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Screenshot of virtual National Day party [2 of 20]

"During the Circuit Breaker period and the phased reopening of Singapore’s economy, my friends and I connected virtually via the Nintendo game “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”. One event we had was a virtual NDP 2020 celebration – possibly the first of its kind – on the game itself. I’ve been playing Animal Crossing since slightly before the start of Circuit Breaker, along with a group of young adult friends. My friend Christine shared that she would be organising an ACNH NDP themed party, and invited some of her friends, including myself, to her island to explore, have a playdate and for photo taking. As the party coincided with summer festivities in the game-world complete with customisable fireworks, we truly made it an NDP to remember, even if it was completely virtual. Although it was only an hour + long there were about 5 of us who were hosted on Christine’s island. We did all the things we could not do physically – gather as a group, run around, dress like kuehs, Sir Stamford Raffles, SIA stewardess (acc to theme), explore the various Singaporeanised features of the island, and make memories. I felt socially fulfilled, and like a spark has been rekindled, as I do not have a tradition of celebrating NDPs with friends. While the event first began as a friends-exclusive, Christine opened up her island and it became a hit on Reddit where Singapore resident players on ACNH went to her island to celebrate National Day too. Since it is a National Day event (albeit an in-game one) and it illustrates the flourishing of human connection amidst physical/social distancing, I thought it would be nice to share and archive these."--Contributed by Lisabelle Tan, as part of the "Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore" collection community call.

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All rights reserved. Lisabelle Tan, 2020


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