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This Game Has Been Keeping Me Sane During The Lockdown As It Lets Me Live A Virtual Life



When stuck at home, you need to keep yourself going no matter how hard boredom hits. Some people cope with movies and TV shows, I cope with playing games. Most of the time you will find me playing games as it is required by my job but is also something I'm deeply passionate about. Gaming keeps my brain stimulated and is the perfect source of entertainment/distraction when you need it most. While being stuck in quarantine, I've been playing some heavy-duty games like Call of Duty Warzone, Doom Eternal and other intense games. However, you can't keep playing these games all day as it can get exhausting and eventually raise your blood pressure level. However, a new game called Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched last week for the Nintendo Switch. It is a sandbox relaxing game where you live a virtual life by building your own island, cutting trees, go fishing or planting flowers. It was my first time playing an Animal Crossing game but I've played similar sandbox games in the past like Minecraft, Stardew Valley and Farming Simulator. The game has been my saviour during the lockdown simply because it lets me do things I cannot do in my real life. 

This Game Has Been Keeping Me Sane During The Lockdown As It Lets Me Live A Virtual Life© MensXP

Animal Crossing enabled me to bond with friends using its in-game postal service and let me build a world I felt was beautiful and chaotic at the same time. The game gave me a purpose where I had to go collect fruits from my farms, catch fish to sell and cut wood to build tools. I even have a daily routine in the game; something most people tend to struggle with when stuck at home. Having a daily routine in the game let me focus on my goals and kept me entertained at the same time. To some, these may sound like chores but for me, it sounded like something that will keep me busy most of the day. AC: New Horizons offers me an escape from the real world that is currently filled with bitter news. It is a way for me to interact with my friends daily while doing activities together. In the game, we have the ability to visit other people's island and it is always exciting to see what others are doing. Animal Crossing merely imitates life, just on a virtual level. 

This Game Has Been Keeping Me Sane During The Lockdown As It Lets Me Live A Virtual Life© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla

You start off with a tent on the island and you can gradually build a house by taking out a loan, just like real life. By collecting fruit, fish, bugs, fossils and trees, you can pay off your loan easily and then upgrade your house with another loan. Speaking of houses, the game also lets you decorate interiors with objects, paintings and furniture to create the perfect abode for yourself. The game has very basic objectives like building bridges, organise a pop concert, getting new neighbours, catch bugs, go fishing, chop wood and the only time you may face problems is when encountering a tarantula or a wasp. Animal Crossing does not ask too much out of you and doesn't feel like a game you will ever get tired of. 

This Game Has Been Keeping Me Sane During The Lockdown As It Lets Me Live A Virtual Life© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla

While I understand not everyone owns a Nintendo Switch or can get their hands on one right now, there are similar games that offer a similar experience. One of the all-time favourite games Stardew Valley is available on both iOS and Android. It is very similar to Animal Crossing where you have to farm fruits and vegetables, contribute to the town with donations and even get married to your desired partner. Stardew Valley is the perfect sandbox game that comes closes to delivering a similar experience as Animal Crossing. The game is a one-time purchase and does not come with any micro-transactions that can hinder your progress. Similarly, Minecraft is another sandbox game that is available for mobile where you can build your own town on a deserted island. 

This Game Has Been Keeping Me Sane During The Lockdown As It Lets Me Live A Virtual Life© MensXP/Akshay Bhalla

If you've been bored to death during this lockdown, a game like Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley can be your saviour. It encourages living a virtual life with relaxing music and daily tasks that are not only rewarding but addicting, as it helps you in building a better home for you and your friends. 

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