The rationale of the study is to investigate the communicative competence of the English language among Malaysian adult players: Animal Crossing Thesis, OUM, Malaysia

University Open University Malaysia (OUM)
Subject Animal Crossing
  • Introduction

The rationale of the study is to investigate the communicative competence of the English language among Malaysian adult players of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The game became popular since its newest version was released in March 2020. Even before the game was launched, its older series triggered communities to form on social media platforms revolving around the game.


  1. What are the topics of communication among the ACNH players?
  2. What are the reasons behind their communicative anxiety?

The significance of the study remains in the Digital Game-Based Language Learning field. It gives insights to understand that a specific game, if given enough time, can become a medium for investigation in terms of language and communication. However, the limitations of the study exist.

The study used one instrument and due to the current climate and time difference, those participants who wanted to be interviewed were not contactable. Hence, the findings could have been better analyzed if they had been from various sources.


This chapter introduces the study of ESL adult learners from Malaysia who plays Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) and how it affects their communicative anxiety when interacting with other players. They are video game players between the ages of 18 to 40 years old.

Hwang & Wu (2010) cited in Osman & Rabu (2020) found that participants from higher education institutions are the most commonly selected in DGBLL-SLA research. The paper commences with a review of past research based on the perspectives of digital games and ESL learning and its influence on digital games on communicative skills researchers. The gap in the study is expounded further and concludes the paper.


The research is conducted qualitatively. Informed consent is asked of 50 participants when they participate in an online survey. They are chosen as they are players of the ACNH game. All participants are adults and non-native speakers of English. English may be their second or third language.

The instrument used for the study is an open-ended survey. The responses received from the participants are inquired qualitatively using content analysis. The trustworthiness of the study remains with the transparency of report writing. No data was leaked and the identities of the participants remain confidential.

The procedure of the study includes giving out the link to the survey through Google Forms. It was given out to all social media platforms that have an ACNH community. The data analysis includes using content analysis to identify common themes for their responses in order to answer the research questions.

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