animals and performing various activities. The series is known for its openness and heavy use of the console’s built-in clock and calendar to simulate real-time.

The game, Animal Crossing became the most popular game among the youth when all the world locked down because of coronavirus. All the people were stuck at home, and the digital game is one of the most important ways to save them from boredom and loneliness.

Animal Crossing is different from the previous games, it is not a stand-alone game, it has the feature of connecting the players and forming a virtual community. This kind of community increases the chances of the people who are experiencing self-isolating to communicate with their acquaintance and getting to know new friends who share the compatibility with them.

Both of the sales of game and the device: Switch reach a peak during the Covid-19.

Vivian, a 23-year-old student, bought a second-hand switch at the beginning of March, as the official website had been out of stock.

 “I bought the switch devices just for Animal Crossing. I used to say that I will never need a switch as I have no interest in digital games. But when I saw my roommates playing for some time, I was attracted by the animated images and the stories. I always ask her if there are any strange animals come to her island in the game. Then I think I want to buy a switch and build my island.”

The first is “the healing power”, “When you invest your time and feeling to the game, you create a connection with the animals on your ‘island’,” Vivian said, “When you talk to them, they show all the enthusiasm and praise to you even you just change your clothes in the game. You will be surrounded by love, no longer stay on an isolated island.”

The second is the high degree of freedom, from gardening to decorating and farming, you could enjoy every single thing you want to experience. “You have 100% freedom in this game,” Vivian said, “you can go to the beach to dig clams if you want. All the daily things you could imagine are only 1% of what you can do in this game.”

Then the online interactive function is another important point. Everyone has the opportunity to pay visits to friends’ islands. They also could exchange special local products, as the different islands may have different products. It’s a good way to keep in touch with your real friends and develop friendships with more people in the virtual world. “In this special period, the game becomes an interpersonal tie.”

You will also feel the real passage of time. “In the early morning, the sun in the game will rise with the sunrise outside your window. You will even experience the same weather as reality.”

The fifth reason is the most important one for Vivian. “This is one of the few games where you can learn about biology,” said Vivian. Every island has a museum, you can keep everything you gain in it, include animals and plants. “I can be poor, but my museum can’t. When I gain something new, I will send it to the museum instead of selling out. I want to build a richest museum. This really makes me feel a sense of achievement.”

Vivian said that a large percentage of her friends are obsessing with this game and they discuss how to do better in the game almost every day. They try hard to compare with each other, “sometimes it doesn’t feel like everyone can’t go out, we feel like we are just there for each other.”

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