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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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Animal Crossing is teaching pandemic babies what museums are

Yet another reason why Animal Crossing has been a bright spot in the pandemic

We’ve heard it our whole 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 a lot of cases, though, playing games can be an enriching experience, especially when we’re stuck inside 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 then. When they asked her if she remembered going at all, she answered, “Yes, in Animal Crossing.” Oh my god, I think my heart just melted — it’s both adorable and depressing.

As a childless person, I don’t much think about how the pandemic is affecting kids these days, but this was a stark reminder. It’s sad that we adults can’t go to our concerts or craft breweries or whatever, but kids are missing out on fundamental life experiences. If Animal Crossing is the only way kids know what museums are today, I’m glad that Blathers and his virtual exhibits have been able to serve as a surrogate for the time being.

Dear Animal Crossing, thank you for teaching our pandemic children what a museum is… from AnimalCrossing

If you need a little bump of optimism, the comments on the post are full of other players recounting how AC has taught their young kids how loans work, or how to identify different types of bugs and fish. I never considered Animal Crossing: New Horizons to be an educational kind of game, but that’s what makes it the perfect learning tool: families are having so much fun playing together, so kids aren’t not thinking about all of the things they’re learning when they play.

Games have been helpful tools for learning, community, and connection over the course of the pandemic, and Animal Crossing has been one of the most prominent titles we’ve played during the pandemic on each of those fronts. There’s a reason why the game sold over 32 million copies during lockdown.

[Featured Image Source: CBR]

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