Skip to main content

Monterey Bay Aquarium provides tours using Twitch and Animal Crossing

The Monterey Bay Aquarium closed its doors to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic — but it’s still able to inform people about aquatic wildlife thanks to Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

The organization hasn’t hosted any visitors since March 12, as only essential staff is currently allowed inside the Californian aquarium to care for its creatures. Creative thinking from social media specialist Emily Simpson enables the company to continue giving tours, however, albeit virtual ones. Simpson teamed up with content creator Patrick Webster to stream Twitch sessions of the recently released Nintendo Switch exclusive Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which let’s players catch fish and house them in an expansive aquarium.

“One of Animal Crossing’s core game mechanics is cataloging the animals and fossils on your island for your island’s museum curator, Blathers — making the game, as we play it, a Natural History Museum Simulator,” Simpson and Webster told Polygon. “With these institutions closed because of COVID-19, the game can become a virtual escape to do what is, at its core, what the aquarium and other museums do every day. We show you the amazing life you share your planet with, and tell you fun things about it! When we’re playing Animal Crossing, it feels a little bit like we’re back in our exhibit hall, rejoicing in discovering new things and sharing that with the world.”

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has done four live streams so far, which can be found on Twitch. The organization is also taking steps to expand upon its field of expertise by having guests on, such as fossil expert Emily Graslie of the Field Museum. The aquarium’s April 13 stream went on for two hours and went through both the fossil and aquatic sections of Animal Crossing‘s museum.

Animal Crossing even hosts a fish that has deep ties to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Its scientists researched the barreleye fish in 2009, and the team was able to solve the mystery of how its tubular eyes and transparent head works. Previously thought only to provide a limited view of what was above its head, researches found that the deep-sea fish can rotate its strange eyes to look up at prey or look forward.

As the Monterey Bay Aquarium doesn’t have any incoming ticket revenue from visitors during the pandemic, it’s asking for donations that will help cover costs for animal care and aquarium maintenance. The organization is a nonprofit that hopes to inspire ocean conservation.

Editors' Recommendations

Tyler Treese
When not playing or writing about games, Tyler Treese serves as the Senior Editor at Wrestlezone. An experienced writer that…
Cold Stone’s Nintendo-themed ice cream sundaes are a sweet way to beat the heatwave
Nintendo's three Cold Stone ice cream flavors.

It's the hottest summer on record, and gamers are looking for ways to cool themselves down (and their consoles, as both Nintendo and Valve have warned that their systems can overheat). To help beat the heat, Cold Stone is selling Nintendo-themed ice cream sundaes inspired by Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Mario Party Superstars, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Naturally, I had to review them. For journalistic purposes, of course.

Read more
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Turkey Day guide

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is celebrating the second Turkey Day event this year on November 25. Seasonal events are some of the most exciting reasons to jump back into the game for their unique and time-limited tasks, but mostly for the special rewards you can earn that you otherwise couldn't get your hands on. With the most recent 2.0 patch and DLC already having been released and marking the end of any substantial additions coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, these events are even more important to participate in to keep the game, and your island, feeling fresh.

Turkey Day is a not-too-subtle reference to Thanksgiving but renamed so that players around the world will be able to associate with it. Also, the key new character for Turkey Day is himself a turkey, so the name feels quite appropriate. Last year offered a ton of great rewards for helping to whip up some seasonal dishes, and we expect this year to be quite similar. However, with cooking now being a part of the normal gameplay, there may be a few surprises in store when the 25th rolls around. If you want to get a (turkey) leg up on what to expect from this year's Turkey Day in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, here's a full guide on how to prepare.

Read more
The best Animal Crossing games, ranked from best to worst
My New Horizons character dances next to her satellite farm.

The Animal Crossing games have always had a dedicated fanbase. It wasn't until Animal Crossing: New Horizons arrived on the Nintendo Switch, however, that the series exploded in popularity. This cute life-simulation series speaks to the more laid-back crowd, somewhere between a game like the Sims and a Harvest Moon-style game. While each game does mix things up, adding new mechanics and ways to express yourself and explore, the core concept has always been about taking your time, making friends, and living out a peaceful life in these bright and colorful worlds. Oh, and paying off the massive debt you always seem to get dumped on you by Tom Nook, of course.

Animal Crossing began on the N64 in Japan, but the first time we got to experience this lovely series was on the GameCube in 2001. Including the debut entry, only eight titles in the series have been made across various systems. While this is a small number compared to some other Nintendo franchises, such as Zelda or Mario, each game can be played almost endlessly. The number of things to do, make, decorate, and more makes it hard not to get hooked on these games. Whether you're a seasoned villager or looking for a new game to relax with, we've taken all of the Animal Crossing games and ranked them from best to worst.

Read more