Supercell might be famous for games such as Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and—more recently—Brawl Stars, but its first hit mobile game was Hay Day (Free), a game that has players run a farm and trade goods with neighbors. Supercell decided to celebrate the bonds players can make in networked games like Hay Day, and it has created a short film called The Neighborhood Hug, which brought players from the same in-game “neighborhood" together in real life for the first time. As you can see below, the players span most of the globe, and although they’ve been playing together for more than 3 years, they haven’t ever met in person. The meeting took place in a real-life farm, appropriately, and offered an opportunity to the players to put faces to in-game names.
The film was directed by The Fines, Oscar winners for Best Documentary Short for Inocente, and it’s a lovely reminder of how gaming can really shrink the world and help people create the kinds of bonds that were unimaginable a few years ago; it’s one thing talking with someone on the phone occasionally, and it’s another spending hours experiencing a virtual world together.