Animal Crossing teaches pandemic babies what museums are
Yet another reason why animal crossing has been a bright spot in the pandemic
We’ve heard it all our lives: “Video games rot your brain, they’re not productive, they’re a waste of time…” I could go on, but you get the idea. In many cases, however, playing games can be a rewarding experience, especially when we’re stuck indoors during a global pandemic. I came across a post on Reddit today that kind of blew my mind – a parent posted a heartfelt “thank you” to animal crossing, because the game taught their seven-year-old daughter what a museum is.
They share that their child was five when the pandemic started and hasn’t been to a museum since. When they asked her if she remembered going there, she replied: “Yes, in animal crossing.” Oh my god, I think my heart just melted – it’s both adorable and depressing.
As someone without children, I don’t think much about how the pandemic is affecting children these days, but this was a stark reminder. It’s sad that us adults can’t go to our concerts or our craft breweries or whatever, but kids are missing out on basic life experiences. Yes animal crossing is the only way for kids to know what museums are like today, I’m glad Blathers and his virtual exhibits were able to serve as a substitute for now.
If you need a little optimism, the comments on the post are full of other players talking about how THAT taught their young children how loans work or how to identify different types of insects and fish. I never considered Animal Crossing: New Horizons be an educational game, but that’s what makes it the perfect learning tool: families have so much fun playing together, so kids don’t think about everything they’re learning when playing .
Games have been useful tools for learning, community and connection during the pandemic, and animal crossing has been one of the most important titles we’ve played during the pandemic on each of those fronts. There’s a reason the game sold out more than 32 million copies during confinement.