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Tue, May 26, 2020 3:37 PM

Animals Crossing New Horizons: A Glimpse of a Life Online

Remember when Facebook was new? People seemed amazed at the idea that soon we could be living online. There was even that moment in the Aaron Sorkin movie when Justin Timberlake’s character screamed it at Mark Zuckerberg.

The fact is, it didn’t happen. While social media has had a massive impact, life has continued to happen in the real world. We coordinate events over Facebook, but nobody wants to host them there.

Something that shut-in, geeky people have been experiencing for a long time, is a life that truly happens online. As a teenager, many of my friends were people I had never met in person. They were members of my guild in the online game, World of Warcraft. My friends from school were also involved in the game, but it didn’t always matter who was a friend from real life and who was a friend from the game.

As the years have passed, online gaming has become far more mainstream, but that level of community hasn’t. Mobile gaming has exploded in popularity, but even as millions of people have played word games against strangers, there has been little to replace life in the real world. COVID-19 has fundamentally changed this, and nothing demonstrates it better than what’s happening around Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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