• Richard Forbes

Bridging Connections with Video Games

Updated: Mar 3, 2021

Just as Facetime and Zoom has transformed from areas of casual social interaction to business communication, videogames have allowed isolated people to come together. Since being reduced to limited interaction, work from home and hobbies have taken over social media. The videogame community have seen an increase in the use of products and social interaction, with Nintendo reporting that its newest console - The Nintendo Switch - saw a 34 percent increase in product movement (over 3.29 million units)!

Not only has the sales and attention on the gaming industry increased, so has the social interaction that comes with being part of the community. One of the best examples of this is Nintendo's latest game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With over 40 million players, brands and celebrities have joined the community in connecting online.

Why is this game such a huge success? Let's unpack the factors that played out favorably for both Nintendo and gaming enthusiasts.

1. Timing

Though the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in heartbreaking losses for thousands of families in the United States, it has brought attention to a relatively small interest community. Animal Crossing was highly anticipated, with more than 500,000 units sold within its first week. The game, which was released on March 20, 2020, became available just days after businesses began closing their doors.

Veteran gamers took to social media to find friends to connect with, a setting that can be accessed in the game. By exchanging friend codes, real-life friends can visit each other's islands, sell crops and find unique items. With multiple million players internationally, memes and conversation quickly grew to include timely topics, such as quarantine and food.

The horrible truth is that this game could not have come at a better time for Nintendo. This calming escape from the tragedies of the real world has allowed people to smile in our darkest hour.

2. Branding

A major component of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is creating an aesthetically pleasing island. With the social media uproar of turnip prices and "the crook Tom Nook", popular brands have taken the opportunity to use product placement to their benefit.

Gucci, Supreme and Chanel have all reproduced real clothes in-game that gamers can wear to represent their favorite styles. Social media platforms have been flooded with content from both individuals and brands.

Everyone from House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to comedian John Mulaney have mentioned opening an account to relax and connect with fans.

3. Flexibility

One of the main online sensations surrounding Animal Crossing is gamers' ability to transform islands to mirror real-life. Sadly, the pandemic has interrupted landmark moments, such as graduations and weddings. Fans have taken the opportunity to humorously invite others to their online islands in place of these real-life events.

Though the world appears bleak, it is important to remember a dark hour only lasts 24 hours. The fantastic thing about people is that some always find joy, video games have become this sense of escape during a world-altering disaster.

From all of your friends at SparkIt, we wish you a safe and healthy day and the best turnip prices luck!

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