InvestigationIn the minds of millions of people, the Nintendo video game phenomenon will remain inseparable from the coronavirus pandemic. Because, on a confined planet, this daily substitute life offers a perfect bulwark against boredom and anxiety. For better and for worse.
A month and a half has passed since the release of the video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons, March 20th. A month and a half that millions of players have set foot on the small desert island assigned to them at the start of the game. A month and a half they cut wood, water plants, catch fish. A month and a half of play, and a month and a half of confinement too. Inevitably, that leaves time.
At home too, the memory of the desert island (which I called “Plouf”) is already distant. Now, I’m at the head of a real little community, populated by penguins who are cheeky, mythomaniac bears and fashionistas hippos. Something as close to the virtual social network as the aquarium, or rather the Japanese garden. From this attempt to capture in miniature the illusion of nature – or here, of a society. On my island, there is now a small supermarket where I go every morning to greet the vendors and inquire about the price of the turnip – the star merchandise of the game – and sometimes make a splurge by buying me a piece of furniture.
There is also a clothing store, a campsite and, above all, a magnificent museum, the jewel of Plouf. And then there is my house. My mansion, almost. A month and a half ago, it was a tent. Today, by means of repaid loans, it is a marvelous four-room mansion and a cellar, where my loves for cozy decor and silly trinkets collide as much as that for the work of David Bowie, whose j have hung reproductions of albums on the walls. In short, a place that looks like me.
One of the best starts in history
The same goes for video games such as music or perfumes: some are promised to become formidable catalysts of memories. Take betting: for decades to come, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will remain inseparable in the minds of millions of people from the coronavirus pandemic. That they will each have lived from home, but, despite everything, together. It is possible that you are not (yet?) One of these millions of people: if in doubt, let's take stock.
Animal Crossing is a series of “life simulation” video games that has been around since 2001. For a long time, it has remained a curiosity in the catalog of its publisher, the Japanese Nintendo, better known to the general public for its Super Mario and his Pokemon. Even the very successful episodes Wild world (2005) and New leaf (2012) did not announce the tidal wave caused a few weeks ago by New horizons as France entered its fourth day of containment.
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