AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleHow Animal Crossing: New Horizons was Used During the Pandemic
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During a time of great isolation, many people turned to old and new hobbies alike to fulfill their time. A large subsection of the population chose video games as not just a distraction, but a way to stay in touch with friends and family. Through quantitative research methods, this paper focuses on the experiences of millennial females who played at least 500 hours of the video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH). As a frame, the uses and gratifications theory was determined to be the best lens through which the researcher viewed the results. After IRB approval was received, participants were recruited through Facebook groups dedicated to ACNH gameplay. A single focus group of six participants and four individual interviews were conducted to gather data. Themes found across the interview were sorted into the following: Covid-19 & ACNH, game play (etiquette and rituals), and real life play (representation and needs). After providing specific experiences and quotes from participants in each of these subjects, the main discussion of the paper highlights the significant impact video games had on participants and the need to use this application to recreate or replace real life needs in order for gratification. Thus, it can be stated that ACNH was a welcome addition to the lives of those living through the Covid-19 pandemic.