The Jambar Column: Welcome to Hasselhoff

Pictured: Mac Pomeroy. Photo Courtesy of Mac Pomeroy

By Mac Pomeroy

During March 2020, when the world around us shut down, a new world was released. Or, more specifically, a new virtual world. The latest chapter of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing series: New Horizons.

Quickly, the game became a sanctuary for many, myself included. Rather than just sitting bored in my room, I could go explore my own island, which I named Hasselhoff, and befriend all of the fun and unique villagers who call the island their home. 

Daily, I was able to harvest fruit, dig up fossils and decorate the place to my liking. But more importantly, I was able to do it with my friends. While we couldn’t see each other in person, we were still able to hang out everyday. It seemed really great.

I felt a lot less alone because of this. I wasn’t the only person who relied so heavily on Animal Crossing: New Horizons for my sanity. In fact, it seemed as though most of my friends were doing the same, posting constant screenshots online of their islands and their avatars together.

The more we pulled away from the real world, the deeper we went into the virtual one. I began to know every corner of my island better than I knew my own house.

Suddenly, the enthusiasm died down as as it arrived. No longer did I see people posting cute screenshots. I didn’t get any texts from friends asking me to visit their island in the middle of the night. It was as though the game had never existed.

And that’s okay! If you are one of the people included in this trend who suddenly got sucked into the appeal of this game — and just as soon left — that is completely fine. 

Whether you spent 15 hours on the game or 543 hours, it served its purpose. Too often do we place value on entertainment purely by its productivity or the time spent, when that isn’t always needed. What matters is that it served you when you needed it, and it’s okay to move on to other hobbies or coping strategies.

So, why am I bringing up a game from over a year ago? Well, as of Nov. 5, 2021, a new update for the game will be released. This rather large update has brought back many fans after months away from their islands.

In a way, it’s given the game another life. Except, this time won’t be about escaping, but instead relaxing. Now, we can just sit back, grab a cup of tea and reconnect with a newly nostalgic hobby.