It’s no secret that the Animal Crossing series has gone from being a quirky GameCube title to one of Nintendo’s biggest flagship series in less than two decades. The little life simulator that could has been a ray of light in the industry helping many of its fans cope with depression and selling over 16 million copies of its New Leaf release on the 3DS, with its upcoming New Horizons entry on the Switch looks even more promising.
Many of those millions of copies sold went to a demographic of gamers that is often overlooked: senior citizens. One 87-year-old grandma in particular went viral after her grandson posted pictures of her playing Animal Crossing on the 3DS.
At the time of his post, she had logged over 3,580 hours of playtime into the game and turned it on no less than 2,521 times. That was back in 2018, by now who knows how many hours she’s put into her Animal Crossing community.
She’s not alone either. Another grandma also went viral for crying tears of joy after receiving a Nintendo Switch as a Christmas present. Although video gaming isn’t typically thought of as an activity for the elderly, Nintendo’s consoles have developed a base of older players even dating back to the Wii when the company recommended titles like Wii Sports and Wii Fit be used in nursing homes.
Other casual titles like Animal Crossing, Pokémon Let’s Go, and Ring Fit Adventure have only cemented Nintendo’s place even further among players young and old alike, bridging a generational gap that was once thought impossible to fill.
Even a 100-year-old woman, Kathleen Kit Connell, played her 3DS for two hours every day. She believed it helped keep her mental facilities sharp.
“I can’t speak highly enough of this Nintendo,” Connell said, “It’s helped to keep my brain as active as possible at my old age.”
Following the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Switch, the system will likely find its way into even more elderly homes. It may also be a good time to purchase a Switch for your parents or grandparents if they haven’t been able to get into video games in the past.
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