Games

My time with Animal Crossing

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When Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched back on March 20th 2020, the world was in the throes of a crisis. I’m sure I don’t need to relay the facts to you, but for context, here in the UK we went into government sanctioned lockdown on March 23rd – due to health implications, my own lockdown began on March 17th.

I had no intentions of buying ACNH, but a combination of getting caught up in the hype and wanting something to fill my lockdown time really appealed, so I bought it. My current play time sits at around 160 hours, and with the game having been out for 75 days (at time of writing). Whilst it sounds a lot, that actually only equates to an average of just over 2 hours per day, nothing in comparison to some players I’m sure.

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Initially, I really enjoyed playing ACNH. I loved meeting new villagers, building up my library, extending my house, all the things that are exciting and fresh once you start playing. Online there have been some people saying that ACNH doesn’t have enough to sustain it. Back over Easter, there was a lot said about the eggs that could be found throughout the game being too frequent and getting in the way of normal play. All of this is a stark reminder that the lockdown changed things. This isn’t a game that was designed to be played for 8 hours a day, we were supposed to be a lot more casual in our playing. I think now, some 75 days on, this is where I’m at with ACNH. I’m finally putting in the 1-2 hours a day playtime that the game developers probably had in mind when they made it. 

Once I’d met the goal of having KK Slider perform on my island, terraforming brought with it it’s own anxieties. Where the game had been reasonably relaxing knowing I had no control over the environment other than decoration, being given carte blanche to tear down cliffs and stick water wherever I wanted was pretty overwhelming.

There’s been a lot of discourse on Twitter about not comparing yourself to other players, but in an age where everything is easily shared, it’s hard not to. I’ll admit I got myself trapped in a cycle of seeing things online and realising I would never come up with anything that creative for my own island, and found that any joy I’d got from ACNH had left, replaced by fear. What I was scared of I couldn’t exactly say, but I think part of it was having an image in my head that I couldn’t recreate. 

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Whilst my playtime on ACNH has reduced of late, I’m still playing a bit each day. I’ve found it helps with my daily routine. The daily ACNH tasks; collect fossils and have them assessed, check for recipes on the beach and in villager houses, all of these things keep some structure in my life which as been missing since coronavirus hit. 

I have a few areas on my island I’m looking to develop, and that I have some ideas for, but after they are done I do wonder what the game will hold for me. I feel like I’ve definitely got my money out of ACNH, 160+ hours into any game is more than reasonable, but I also feel like the end of my time with ACNH is probably in sight. 

When I started writing this piece, it was centred around how playing ACNH helped me cope with depression and anxiety during lockdown, and whilst it has, I can definitely tell that the end of the cycle is in sight. I’ll still play it, but it’ll be less of a coping mechanism for me now. 

 

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Unboxing: May SoKawaii

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The theme for May’s SoKawaii box was ‘Cozy at Home’ – pretty fitting considering I have been stuck in mine since mid-March! I love getting subscription boxes, it really livens up my post – the majority of the time I don’t get anything, and when I do, I know what I’ve ordered, so to get something which is a total surprise is really exciting!

Once again, the SoKawaii box came out with everything laid out in pink tissue paper. I’ve said before, but I really love how SoKawaii pack their boxes. The visual impact is so strong, and it just makes it even more exciting, and makes me feel like the box was packed with care rather than hastily put together.

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The first item I pulled out was this really cute Animal Crossing notebook! I’ve been playing a lot of Animal Crossing: New Horizons since I’ve been in lockdown, and I always appreciate a cute notebook. I’ve been using this one to try and organise my photos and keep track of which folders they’re in on my Mac! Not sure how succesfully, mind you, but it’s cute nonetheless!

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Also in the box was this cute Pikachu and Eevee organising rack. It’s the perfect colour for my bedroom so it’s in there at the moment, but it has nothing in it! It is a touch on the small side, so I’m struggling to think of what I can put in there. All of my toiletries and things like that are in my bathroom, otherwise the obvious choice would be things like cotton buds and cotton pads. I’ll think of something, I’m sure!

 

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Next up was this cute Rilakkuma pillow cover. It’s not really a pillowcase as it is open at the ends, but it’s still pretty functional. It’s made of a towelling material, so would be good for popping over your normal pillow if you’ve got damp hair or something like that – I’m very prone to going to bed with wet hair, so that’s what I’ll be using mine for!

 

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I also received this cable holder. I’m not sure if it’s a character, or just a random design as I’ve now thrown away the packaging – if you know, please tell me! I’m not sure what the function of cable holders are really, aside from the obvious, as I’ve never had any cable related issues! It’s still pretty cute, and doesn’t look obviously like something which I’m not using it for so I have it on my desk without cable!

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Finally I got this Hello Kitty plushie! Whilst it is very cute, I’m pretty gutted, as the other plushie option was Pompompurin who is my absolute favourite Sanrio character! By contrast, Hello Kitty is my least favourite, but I guess that’s the way it goes!

 

 

That was everything in my SoKawaii May box! Which item is your favourite? Mine is probably the Pikachu and Eevee storage rack!