In a world where friends and family are isolated from one another in COVID-19-spurred lockdowns, Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out at the perfect time. Through immense popularity and social features that are surprisingly competent for a Nintendo product, the game has helped bridge the gap between normal life and lockdown life. Socially distanced birthday parties, wedding proposals, and more have all occurred within the confines of Animal Crossing: New Horizons islands. Nintendo’s latest commercial for the game, which is airing exclusively in the United Kingdom, doubles down on that social potential, though outside of a pandemic context. Instead, the commercial shows a teenage girl who, after moving out of her hometown, is able to reunite with her friends in the digital sphere of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Check the commercial out below.
What do you think? A bit of a tear-jerker? Can Animal Crossing: New Horizons really function as a long-term substitute for physical interaction? Who knows, but I can personally vouch for its effectiveness as a vehicle for social hangouts during the pandemic. The game has been one of my main ways of seeing my sisters and friends over the last few months, and I think that Nintendo’s latest commercial does a good job of showing why it is so effective in that role.