Cover Photo: A screenshot from Animal Crossing set in a field of black roses with the character in the game crying.
Photograph courtesy of the author

How My Depression Ruined ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’

When I save, quit, and reload, I’m in control.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing

I was using it to repeat events over . . . leaving myself stuck in time loops.

At the advent of the pandemic, I had already been depressed for six months. I was already ‘self-isolating,’ having not seen anyone regularly for half of a year except my long-distance partner because I didn’t have the energy or desire. I worked my office job, came home, immediately played video games along with dinner and didn’t stop until I went to bed. I told myself that I would find a way out of the hole, but months passed without any reprieve. Friends texted, unsure if I had moved away because they hadn’t heard from me.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing

Zelda

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Persona 5The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildAnimal Crossing

Animal Crossing

Chris Karnadi is a writer, journalist, and editor based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter @chriskarnadi.