The New Horizons of Art in Animal Crossing

With many people stuck in their homes for most of the day, with nothing else to do to pass the time but stare at a blank wall, it’s no surprise that some have turned to other media as forms of alternative entertainment. This is especially true when it comes to video games, as they allow us to fully immerse ourselves in different worlds that we have the power to control and alter. It’s for this reason that the newest installment on the Nintendo Switch console of the famous Nintendo franchise Animal Crossing, subtitled New Horizons, has quickly become so popular, being the highest selling of its series, and also fastest selling Switch game ever. This game, among many other things, is essencially a life simulator, where you play as a character living their life on a distant island, gardening, building tools and furniture, decorating your house, and, most pertinently, creating your own custom designs that you can display in a number of places around the island, and share with other people through QR codes. I believe that part of the success of New Horizons has been the formation of communities of artists and designers that throughout online spaces have been engaged in sharing their pieces with others. The game, along with these spaces that have been created around it, have basically turned into digital public art galleries, with people enjoying and critiquing each other’s work, with the added bonus, however, that at the end you can take the designs into your own game and implement or modify them however you please. Here, art has become entirely free from posessor or acquirer: there are no more pretenses about who owns what and who can do what with what. Everyone constantly finds themselves in an open dialogue about their work, and art is left to float through all of it, and expand and change in this vast field of communication.

More information on the popularity of Animal Crossing:

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