As the world stays home, people are turning to Animal Crossing: New Horizons to host their social gatherings and special occasions.
In just a week of release, there have been heartwarming stories of the game being used as a place to gather, celebrate and connect with friends and loved ones.
One couple forced by coronavirus to cancel their wedding ended up being thrown a surprise ceremony in Animal Crossing instead.
"My fiance planned it out with our best friends, I'm graduating from med school and not getting a graduation and our wedding was cancelled," reddit user ashmush wrote. "I was feeling pretty down about missing out on my milestones.
"This made me so happy, I don't even have the words to describe how much it meant to me. (Also if you zoom in close he made a little N&S for our initials on the hearts floor.)"
Nine-year-old Sophia had her birthday party cancelled, so her mum - a producer at PlayStation's London studio - called on her friends to gather round in Animal Crossing instead.
Sophia got a birthday party on the beach with presents and confetti - while her mum filmed her reaction. Said Sophia: "Wow."
I could cry. My friends @Skilton, @lillieUIVR , @rubyannem , @RenderTramp, and their pals threw Sophia a 9th birthday party in #AnimalCrossingNewHorizons because she couldn't see her pals due to lockdown ? pic.twitter.com/hEKtOtU0rk— Alexia Christofi ?? (@Lex_mate) March 24, 2020
And here is when she realised what was happening ?? pic.twitter.com/C0Ip4vaVN0— Alexia Christofi ?? (@Lex_mate) March 24, 2020
While people self-isolate in the real world, some couples have been forced to stay apart. It's an alternative to going mad in the same room, I suppose, but also something which several couples report Amimal Crossing helping with, too.
With the canadian borders closed, my boyfriend seemed further away than ever. Thank you Animal Crossing for giving us a meuseum date night . pic.twitter.com/vdXh5lpTOh— Mo Mo O?Brien (@momo_obrien) March 23, 2020
the last time i saw my boyfriend was in december, and he?s back in the uk, but we aren?t able to see each other due to lockdown— imogen donovan (@_donlothario) March 26, 2020
so, we?re meeting up in animal crossing for now ?? https://t.co/80fYDYIkSw
And while we're all donating to Blathers' Animal Crossing museum, a real-life museum closed by coronavirus has stepped up to keep people busy with a challenge of its own.
Reading's Museum of English Rural (MERL) asked followers to come up with designs for smocks and rural clothing similar to those featured in its own collection.
The resulting response - using the hashtag #AnimerlCrossing - went viral - with hundreds of responses.
POLLY and SON; we imagine it's also hard work being so fashionable! what a look??https://t.co/9L6yXeoTOF— The Museum of English Rural Life (@TheMERL) March 25, 2020
What are you doing in Animal Crossing this weekend?