why I’m obsessed with animal crossing: new horizons…

2020, lifestyle

Hi!

I’m not one of those people that’s been into video games since they were a kid – I played Wii Sports, MarioKart, a bit of Harry Potter on my PC, occasional Sims and I loved Nintendogs, but I’ve never been an avid gamer.

Then I met my boyfriend. After a year and a half I bought my own X-Box to play Overwatch. Now I’ve had a Nintendo Switch for over a year, I’ve played enough Pokemon Sword to justify having numerous Pokemon plush toys in our living room and I’ve played Animal Crossing: New Horizons every day since my birthday weekend (over two months).

But how did we get here?

When my fiancé (still have to force myself to call him that, it feels weird) first got excited about New Horizons, I didn’t get it – it looked like a weird Sims with these animals villagers and doing menial tasks to pay back debts to a raccoon who really does have financial leverage over everyone on the island. I didn’t get it – there was a turnip stock market, the animals have weird catch phrases and some Dodos run the airport.

But it did come out at the perfect time – just as the world started to lockdown, Animal Crossing: New Horizons released and made it almost impossible to buy a Switch anywhere, selling out all over the place. My fiancé bought a digital copy and started to build his island – as I was pretending to do uni work I would watch him play and I felt like we were building the island together; I knew who all his villagers were, we’d decide when was the best time to get a profit on those turnips (I realise if you don’t know animal crossing this sounds insane) and I was really invested in this kids game.

But I decided I wasn’t going to get my own copy until I’d finished my dissertation because I didn’t need that kind of distraction, but then my lovely fiancé bought me a copy for my birthday and I started my island a couple of days later. Since then I have checked in on my little island every day, chatted to all my villagers, decorated my island, planted flowers and crafted my little hearts content to make an island I adore.

Especially in another lockdown, having something to tune in to every day and tasks to achieve is the closest thing to a routine I had for a long time – I’d go and tidy the weeds and talk to my villagers and expand my little community. It’s a bit like Sims but with more direction and definitely for a younger audience, but it’s addicting and just so cute!

Having something to focus on that in the long run really doesn’t matter makes everything feel a bit lighter – it’s nice to have something insignificant to focus on outside of the world of pandemic, politics and adulting. Having a space where I can pick up twigs and collect materials to make furniture for my house and live outside the real world for a bit makes it all a little easier to process.

So I’ve been playing a dumb game every day for two months and it’s got me through two of the most emotionally difficult months of my life. It’s so dumb, but I’ve got to check in with all my animal villager friends, I’ve got to check my turnip prices to try and sell them at the best price, I’ve got to clean up all the weeds and finish decorating my islands; it’s so good for my brain, I feel creative and I feel like I’m accomplishing something, even if it’s in an inconsequential video game.

Where my dissertation is finished and I’m currently applying for jobs, there isn’t a lot that I ‘need’ to be doing every day and I’m trying to give myself the freedom to relax and spend time on things that aren’t ‘productive’ like playing on my Switch, doing a bunch of craft activities and watching films! In the last week I’ve watched the first two Harry Potter films and Avengers: Age of Ultron because I could and it felt great!

Conclusion: Animal Crossing is really great. If the fact that its release meant that Switch’s sold out all over the country didn’t convince you, this blog post will definitely do it.

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

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from outfit posts… to eSports?

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

I’ve been playing Overwatch for over a year now – it was my first video game and it’s really the only game I’ve played in that last year, to the extent I bought myself an XBox from CEX just to not have to share with my boyfriend’s account (though he is the entire reason I started playing at all).

So I’m pretty head first obsessed with Overwatch, at least playing it.

But as a lifestyle, sometimes fashion, mostly rambly blogger – why am I writing about video games, let alone eSports?

This isn’t me trying to say I’m qualified to, I’m just saying theres room to be both – my blog is a little summary of me, giving me a platform to ramble about whatever I want to ramble about and right now? The only thing I want to talk about is the first Overwatch League match I’ve properly watched and engaged with – the Inaugural Season Playoffs Grand Final, which sees Philadelphia Fusion take on London Spitfire for the first trophy of the Overwatch League.

