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How Animal Crossing captured hearts and minds—and soothed loneliness—during lockdown

In a world full of uncertainty and a type of loneliness many of us haven’t experienced before, Animal Crossing brings a slice of calm

By Helen Whitehouse  

Yesterday I went fruit picking, strolled on the beach, chatted to a savvy raccoon and visited my friends.

But I wasn’t breaking lockdown rules—I was indulging in one of the biggest coronavirus trends, Animal Crossing. The video game has become as synonymous with lockdown as sourdough starters, DIY haircuts and pints over Zoom. Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released on the gaming console Nintendo Switch in March just as we all sealed…

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