‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ online exhibition explores game’s impact during lockdown

The exhibition from the National Videogame Museum contains diary entries from the community's island existence from March 2020 to April 2021

An online exhibition has launched exploring the thoughts, feelings and experiences of Animal Crossing: New Horizons players during the pandemic.

Curated by the UK’s National Videogame Museum (NVM) in partnership with The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund run by the Museum Association, Animal Crossing Diaries consists of diary entries from the community of Animal Crossing: New Horizon players chronicling their game in the span of a year, from March 2020 to April 2021.

Nintendo‘s idyllic island getaway life and community sim launched in March 2020 just as the world was entering lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19.


“The game became a vital space for maintaining creativity, social connections and a sense of routine during an uncertain time,” reads a post explaining the exhibition.

“The Animal Crossing Diaries records the diverse ways players interact with the game during the COVID-19 pandemic. It documents how players create their own meaningful experiences through the game.”

The collection, based on an open call of submissions, is grouped into five topics: Keeping a Routine, Making your Space, Representing Yourself, Sharing Creativity, and Staying in Touch. Alternatively, users can opt to select a random entry to read or view.

Entries include diary entries, poems, video tours, screenshots, artwork, and even games invented within the game such as the Bell Party created by a member of the Nintendo South Wales community.

The entries shown in the exhibition are not exhaustive as the NVM is still inviting people to share their stories about Animal Crossing: New Horizons during the pandemic.


Elsewhere, Minecraft Live is returning as a virtual festival for its second year, which kicks off in October, which will include “juicy Minecraft news”, as well as guest appearances from the Mojang Studios and the community.