This paper examines video games in order to discuss roles played by media culture during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, people spent a large amount of their time playing communication-oriented games, such as “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” or social multiplayer games on smartphones. This trend is an extension of the casual revolution in video games since the 2000s.
Notably, however, communication-oriented games during the pandemic also seem to offer alternative means for casual ordinary communication in the abnormal reality imposed by the pandemic. Their popularity is a sign of new roles played by media culture and games.