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Japanese Company Regrets Using ‘Animal Crossing’ For Work-At-Home Conferencing

Concerns around Zoom’s reported security issues had people seeking alternative platforms for teleconferencing.

Some companies in the United States, which have already given up on the platform, may want to take a cue from a Japanese firm that used a video game for their conferencing needs.
According to a report by Japanese site Livedoor, their editorial team recently hosted their work-at-home session via “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” a recently released life-simulation video game on the Nintendo Switch console.

In “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” players assume the role of a customizable character who is able to explore a deserted island.
One of the site’s writers reportedly invited its editorial staff for a virtual meeting on the game’s island following a suggestion by the editor-in-chief. The meeting was apparently enjoyable as the staff even found time to go on a fishing trip together.

The writer noted that while they did have some fun working in “Animal Crossing’s” island paradise, there were some disadvantages that may prevent them from using it more often for meetings.

Some of the main issues the writer pointed out was the inability to do file transfers and hold private person-to-person chats.
Since adding contacts on the island requires alphanumeric codes assigned to each Nintendo Switch user, recognizing workmates can get a bit complicated.

The writer also lamented the fact that focusing on actual work can be quite a challenge especially with the tasks needed to be completed in-game.

Having been released during the COVID-19 pandemic, the game’s success has been attributed to the solace and enjoyment it gives players during a period of uncertainty, with NBC News noting that “Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the coronavirus distraction we needed.”

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