White Paper-G00dSoup

Through the introduction of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” people have been able to get through a lack of social interaction and experience a sense of escapism from the outside world.


Background: Because humans are fundamentally social, extended intervals without social connection may be harmful to both mental and physical health. Many studies investigating how technology affects social isolation in older persons have indicated that using technology during times of social isolation reduces feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. The nature of a potential association between gaming and emotions of loneliness and anxiety was examined using a survey model. The measurements used were a blend of survey questions that have undergone empirical validation and ones that were designed specifically for this study.

How I Intend To Use It: This article not only discusses the games ways of reducing the feeling of having a lack of social interaction, but also anxiety and depression, which can be possible outcomes of certain people who experienced a lack of social interaction. I want to use the outcomes of this study to compare the different people’s responses to the game and how it affected their mental state during the pandemic.


Background: With the risk of engaging in escapism, Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers players a dreamworld where they may momentarily escape the harsh realities. In contrast, the New Horizons environment develops into the ideal social platform for maintaining social engagement with people in order to combat loneliness. The article distinguishes whether the game is a “dreamland” or just a temporary form of escapism.

How I Intend To Use It: I intend on using this article to explain whether “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is truly a “dreamland” or just a temporary form of escapism. I want to dive into whether or not this game does provide people the fill they needed during the pandemic, or if it did not satisfy them at all.


Background: This paper discusses Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ (ACNH) release during the COVID-19 pandemic. It draws upon responses from nearly 2000 players to frame how the game acts as a platform for routine substitution and social connectivity in a disconnected physical world. A combination of the game’s elements, including its comforting aesthetic, participatory community, financial mechanics, and goal-setting, promotes the player’s construction of their sense of self.

How I Intend To Use It: I want to dive deeper into each feature of the game and see what features helped users with their mental state. I feel there are far more features than just the social aspect of this game that can create a calming atmosphere for players to delve into.


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way many people live their lives. The increasing amount of time spent indoors and isolated has been accompanied by an increase in the time people spend playing video games. One such game which soared in popularity during the early stages of the pandemic was Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Findings suggest that playing the game helped satisfy various psychological needs.

How I Intend To Use It: I intend on using this article to dive deeper into this “psychological needs” and to find relation between these needs and social interaction. I want myself and my readers to understand each intricate aspect of the game and how it may satisfy feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression.


Background: Research suggests that playing video games contributes to positive emotions. Some of these benefits may be attributed to the stress-relieving abilities that video games have. In order for players to be able to shift their focus away from stress they are experiencing in their everyday, offline life, they need to immerse themselves in a fictional world.

How I Intend To Use It: I intend to use this article to examine many games and support my claim that Animal Crossing: New Horizons has nailed these stress-relieving advantages. Of course, not everybody has engaged in the game. However, I think that this game is superior in making up for the lack of social connection that occurred during the epidemic, and I want to make the case for why people should purchase this game if they experience these feelings.

Video Games Are Social Spaces

Background: There is evidence to suggest that video games can be a safe place to experiment with social interactions for vulnerable people. These include people with autism spectrum disorders, insecure attachment styles, depressive symptoms, and social anxiety. Video games and other online spaces are “safe’ for these individuals because they allow people to communicate when they want to.

How I Intended To Use It: With this article, I want to take examples used when discussing individuals communicating with friends through video games towards the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I want to incorporate details within this article and apply it towards Animal Crossing as a whole.

My Thoughts of the Article:
– The paragraph titled, “Video Games as a Safe Space” gives me a good idea of what this could be about. During the questionable times the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic caused us all, majority of us went to playing video games as a safe space.
“There is also evidence to suggest that video games can be a safe place to experiment with social interactions for vulnerable people. These include: people with autism spectrum disorders,
people with insecure attachment styles, (those whose unreliable relationships early in life have led to a feeling of mistrust in most other relationships) shy people, people with depressive symptoms, and people with social anxiety”
I personally feel COVID affected a lot of our social presences and made us more vulnerable, if we weren’t already.
“Successful conversations require a wide variety of skills that many take for granted, such as reading body language, understanding tone of voice, maintaining eye contact, and rapidly comprehending and responding to information. Online video games can allow players to talk to others and make friends at their current ability level even when they are not emotionally or physically able to leave their homes. This can help build the skills and confidence necessary to try it in-person.” Any video that has internet access can do this…to some degree. Games that are meant to be played online, (such as Call of Duty if I were to name an example) have features where you could speak to anyone who is online. Animal Crossing however is steered towards a wider variety of people, thus making it more difficult to find friends online (due to the fact children play the game as well).

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3 Responses to White Paper-G00dSoup

  1. davidbdale says:

    I’m frankly surprised how much academic study has been devoted to the simple notion that a video game with multiple players sharing a virtual space in real time could ease the isolation of a world quarantined by a pandemic, but sure enough!

    You haven’t done much actual interacting with the sources from the look of your White Paper so far, G00dSoup. These summaries and “How I’ll Use It” sections could all have been produced from the “front page” materials I was able to find without opening the entire papers. That’s OK for the first draft, but the time is NOW (actually a week or so ago) for you to dive into this material and start interacting WITH FINGERS ON THE KEYBOARD and record your insights directly into the White Paper. You’ll need a strong Definition/Categorical theory to develop with your first 1000 words in less than a week.

    I’m guessing some sort of reflection on what “social interaction” actually means when your avatar is engaged in tiny exchanges of narrowly proscribed options with the avatar of someone you’ve never met and will never meet. It might also be useful to examine whether anything very meaningful occurs between two players (people) when the stakes are so low. What range of emotions/humanity/transaction are even available to these cartoon representations of ourselves? To me, anyway, those seem to be worthwhile questions to address.

    Helpful? Always Reply to Feedback, please, G00dSoup. It’s the primary value of the course, and I love the conversations, but I tire of them quickly when they become one-sided. Thanks!


    • g00dsoup says:

      This advice for the White Paper has been very helpful, Professor. After the lecture in class and our conference regarding the Research Project, I now know the true intentions for the White Paper and will update accordingly. Thank you!


  2. davidbdale says:

    When you first posted it, this was a preliminary assignment. It was among the better first drafts then, and it’s still above average, but no longer among the best, G00dSoup.

    Use the White Paper as you should, to take Notes and record your impressions of your sources AS YOU READ THEM, the best way to begin converting your research material into language of your own that you can export to your short arguments when it’s time to draft them. You don’t appear to have updated your NEW HYPOTHESIS entries at all since you first posted them.

    Feel free to put this post into Feedback Please if there’s any way I can work from what you’ve posted to help guide you to sources or arguments.

    This post will be regraded from time to time, or on your specific request.


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