My first thought is I wish I got involved earlier – I feel like how this is how people feel watching sports (I definitely didn’t get this excited about the world cup) but watching people play Overwatch on a professional level is so interesting. This game that doesn’t see outside of my living room and can feel pretty lonely, so seeing a sold out arena in New York broadcasting this match sudden puts the scale of this game into perspective.

I’d vaguely followed the Overwatch League in the past, watched some highlights but never watched a match live, let alone stayed up to watch one that started at midnight but that’s what I did with the League last night. I thought I didn’t know enough about the players because I didn’t know anything about any of them but you don’t have to.

Within a few minutes of watching the livestream in the lead up to the match starting around midnight, I was starting to get a feel for the players, who they played predominantly and it’s just so interesting to see how the professionals play – they’ve obviously been playing video games for far longer than I have but the game has only been out for two years, to see how refined these players are with these characters (some of which were released after the games initial release in 2016) is just so interesting.

So my Saturday morning has been spent catching on the matches that happened after I went to sleep last night and suddenly I’m really excited about watching future Overwatch matches. The end of the season probably isn’t the time to get into it but I’m genuinely looking forward to future matches.

Video games aren’t for everyone, but I think a lot of people would be taken by surprise in how much they enjoy playing a console game! It’s addictive and in the last year I’ve seen a lot of progress (and some two hundred odd levels…). I for one, am pretty sold on eSports now!

I know this is a bit different to what I usually write but I want my blog to be a little capsule of who I am and right now, on a Saturday morning I’m watching Overwatch League reruns.

Thank you for reading!

Sophie xx

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August favourites

2017, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

I’ve not done a favourites for a while, but it’s nice to be able to look back on the month and pick out the things I enjoyed the most. Lots of new content came out in July and August and I spent a lot of money on things I really didn’t need, so I really love the selection of things I’ve picked this month!

Image result for spider-man homecoming

Spider-Man Homecoming: Spider-Man has been my ultimate favourite superhero since I first saw The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield in the cinema – his wit, morality and agility are just everything I would like to be really (who wouldn’t want to swing so high you feel like flying – yes please!) so I was nervous seeing this film. I had every faith in Tom Holland having seen him in Civil War but there’s still every chance this movie was going to be awful. But it wasn’t! It was incredible! Every film has pros and cons and no film is without it’s flaws, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t recommend it more (and omg Zendaya).

‘You’ – dodie: A new dodie EP? Of course I’m obsessed. I treated myself to a bundle with a t-shirt, the EP and a vinyl version of the EP and I just love it. I love how the yellow of the case brightens up my room, I love having a studio version of ‘6/10’ (because god knows that song is my anthem) and ‘Would you be so kind?’ is just so happy. On the first EP, ‘Absolutely Smitten’ was the token really happy clappy mood lifting song and wybsk is the ‘You’ equivalent and I just can’t put into words how much it makes me smile.

Overwatch ‘Summer Games’: I think I’ve mentioned it fairly regularly – I’m obsessed with Overwatch, it’s all been very sudden but I’m now properly invested in my first and only video game and there’s been a fun event with extra things to collect and a fun new game to play and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BYNd5DUgMpX/?taken-by=ahealthiersophie

My elephant water bottle: We all know about my major obsession with elephants, but I was going to Primark to buy plain black t-shirts to work at Reading and it was in the aisle you have to go down towards the tills and it was all by itself and it was calling my name. It’s just gorgeous and I could never resist. I love it.

From Ikea’s website

Ikea shelving unit with wheels: For some reason, I went to Ikea three times in August and the first time I went I spotted this unit that I became utterly obsessed with it. On the second trip, I resist and it was that third trip that I gave in and just did it. I’m not recommending just spending money like I did if you can’t afford it but I knew exactly where it was going to go in my room, what I was going to put on it and how gorgeous it would look and I don’t regret it for a single second. I love it and it looked beautiful.

