Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide
ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.
COVID-19 has fundamentally impacted the way we interact with the world. We can’t hang out with our friends, go out to dinner or even see distant family. Businesses are closed and many of us are bunkering down at home, waiting for this virus to run it’s course so we can return to a semblance of normalcy. Watching the news and hearing about tragedy day after day can take its toll, and you want an escape.
For me, playing a game called Animal Crossing for the Nintendo Switch, has given me an escapade to venture onto an island with animal friends and carrying out daily life activities through this Life Sim game. This month, I would like to showcase my town and talk about how this easy-breezy game lets you live life on an Island Escape.
Opening up the game highlights the title screen. Here you can see one of my animal neighbors roaming around and see other houses in the game. Animal Crossing is a Life Sim game.
“Life simulation games form a subgenre of simulation video games in which the player lives or controls one or more virtual characters (human or otherwise). Such a game can revolve around “individuals and relationships, or it could be a simulation of an ecosystem”-Wikipedia
Unlike other genres of games, Sims usually are low stress and give the player access to play the game at their own pace. This game focuses on you (the character) moving to an Island where you build a house and help terraform the environment creating a bustling town. Unlike other games in this genre, this game follows the real-world clock and date. If it’s 6 pm in the real world, it’s 6 pm in-game. This gives the game a life-like feel and you will the seasons’ change in-game as they do in real life.
Here is my avatar, taking a photo in my garden. You can see a garden gnome, lawnmower and a field of flowers. These are all items that I’ve been able to craft, purchase or grow. When I first started the game I lived in a tent and now I have a huge plot of land where I can create a vibrant space.
In this photo, you can see an open-air hot spring accompanied by a wooden swing that I’m sitting on. Both of these items are ones that you’ll be able to craft once you gather enough materials.
Customization is not limited to creating a home and garden. You have free range to dress your character any way you see fit. There are no established gender roles either, you can wear whatever you’d like. Every day the Tailor you can purchase items from changes, so it does mimic going to the store like a normal day. It’s great to wake up and see the latest fashion
If you’re like me, you grew up catching bugs and fishing. And you can do both of those in Animal Crossing. You can catch bugs and fish and donate them to the local in-game museum for display. Both bugs and fish are seasonal so you’ll have something to do all year round.
A photo of my in-game avatar catching a crawfish.
Finally, we get to our animal friends and neighbors. When you move to the island, you won’t do it alone, other characters will live on the island with you and you can interact and become friends with them.
Here is another example of decorating your home. This is a seasonal room filled with Easter-themed items. I spent time hunting for eggs in-game and once I found them I was able to craft them into the things you see here.
Animal Crossing is a game about doing what you want at your own pace. It also does a great job at simulating the real world, you get mail, go shopping and do daily activities we would otherwise do without COVID-19 looming over us. This is a game for all ages as well. Recently an 88-year-old Grandmother went viral for her Animal Crossing town that she built on the Nintendo 3DS, and now she’s creating a new town with this game for the Nintendo Switch. It’s a game worth picking up because it’s very accessible and reminds me of better days that we’ll see soon enough.
Take care everyone and stay healthy!