Animal Crossing: New Horizons is teaching pandemic babies about the outside world from their Nintendo Switch consoles.
As highlighted by Destructoid (opens in new tab), some young children who have spent the last two years mainly indoors are missing out on some elements of the outside world. One parent explained on Reddit (opens in new tab) that their child now only associates museums with the Blathers-curated one in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
"My daughter is 7 and hasn't been to a museum in over two years because of the pandemic." The post explained, "today, her math homework had a word problem in which kids voted for which type of museum to visit (art, science, or history). I asked her if she remembered visiting a museum and she said 'yes, in Animal Crossing.'"
Whether this is heartbreaking or heartwarming is up for debate, but the post ends with: "Thanks Blathers. You really annoy me but the kids love your museum." If you’re not familiar, Animal Crossing: New Horizons players can unlock a museum on their island and donate island discoveries to it, including fish, insects, fossils, and works of art.
It’s clear that Animal Crossing: New Horizons provided a vital lifeline to many players during the pandemic. It’s nice to know that not only was it used to break the distance between friends and family during a time when we weren’t able to see other people - many players used Animal Crossing: New Horizons players to celebrate birthdays and weddings in-game - but that it is continuing to help players who aren’t ready to face the outside world fully yet.
The relationship between Animal Crossing and museums works both ways. Last year, the National VideoGame Museum in Sheffield, UK launched an online exhibition titled The Animal Crossing Diaries The exhibition was made up of letters and other creative works created by fans which showcased how the game helped its players during the pandemic.
Can’t get enough of Blathers’ museum? Find out why opening Brewster's café in Animal Crossing: New Horizons made my island feel complete.