An island paradise.
Sounds like a good plan for the year that is 2020, no? No news reports, no virtual meetings, just you, Mother Nature and some talking animal friends.
Oh! You thought I was talking about something in the South Pacific? (We can’t travel anywhere right now, remember?) No, I was referring to the meteoric rise of one of the most talked-about games on social media – Nintendo’s Animal Crossing.
There are a lot of things that have become a “thing” this year that probably wouldn’t have been a “thing” any other year. I’m not even a gamer, and yet there I was, on a Friday evening trying to find home delivery for probably the last Nintendo Switch in the state of Florida and buying one of the 22 million+ copies of the game that have sold since March.
Why? Because my teammates couldn’t stop talking about chopping wood, accumulating furniture from balloons in the sky, and trying to get some cat named Raymond to move onto their island.
My actual colleague Raymond talked me into seeing what the fuss was about. And my colleague Kim. Casie. Lauren. My entire team was playing, and “visiting” each other after work to compare island notes and trade.
That’s what hooked me (island fishing pun intended.) You see, I work on the best team ever (We’re the Employer/Employee Brand Team in People & Communities.) I can’t remember any other team in my storied career where I WANTED to spend non-working hours with my teammates. Now, a lot of Cisconians will also say that they work on the best team ever. They’re not wrong, either. That’s just how Cisco rolls.
The team and I scheduled a half hour to play together one evening after work. Two hours later we were giggling and laughing and swimming (a new game feature at the time) and talking to each other’s animal villagers and not realizing that holy cow it was 11 p.m.!
We make furniture from DIY recipes for each other. When we get extra items, we send special mail deliveries. And we play together often. During the workday, we start meetings by asking about a new character or a new game update. We always make time to connect on a personal level – it’s why we’re a great team – but 2020 has brought us together as a team in ways that we probably never would imagine, and we don’t want to go back to “normal.”
We even have a Webex Teams Space to talk about the game. (Cisconians have a lot of these – there’s a BBQ space to talk recipes, there’s a space to share about our #CiscoPets, there’s a space for new parents, etc.) Cisco technology is a thing that maybe we employees take for granted, but it has really helped get through a tough year by keeping us connected. It’s probably keeping YOU connected, and you don’t even realize it!
In that Webex space, we’ve often talked about needing some Cisco-branded items to wear in the game. None of us are particularly talented pixel artists (that’s how you create custom designs in the game) – so we dragged another teammate into this frenzy who doesn’t even PLAY. Our creative lead Justin enjoyed the challenge and gifted us with some stylin’ new items!
If you’re playing Animal Crossing, we want to share it forward. Each of us has a custom design that we’re sharing here so that you, too, can show your love of Cisco. Whether a fellow employee (join our internal Webex Teams Space and let’s visit!) or you just love Cisco (and maybe want to work here with us!) – we wanted to bring a little joy into your day.
Here’s the design you can get from my creator code – followed by quotes from my team’s experience and their creator codes as well!
In May, my husband bought the game for me to help with a bit of anxiety. I’m not usually into games all that much, so I was hesitant at first – but the more I played, the more I loved it. And getting to experience that with my team and see how unique each of our islands are has been a lot of fun!
I fatigued myself putting in over 300+ hours between March/April during the early days of having to stay at home. Even celebrated my birthday on ACNH. Then I found out half the team started to play and that reeled me back in.
I’ve always been a huge animal crossing fan, so when they announced the release of it for switch in March I was super excited! The release of the game really helped me connect with friends and coworkers at a time when it was hard to physically see anyone in person. It made me a lot closer to my teammates and was fun to hangout with them (virtually) in this game setting!
I started playing Animal Crossing on Nintendo GameCube before you could visit other players. When I found out about New Horizons releasing on Nintendo Switch with the multiplayer option, I knew I had to get it. Since I grew up playing solo, who better than to show me how to visit other islands than my very own We Are Cisco teammates?
Be sure to share with us on social using #WeAreCisco and join us on Webex Teams: #WeAreCisco Animal Crossing Employees
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