Indiana Area Senior High School

By JUSTIN REESE – While COVID-19 has the world on a lock down, if one thing has been preserved its trends and fads. Most in quarantine have turned to mainstream forms of entertainment that have taken headlines by storm. Titles such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Tiger King are among the most popular.

 Known for its claim of innocence and purity, Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) is just what the world needs. Released by Nintendo in March 2020, ACNH is the newest iteration of the Animal Crossing franchise with the last game being released in 2012. The franchise provides players the experience of running a town. Alongside animal villagers, players design, manage, and fund the renovation of a deserted island into a functional town. The game also allows for online-play where up to eight players can fly to one town and participate in fun activity, town renovation, or even home decoration.

The Nintendo title has taken the media by storm, with headlines in major news publications. As a result, both gamers and non-gamers have picked up the game. Many look at the game as a beacon of hope during these days of COVID-19. Sophomore Caitlin Wilson agreed that the game is just what the world needed,  “The innocence of Animal Crossing has made me feel comforted and safe even with current events. This iteration is by far my favorite and I’ll be playing it long after quarantine.”

Sitting at the top charts of Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes, Tiger King  has taken over television and media. The eight part true-crime docu-series accounts the story of Joe Exotic, an exotic animal park owner and inmate of Fort Worth prison. The series documents the rivalry between park owner Joe and animal rights activist Carole Baskin and the alleged murder hit that Joe placed on her.

The show has left viewers with one question: did Joe Exotic hate Carole Baskin enough to want her dead, or is he an innocent man? Over sixteen thousand people pledged to break Joe Exotic out of jail on a Facebook event. Whether Exotic is guilty or not, the show has captivated viewers and placed the show at number one for Netflix. Junior Bradley Petras agreed that the show was deserving of being number one, “Tiger King is definitely one of my favorite shows now. It’s designed as a documentary and it’s very educational as well as incredibly entertaining. It’s surprising to me that the story wasn’t popular before the show.”

Some have stayed away from clichè quarantine activities and entertainment. Some have taken up new hobbies such as baking, knitting, gardening and much more. Staying occupied during lock-down is more than just Tiger King and Animal Crossing, it’s about doing what is enjoyable and discovering what one loves doing.

Some are doing just that. Junior Kaden Duffee has started his own podcast titled “The Kade Take” where he interviews guests and talks about current issues as well as whatever else comes up. He’s interviewed famous TikTok stars as well as IHS students. “I started my podcast before quarantine, but the time off has given me plenty of time to work on it. It has kept me busy and I have managed to score some interesting guests. The quarantine has also given me time to expand my social media accounts such as TikTok as well.”

Whether it’s with a clichè like Animal Crossing: New Horizons or Tiger King, or a new hobby like baking and gardening, make sure you keep yourself occupied. This is a scary and new time for all of us but it’s important that we stay positive and keep doing the things we love.

Stay safe, healthy, and occupied IHS!