I know it sounds ridiculous, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons did save my 2020.
As a lifelong Animal Crossing fan, I had been waiting for the Switch release for years after 7 years since the last installment of the series, back in 2013. It's undeniable that the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons came at the perfect time. It came in the most intense time of quarantine in March. I am so grateful that it came at that time as it was the perfect non-stressful distraction. At that scary time, I found myself just going through days without a schedule or any real daily tasks. I was simply lounging around doing nothing as days passed by. Strangely enough, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was what set me back on track to normalcy.
The game truly was like a special peace. I was able to shut off anything from the outside world and immerse myself in the world. The music is upbeat during the day and calm at night. Every islander begins to have their own personality and every day was something different to unlock, things to add to my museum, and something new to enjoy.
Suddenly, as I got into the game more and more, I had tasks to do and huge island plans to achieve. I had to make my island the best it could be. Shops close at 9 PM and 10 PM, so I could no longer be my natural night-owl self and wake up so late that I would not play until midnight. On Sundays, I had to be up before noon to be able to buy turnips from Daisy Mae. I would trade online to make sure I had the best presents for my islanders on their birthdays. It gave my time purpose.
As time in quarantine continued on, I continued to rely on Animal Crossing to keep my schedule in a relaxing way. I needed the structure and balance that the game puts you on. Without it, I most likely would have spent months without any real perception of time. Though I started to realize that I had begun to use the game as a substitute for real life, and the realization had me work on myself and my habits. So, I tried to put more effort into my real life. Eventually, I was able to take the schedule I had been keeping up with and stop using the game as my crutch.
While I still actively play the game (Don't tell anyone but, I have 300 hours logged in the game), I have been able to stop playing it in such large time amounts. However, I'll never forget how Animal Crossing: New Horizons saved the early months of this year for me.