I would like to preface this post by reminding you all that I am eighteen years old, a college student, and a “responsible adult.”
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I have a confession; I am hopelessly addicted to a game site designed for children.
It started out harmlessly enough. When I was in elementary school, my public library, due to the fact that it was remodeling, had temporarily moved into the local mall. While in the mall, they allowed anyone, anyone at all, to use their computers. I had a computer at home, of course; my dad was a computer programmer, and he’d built it for me and my sister himself. However, this was the age before wireless internet, ergo, I did not have access to places online. At the library, I mainly played dress-up and other flash games. One day, though, there was a girl sitting next to me who was playing what looked to be a really, really fun game.
As stealthily as I could, I copied the address into my own browser and was greeted with a site that I would be in love with for, likely, the rest of my life.
I called over my dad and signed up. It took forever for the confirmation email to send, and in the meantime I could only basically gamble with the few neopoints I had, but it was fun nonetheless. I tried at least every game once, and Kacheek Seek was where most of my time was spent. I wanted nothing more than a Starry Paintbrush for my beautiful uni. At the time, that was one of the only paintbrushes you could get, it cost a lot of money, and money was hard to make, even if you were good at the games.
Nonetheless, I loved it. I spent as much time as I could on that website. It got even better once I turned 13 and could roleplay on the neoboards. For some reason or another, my father made me shut down the account, and like the rebel I am, I turned right around and made a new one. I ended up making several through the years due to lost passwords.
In middle school, I gave it up entirely. I was “too cool” for Neopets. Who needed a virtual pet that you played games with? Certainly not me. I wanted a real pet. A dog, or a cat, or a ferret. Not a stupid bunch of pixels I couldn’t pet.
I got moved into Cyber School after a year in public middle school though, and most days there was nothing to do. I met a few people on the discussion boards for my classes, and we all exchanged emails, and one girl named Sarah brought up Neopets at one point. Neopets? You mean I wasn’t the only one to have grown up with that? As it turns out, no, I wasn’t, and she didn’t consider herself “too old” for it. After what seemed like forever trying to remember my old password, I gave up and created a new account.
Everything was different. Everything looked different – the navigation, the pets, the art style, everything. They were even opening up a new “NC Mall,” where you had to pay real-world money to buy items. They’d changed their HTML requirements – again – as well as some of the rules on the Neoboards. Still, I sucked it up, went with it, and resumed enjoyment of this site.
And boy, was that a mistake.
You see, this is what started a viscous cycle of going on Neopets for months at a time, letting it consume my life and my soul, and periods of “eh. Neopets.” Though, I will admit that thanks for this, I’ve met a lot of good friends and partaken in a lot of great events. Altador Cup? Participate every year. Battle for the Obelisk? Proud Thieves’ Guild member.
It’s kind of sad, actually.