Jeffrey the bear: In August my sister was doing a summer course at Arts University Bournemouth and I went over to see her for the day. My boyfriend and I love this arcade cafe place called Fun Central and we’d decided we were going to win the bear that was worth 6,000 tickets for sure on this, our third time to the arcade. Shock horror, a new bigger bear worth 14,000 tickets had been added but my bear had been reduced to 5,000 tickets. We totally smashed it and I named him Jeffrey. I love him so much there aren’t even words.

My new hair colour: I haven’t really photographed it properly at all but I finally got my hair fixed at the hairdresser! It’s a deeper pink than I wanted (I was going for red) but I adore it because the blue is gone and it’s actually a nice colour and I’m still growing it out – think I’m going to get it dyed properly again in December when I’m next home and can go to the salon again. Can’t wait.

jelly > meringe > melted chocolate > sprinkles

The best dessert I’ve ever made: Just a silly thing I got very excited about – strawberry jelly with crumbled meringue, drizzled in melted chocolate and sprinkled with an excess of brightly coloured sprinkles. I recommend stirring it all around and mixing it all together but I’m very excited to have it again soon, I’m not going to lie.

Reading Festival: I wrote a whole blog post about why I loved working at Reading Festival, but I wanted to include it here as well because I’m still just so in awe that I was lucky enough to get to go.

VEDA: I’ve known for a few months now that I wanted to take part in VEDA and I’ve been noting video ideas for that long. But you know what? I never thought I’d actually manage it – 31 videos, let alone all of them being edited and uploaded by 6pm! But I did it, and you can watch the whole playlist here.

Wasn’t that a wild ride? I’m excited to do this again in September because September is my favourite month and my birthday month, very exciting! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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I’m doing a 24 hour gaming marathon for charity!

2017, lifestyle, student

Hello!

Today’s post is a little bit different to what I usually write but I wanted to write a post with all the information for anyone who wants to watch, sponsor or donate to this frankly insane thing my friends and I are doing.

We’re going to do a 24 hour gaming marathon to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support – their yearly campaign ‘Game Heroes’ encourages people to livestream themselves playing games for 24 hours, whether it be board games, video games, card games; whatever you fancy, but for 24 hours.

This is something my boyfriend, Lucas, has been interested in doing for a few years – last year, him and our flatmate Nick were going to do it but they never got round to organising it but this year, the three of us are going to stay up for over 24 hours, livestreaming a bunch of video games.

The boys will be starting at 3pm GMT on Monday July 3rd (I’ll be joining about 5.30 because I have work, going to be a long 48 hours!) and finishing at 3pm on Tuesday July 4th, before I go to NASS on the 5th and we move on the 7th – we basically picked the worst time but we’re sticking with it.

We’re yet to make a proper plan, but we’re going to play each game in a two hour block and so far we’re planning to play games like Overwatch, Lego Avengers, GTA 5, Wii Sports, MarioKart, Minecraft, Halo – there’ll be a huge variety and I’m not a huge gamer but I’m there to provide snacks and moral support, also to play Overwatch because I’m currently obsessed.

We’re not expecting to hit any huge milestones, we just think it would be a really nice way to take something we spend so long doing anyway and turning it into something more productive and helpful. Unfortunately I lost my nanny to cancer earlier this year and if I can help another family to not have to go through that, then I would play video games on livestream forever.

If you would like to donate online, please visit our Just Giving page or text ‘HWNC96 £1’ to 70070, if you’re feeling particularly generous (to which I am very grateful!) you can replace £1 with £2, £5 or even £10! We’ll be doing shoutouts to people from our Just Giving page throughout the 24 hours.

I’ve never done anything for 24 hours before – the odd all nighter here and there but never a 24 hour marathon of any kind, I’m so excited to take on this challenge with my best friends and hopefully donate a bit of money to a wonderful charity.

Even if you can’t donate (I’m a student, I get it), please do tune in because those boys are hilarious when they’re gaming and it’ll be entertaining if nothing else! We’ll be live at twitch.tv/nickandlucasplaystuff!

I hope you can join us on Monday, if I don’t get round to blogging then that will be why!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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