Animal Crossing has become an important part of the grieving process for one gamer, who uses the in-game world to keep her sisters memory alive.
One Animal Crossing gamer has an incredibly special connection to the in-game world, as maintaining the town created by her sister keeps her memory alive, years after her passing. For many, Animal Crossing is a wholesome and pleasurable way to pass the time of day. It has been a key part of lockdown life for many, with the charming and easy settings creating welcome headspace. For one gamer though, the maintenance of this game world, and its residents, has an even deeper meaning.
The popularity of Animal Crossing has meant that the characters have made their way to other examples of Nintendo’s media, with Isabelle and Villager both being playable characters for Mario Kart 8, which also features a cup named the “Crossing Cup” after the franchise. Gamers can also select the duo as fighters in Super Smash Bros: Ultimate, which is a big change of pace for the net-wielding animation.
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One gamer has an incredibly special bond to her version of Animal Crossing on the Nintendo 3DS. Sharing her story with the BBC, Meredith Myers recounts how she came across her sister’s old gaming console when sorting through their house. Meredith’s younger sister, Kylie, sadly passed away from cancer. On discovering the 3DS, Meredith decided to log into her sister’s Animal Crossing account, to find out more about her sister’s life. The 3DS had been a gift to Kylie when she was in the hospital, where she spent her time playing The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing to ease her boredom. Meredith discovered a world of joy and love within the console, allowing her the chance to connect with her sister, even after her passing. Meredith told the BBC that she “… couldn’t take care of (Kylie) in the real world anymore, but I could keep taking care of this world that she created”.
Commenting on the happiness and vivaciousness of her little sister, Meredith drew attention to the bright yellow features that are a key part of Kylie’s town on the 3DS. Kylie’s favorite color splashed across the landscape is a part of her essence, one that is treasured by Meredith.
Losing a loved one is incredibly hard, and the grieving process is not the same for everyone. There is no “one size fits all” approach to grief. It is incredible to see the impact that Animal Crossing has had for Meredith, and the idea that her sister’s legacy lives on in the game is one that will be truly cherished.
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Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available now on Nintendo Switch.
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