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Penn Cracks Down on Visiting Other People's Animal Crossing Islands


Photo by Seyoung Kim / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Last week, Penn undergraduates received a strongly-worded email from Provost Wendell Pritchett, urging them to socially distance not only physically, but virtually: “Any student, student organization, or group of students found to be congregating on campus, or off campus, or on Animal Crossing: New Horizons, will face immediate intervention by Penn Police.”

While the measure may seem draconian, Pritchett believes it is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “We don’t fully understand the coronavirus. It could be that this virus has a digital form, and can be transmitted via Nintendo Switch Online. By visiting others, you could be putting yourself — and your loved ones — at risk, no matter how fun it is to break all your friends' rocks and run around whacking them with a net. Believe me, I know.”

Student backlash was swift and immediate.

“How am I supposed to get all of the fruits now?” complained Ethan Chan (C ‘20). “My roommate and I both have apples, so it’s not like visiting each other via local play would help us.”

Provost Pritchett did not immediately respond to requests for comment. According to a trusted source who obtained his friend code, the provost has been active on Animal Crossing for the past 24 hours.