Today we welcome back Marco Orlando to the blog. As we continue on spending time apart, we have talked many times about finding activities for our down time. For some of us it means going out for a walk, or taking photos. For others it is cooking a favorite recipe, or doing a craft. Some enjoy the creativeness of different games that have come out recently. Marco shares how Animal Crossing has been that down time outlet that he has enjoyed.

Marco Orlando

Years ago, I got hooked on the original Animal Crossing for the Nintendo Gamecube thanks to a childhood friend. The way it was explained to me, Animal Crossing was Nintendo’s version of The Sims, where something was always happening every minute of every day, whether you were playing or not. I could tell right away I was going to have a problem pulling myself away from this game.

Fast forward to 2020. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is released after a lengthy delay for the Nintendo Switch, right as a global pandemic begins to take hold in the United States, creating a perfect storm for escapism and quickly becoming one of the highest-grossing video games of all time. I knew it wouldn’t be much longer before the same childhood friend got me hooked on this game, the same way I got attached to the original. We began establishing a routine of getting together to play the game and experience all that island life has to offer and more.

I was surprised by how much more could be done on this game compared to its predecessors. People can now build and customize their own furniture using raw materials gathered throughout the island and customization kits. Catching fish and insects has always been fun, but now people can swim in the ocean for sea creatures. There are even features that enable them to build island infrastructure like fences, bridges and inclines to design their island as they see fit.

Even so, the overall premise has mostly remained the same. The more money you make, the better your house can get, and the more you can put in it. But now you can rearrange furniture outside, and even remodel the outside of your house with different roofing and siding options. You can even pick out your own front door and mailbox.

I’ve added some pictures I took of my home from the lasttime I played to show everyone how my house looks more and more like a home each time I play. I have some outdoor furniture on one side of my house. On the other, Iput up a basketball hoop, a workbench for building and customizing furniture, and a small barbecue grill for aesthetics.

ACNH Out Front

Right when you walk in, you can enjoy some free timein the game hall and sports lounge I’ve put together. You could watch TV, play pinball, throw darts, or shoot pool.ACNH Main Room 1

In the room in the back of the house is my bedroom. It’s currently set upin a way that’s partly a children’s playroom and partly a college dorm room.


ACNH Bedroom

In the room off to the left is a small neighbor brick oven bar and grill with assorted trinkets arranged throughout the room to set it up more like an actual kitchen and dining area.ACNH Kitchen



In the room on the right side is a bathroom that feels more like a locker room spa with calming contrasting colors and bright lighting and overall ambience.


ACNH Bathroom

Upstairs is the room that has just been added and currently has the most in it. I’m quite proud of how festive and fall-like the room became with various Halloween and mushroom season and Turkey Day items arranged inside. I’ve also added several academic and science items to give it a special kind of charm.


ACNH Upstairs

The final home upgrade I’m working towards is a basement. I have some items in storage I’d like to put in it when I finally get it. I plan on setting up a boxing ring and adding a few folding chairs. I might even put some traditional basement items in there, like a washer and dryer.

So there you have it. This is how I’ve spent some of my spare time when I’m not busy doing schoolwork or putting in driving time. I would recommend adding Animal Crossing: New Horizons to your wish list for the holidays if you haven’t already done so. For more detailed information on how to play the game, check out



Thank you Marco for sharing with us how you spend your downtime.  How have you spent downtime, or what new hobbies have you discovered?  


If you are self advocate and would like to share a blog post with us please email Laurie Coldwell at   


The Speaking Up For Us (SUFU) blog contains views and opinions of each individual writer. The views and opinions expressed through these channels are purely the bloggers’ own and does not reflect the opinion of SUFU as an organization or any SUFU staff member.

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