Date Night = Game Night in a Socially Distanced World

With businesses closed, couples are having to get creative when it comes to date nights. Thanks to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Nintendo Switch owners can dress up for a night out. From trips to museums to live music from K.K. Slider, the game has it all when looking for a fun, socially responsible, date.

Quarantine has disrupted the lives of millions of people worldwide, with social distance regulations spreading throughout the country and many businesses remaining closed. To find entertainment and keep the spark in relationships, many couples are turning to the internet for a chance to “go out”.

The perfectly scheduled release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch has made virtual dates even more convenient for couples across the globe. The game involves moving to and running one’s own island. Collecting fish, bugs, fossils, building relationships with animal neighbors and decorating the town is all a part of the game. It also allows players to visit others’ islands to play and chat together, even when physically apart.

Danielle Judd is just one of the many people who have found themselves itching to get out of the house and enjoy a date night. Though Judd and her husband Michael live together, they wanted a chance to experience a night out once their son was in bed. Animal Crossing gave them that opportunity. 

Since the game was released on March 20, the Judds have been on two museum dates to their island’s museum. As the game progresses and more artifacts are donated, the museum changes and updates, allowing for a new experience each time. 

The two put on their characters’ best outfits and even had an Animal Crossing photoshoot. After a successful “first date,” they decided on having monthly Animal Crossing dates as the island continues to grow and improve. 

While the Judd’s used their island as an escape from the space they’re quarantined in together, others are using the platform as a way to connect with those from which they have been separated. 

Ellie Erb and Hannah Kernen, a couple who attend Wellesley College in Massachusetts, were separated when COVID-19 caused their college to send students home for online courses. Kernen returned to Philadelphia and Erb to Wisconsin, but they didn’t let that stop them from going on dates. 

Much like the Judds, the two made their way to Animal Crossing where they enjoyed the live music of K.K. Slider on Kernen’s island. K.K. Slider is one of the game’s iconic returning characters, a white dog who plays guitar and sings.

“We hadn’t been on a date in a while and we were kind of sad about it,” Erb said. “Then K.K. was going to play in Hannah’s town.”

For Erb and Kernen, who met because of a shared interest in the game when Erb noticed Kernen’s K.K Slider keychain, getting the chance to use the game as a platform for dating while apart has helped keep their relationship strong. 

When looking for a night out on the town while the town is quarantined, Animal Crossing serves as a cute and unique date idea for those stuck at home.

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